Are Suburban Office Parking Ratios on the Rise?

By: Robert T. Dunphy

About a third of the suburban office developers responding to a recent NAIOP survey have already added parking to existing properties; even more expect parking ratios to rise in the future.

HOW MUCH PARKING do suburban office tenants need today, and how much will they need in the future? When “The Suburban Office Parking Conundrum” (Development magazine, fall 2016) explored this issue, expert opinions varied. NAIOP therefore decided to ask members about their recent experiences with suburban parking and likely future trends. From Oct. 6 to 13, 2016, NAIOP conducted two surveys that asked suburban office developers as well as architects and engineers from throughout the U.S. about those experiences.

Focusing on previous trends, nine out of 10 developers who responded indicated that a range of 3.5 to 4.5 parking spaces per 1,000 square feet of office space has been adequate for leasing over the past decade:

  • The most common parking ratio (46 percent) previously used by occupiers was 4.0/1,000.
  • Roughly equal numbers (20 and 24 percent, respectively) reported using less, at 3.5/1,000, or more, at 4.5/1,000.
  • A mere 10 percent of developers indicated that tenants need even less parking, typically 3.0/1,000.

While the 3.5 to 4.5/1,000 ratio has worked in the past, respondents indicated that tenants have been asking for more parking recently.

Nearly 90 percent of developers reported that, within the past 24 months, at least half of all prospective tenants were requesting ratios of more than 4.0/1,000:

  • The most common “ask” (40 percent) was for 5.0/1,000.
  • Twenty-three percent of developers said potential tenants wanted 6.0/1,000.
  • Eight percent said prospective tenants would settle for 5.5/1,000.
  • A small share of developers (3.5 percent) said potential users were looking for even more parking: 6.5/1,000.

Click here to read the full article.


Sentiment Index: Growing Optimism for U.S. Commercial Real Estate Market Over Next 12 Months

NAIOP has released the latest Sentiment Index based on a survey of member developers, owners and investors on whether their 12-month outlook for commercial real estate development is positive, neutral or negative.
The Spring 2016 Index is 0.56. The overall composite Index has increased for the first time in two years. The current survey indicates that there is more optimism in the CRE market than there was six months ago.
View graphs and observations for each of the 10 questions about jobs, the space markets, construction costs and the capital markets.

View the Report

To share your feedback or inquire about participating in the next Sentiment Index survey (Fall 2017), contact

Term of the Week: Omnichannel Retail

The third edition of NAIOP’s Terms and Definitions glossary has been published online, with dozens of terms that weren’t defined in the last version released in 2012. View the definition for ominchannel retail and bookmark the glossary for future use. Read More

Planning for the Demise of Parking Garages

In the hip Arts District of Los Angeles, AvalonBay Communities Inc. is building 475 apartments and a parking deck that can hold up to 1,000 cars. But it’s also planning ahead for a future where autonomous cars might make the garage obsolete.

“We are designing [the garage] so in the future, if demand for parking decreases dramatically, we have the flexibility to go back to the city and ask for additional entitlements to change uses from parking to whatever,” Mark Janda, senior vice president of development, tells the L.A. Times.

For example, the garage will have flat rather than inclined floors, which will allow the space to be transformed into shops, theaters or a gym. However, Janda says his company doesn’t want to get too far ahead of the curve. While people may eventually be willing to give up car ownership and simply rent a vehicle when they need to get somewhere, that’s not the case yet.

For now, “People in California still rely on their cars and expect to be able to park them,” Janda says.

State House Passes Road Maintenance Bond Legislation

The North Carolina House last week passed legislation to establish a new performance guarantee process for subdivision roads, while also requiring the state Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to develop a comprehensive roads database and improve the process by which roads are accepted into the state system for maintenance.

HB 457, ‘Performance Guarantees/Subdivision Streets’  would authorize counties to be able to require “residual performance guarantees” from developers, but, in return, requires NCDOT to expedite the acceptance of county subdivision roads.  Despite the fact that these roads are constructed to DOT standards and are given to the state at no cost, the NCDOT has historically been slow to accept them into its system.

The legislation also requires the state to accept subdivision roads approved on or after October 1, 2010, which meet DOT standards and which have been open to public travel for the last 6 years.

Finally, the legislation would direct NCDOT to work with counties to create a database that would convey the status of roads within each county (i.e., “public” or “private”).  This database would provide Realtors® and property owners much-needed information about the maintenance responsibilities associated with many of the state’s orphan roads, as well as establish a greater understanding for road ownership for properties across the state.

HB 457 passed the House by a unanimous vote of 112-0, and now moves on to the Senate. It is supported by both the North Carolina Association of Realtors® (NCAR) and the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA)

Source: NCAR & NCHBA

Click here to view the original post on REBIC’s In the Loop blog.

Demand for Warehouse Labor Increases with E-commerce Growth

By: Matt Powers

Consumers have fully embraced the reality that just about everything their hearts desire is only a click away, so it’s no surprise that real estate deals for e-commerce fulfillment centers are surging. And so is demand for labor to keep them running.

Over the last two years, e-commerce logistics real estate was the most active industrial sector in the United States. In fact, it represented 22.5 percent of all big-box leases of 500,000 square feet or more. That’s up from 16.1 percent of all big-box transactions from 2010 to 2014, when e-commerce was the third most-active industrial sector.

Those big warehouses don’t stock themselves. Even with warehouse automation, e-commerce fulfillment and distribution centers create high demand for human workers to fill the square footage and keep operations running smoothly.

Click here to read the full article.

County Manager Discusses Code Enforcement Improvements with REBIC

During a recent visit with REBIC, County Manager Dena Diorio discussed LUESA’s ongoing implementation of a new Electronic Plans Management system, as well as other technology improvements currently under development. Here are some key takeaways from the conversation:

Q: What can Code Enforcement customers expect in terms of improvements form the replacement of the electronic plans management system? 

A: The following are some of the major improvements that are being designed for the upgrade:

  • User-friendly dashboards with the ability to alert customers when the status of their plan review has been updated, or additional information is required.
  • System improvements, including:
    • Ability to accept any file format;
    • Scheduling Capability;
    • Management and creation of email templates
    • Replacement of Sheet Index (manual maintaining of drawings/revisions);
    • Incorporate integrated Auto-stamping process for approved drawings/files;
    • Computer Aided Design (CAD) software used for reviews;
    • More robust software that allows for annotations, exporting of annotations and comments; and,
    • Eliminate current File/Sever storage limitations.

Q: Customers frequently experience some misalignment between the County’s plan review system and the systems used by Charlotte and the Towns. Will this be addressed?

A: In short, yes. Currently Code Enforcement and the local governments use the same systems (Winchester and EPM), but they use them for different functions.  The Town land development agencies do not perform the same functions as Code Enforcement. Therefore, a customer could have differing experiences when working with the County vs. the Towns.  A goal of this project is to align those processes to the extent possible in the new system.  The following stakeholders are working with County Code Enforcement and IT to define future state to streamline customer experience with EPM.

Q: Are there any plans to embark on process improvements with the respective towns?

A: Yes, the towns are included in process improvements and the County Land Development team is working collaboratively to identify potential process improvements.  Additionally, town staff have provided their input into the development of the requirements for the new/upgraded EPM system.

Click here to view the original post in REBIC’s In the Loop blog.