10/17/2017 By: davidw@parkingsenseusa.com

Case Study: Are you really maxed out?

Increasing Parking Capacity


We look into the hypothetical situation that many facility or property owners actually face. Here we’ll discuss the problem and possibilities and how Parking Sense USA can help solve the problem.


  • A national landlord with an 800,000+ square foot suburban Class A office building is 98% leased.
