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Parking in Charlotte


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Parking is at the core of much of what we discuss here, but we don't often think about it critically. While its certainly true that lenders require plenty of parking for new projects, thanks to our (hopefully) soon to be adopted UDO, parking requirements for most rehab projects should be dropped or reduced. There are quite a few businesses in Charlotte that are successful despite having no dedicated parking (or with dedicated parking which is distant and not clearly connected).

  • Superica
  • Hawkers
  • Jenis
  • Barcelona
  • Bakersfield
  • Dilworth Tasting Room
  • Flower Child
  • Futo Buto / Crispy Crepe (they have parking, but its not visibly connected to the business or evident from South blvd)
  • Wooden Robot
  • Hoppin
  • Everything on the 1500 block of Central in PM
  • PM Teeter and Midtown Trader Joes (I am kinda joking here)
  • Common Market PM
  • Just about everything uptown
  • Panthers!
  • Hornets
  • Knights!
  • Haberdish
  • Crepe Cellar
  • Cabo
  • everything else in the NoDa business district
  • Earls
  • Carpe Diem
  • Visualite
  • Viva Chicken (and the other stuff on Elizabeth)
  • Blue Blaze Brewing (they have a couple of spots)

I am sure there are a bunch of others to add.

I might argue that many of these businesses are successful BECAUSE of their lack of parking, not despite their lack of parking. The lack of parking both reduces the cost of building and doing business as well as makes the area more interesting and attractive to customers.  Regardless of causality of the relationship between business success and the availability of parking, we should recognize that ample parking is clearly not a requirement for a business to be successful in intown Charlotte. If we can continue to improve transit and walkability then parking should become even less important moving forward. 

IMO, eliminating parking minimums on all projects will bring more interesting businesses to Charlotte.

Edited by kermit
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Pittsburgh appears ready to pass a resolution removing any requirements for off street parking for new town or row houses.  The policy was brought about from complaints about garages and driveways fud

I believe they pushed the vote to the next meeting due to the length of discussion on the project last night. Regardless the outcome in Seversville, the most interesting outcome from the meeting

To be technical, TOD now has a "maximum" parking requirement, whereas the other districts have a "minimum" parking requirement. Effectively that means the city does not require any parking in TOD, but

From Houston:  Developers begin to look past parking as costs rise

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/article/Developers-begin-to-look-past-parking-as-costs-14435977.php

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As land prices continue to skyrocket and ride-sharing becomes more pervasive, attitudes toward parking in Houston’s urban neighborhoods have been softening. Urbanists and mass transit advocates rejoiced when Houston City Council voted over the summer to remove parking requirements beyond the Central Business District into portions Midtown and EaDo.

...In July, the city took note. The City Council voted to expand so-called market-based parking into part of Midtown and east downtown, allowing developers to decide how many parking spaces to have in their projects.

...The cost of land in Midtown is pushing upwards of $150 per square foot, said Oxberry’s Jamea. A 5,000-square-foot lot fits only 10 spaces, so $750,000 is a hefty price to pay — especially if there’s ample street parking, he said.

...In addition to safer pedestrian and bicycle transportation and maximizing property values, the city said the change could also result in the construction of more affordable housing units. If apartment developers don’t have to build as much parking, their costs will be less and could therefore charge less in rent.

Houston-based Hines, which is developing a 46-story apartment building downtown, considered reducing the amount of parking planned for the tower after one of its investors from Chicago said it seemed the building was “overparked.”

 

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The very conservative right-wing Manhattan Institute is on the eliminate parking requirements bandwagon. This article in their City Journal describes successes from Miami's elimination of parking minimums in new housing construction in Little Havana. https://www.city-journal.org/miami-housing-development-parking-regulations

It appears that developers in Miami are embracing parking-free apartments. This is particularly significant since Miami is one of the least walkable places in the country (and they have crappy poorly-managed transit). If it works in Miami, it could work in Charlotte.

Lets end burdensome regulations on housing provision by eliminating parking requirements first!

 

Edited by kermit
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2 hours ago, kermit said:

The very conservative Manhattan Institute is on the eliminate parking requirements bandwagon. This article in their City Journal describes successes from Miami's elimination of parking minimums in new housing construction in Little Havana. https://www.city-journal.org/miami-housing-development-parking-regulations

It appears that developers in Miami are embracing parking-free apartments. This is particularly significant since Miami is one of the least walkable places in the country (and they have crappy poorly-managed transit). If it works in Miami, it could work in Charlotte.

Lets end burdensome regulations on housing provision by eliminating parking requirements first!

 

Manhattan Institute/City Journal are libertarian, not conservative, but it is definitely not a lefty publication. 

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On 2/20/2020 at 1:19 PM, tozmervo said:

To be technical, TOD now has a "maximum" parking requirement, whereas the other districts have a "minimum" parking requirement. Effectively that means the city does not require any parking in TOD, but it doesn't prohibit it either. 

This is just an example of jumping the gap, so many people in Charlotte still own cars, building a structure with no parking will simply displace those cars elsewhere, either on the street, or in pay lots. I think the necessary bridge is to limit a building to only as many parking spots as there are bedrooms in the building. I’m typing this even as I have a roommate who has an extra vehicle for work, and a girlfriend who frequently has to park across the street due to lack of visitor parking. But I understand for the overall fabric of the city, it is a necessary sacrifice for developers to make.

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I don’t know Dan or the specifics of this situation, but, if true, we need to ask: do we want viable development to be regulatoraily prevented because they don’t have enough parking?

 

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On 2/21/2020 at 2:50 PM, KJHburg said:

From Atlanta via me in SJU how they are sprucing up parking lots in the ATL   this should be tried and implemented in the QC

https://atlanta.curbed.com/2020/2/13/21136088/atlanta-parking-lots-improvements-midtown-alliance

In this they talk about standardized Parking signage being a new thing in Midtown ATL

https://www.midtownatl.com/about/news-center/post/midtown-improvement-district-partners-with-local-buildings-to-install-standardized-parking-signage

Charlotte did this in uptown in the 90s (early 2000s?) but it kind of petered out. There are still some digital signs that show how many spaces are available (if they're operational), but the standardized signage seems to have turned into a free-for-all.

These are the currently participating garages, with real time space availability:

https://www.charlottecentercity.org/transportation/parking/

Would be nice to see this be the base to standardize all the decks in Uptown/SouthEnd. AND to market it a bit.

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On 4/10/2020 at 9:00 AM, kermit said:

I don’t know Dan or the specifics of this situation, but, if true, we need to ask: do we want viable development to be regulatoraily prevented because they don’t have enough parking?

 

I know Dan.

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27 minutes ago, CLT> said:

In this they talk about standardized Parking signage being a new thing in Midtown ATL

https://www.midtownatl.com/about/news-center/post/midtown-improvement-district-partners-with-local-buildings-to-install-standardized-parking-signage

Charlotte did this in uptown in the 90s (early 2000s?) but it kind of petered out. There are still some digital signs that show how many spaces are available (if they're operational), but the standardized signage seems to have turned into a free-for-all.

These are the currently participating garages, with real time space availability:

https://www.charlottecentercity.org/transportation/parking/

Would be nice to see this be the base to standardize all the decks in Uptown/SouthEnd. AND to market it a bit.

a great thing to spend a small portion of a parking tax on.

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Hurray! Charlotte’s first modern parkingless residential has been proposed for Seversville (per Charlotte ledger). The eviction thing seems a bit harsh, why should Grubb care if residents own a car and park elsewhere? Regardless, thanks to very good bike infrastructure (although the hill at the stadium underpass  could use some improvements) this is a very good place to test the economics of this in Charlotte. Hat tip to Grubb!

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Is Charlotte ready for its first car-free apartment complex?

We’re about to find out. Grubb Properties is proposing apartments in Seversville, northwest of uptown, that would require residents to sign leases confirming that they don’t own cars. And if it turns out they are lying or subsequently buy one, they’ll be evicted, Grubb says.

The no-car pledge is part of a larger plan to build affordable, bike-friendly housing close to uptown. The development would also include a bike-washing station, a bike fix-it station, individual bike storage lockers and refrigerated storage rooms for grocery deliveries, and each apartment would have dedicated bike storage. The economics of the project work, Grubb says, because a building with carless tenants doesn’t require construction of a costly parking deck or surface parking. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, kermit said:

Hurray! Charlotte’s first modern parkingless residential has been proposed for Seversville (per Charlotte ledger). The eviction thing seems a bit harsh, why should Grubb care if residents own a car and park elsewhere? Regardless, thanks to very good bike infrastructure (although the hill at the stadium underpass  could use some improvements) this is a very good place to test the economics of this in Charlotte. Hat tip to Grubb!

 

I wonder if Grubb is self-financing this? Most lenders won't lend money for a loan on residences that don't contain parking m

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3 hours ago, kermit said:

Hurray! Charlotte’s first modern parkingless residential has been proposed for Seversville (per Charlotte ledger). The eviction thing seems a bit harsh, why should Grubb care if residents own a car and park elsewhere? Regardless, thanks to very good bike infrastructure (although the hill at the stadium underpass  could use some improvements) this is a very good place to test the economics of this in Charlotte. Hat tip to Grubb!

 

It's interesting to see the opposition to this project growing in the neighborhood. I've been here for about 5 years and have rarely seen any NIMBY-ism to any project EXCEPT this project. A lot of outrage over no parking . I got a flyer in the mail earlier this week asking people to sign this petition: https://www.change.org/p/charlotte-city-council-stop-seversville-rezoning-petition-2019-167?source_location=topic_page

 

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1 hour ago, DCtransplant said:

It's interesting to see the opposition to this project growing in the neighborhood. I've been here for about 5 years and have rarely seen any NIMBY-ism to any project EXCEPT this project. A lot of outrage over no parking . I got a flyer in the mail earlier this week asking people to sign this petition: https://www.change.org/p/charlotte-city-council-stop-seversville-rezoning-petition-2019-167?source_location=topic_page

 

The nimbyism arguments are thin. Less visibility for drivers due to people parking on the street generally means that most people drive more cautiously that is a safer environment for pedestrians. Not sure how Grubb will actually enforce the no car rule though

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I think this apartment complex in Seversville with no parking is a bad idea.   First it way off established transit lines except for maybe a bus.  Far from any nearby grocery stores.  Plus an eviction over having a car?  Not sure how that would work.  This can work in uptown and along the LYNX line or where more services like grocery stores etc are walkable to the location.  And I did not think they were that affordable either as stated.  BUT he wants to build it why not rent out some parking spaces to discourage car ownership.  I have been by this site and it is no way a walkable area with services or transit nearby.  Grubb is developing the Herrin Ice site where this could be a better area for this right by a LYNX station and other services.  

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18 hours ago, KJHburg said:

I think this apartment complex in Seversville with no parking is a bad idea.   First it way off established transit lines except for maybe a bus.  Far from any nearby grocery stores.  Plus an eviction over having a car?  Not sure how that would work.  This can work in uptown and along the LYNX line or where more services like grocery stores etc are walkable to the location.  And I did not think they were that affordable either as stated.  BUT he wants to build it why not rent out some parking spaces to discourage car ownership.  I have been by this site and it is no way a walkable area with services or transit nearby.  Grubb is developing the Herrin Ice site where this could be a better area for this right by a LYNX station and other services.  

Bad idea for who?

  • Grubb? A developer with tons of experience in CLT who is testing a new business model that has seen success nearly everywhere it has been attempted. The zero parking strategy also allows a constrained parcel to pencil out for multifamily. If this works I could certainly see Grubb using the parking free/light strategy at Herrin Ice as well.
  • Future residents? A) The announcement said ‘refrigerated grocery delivery rooms’ will be available; B) Groceries can be picked up on bike ride home from work; C) The neighborhood will almost certainly see a new Grocery store shortly — it is the most rapidly gentrifying neighborhood in Charlotte and about to get a shiny new streetcar 4 blocks away. The Savona mill site is also crying out for a grocery anchor.
  • The neighborhood? They are about to see the second wave of gentrification get started (rising property values!), but without any additional traffic. This sounds like a NIMBY dream to me.

I guess I can understand your concerns, but from my perspective this project sounds  rational to for all involved. The fact that it may be a model for adding multifamily to small parcels without public money is a huge potential bonus.

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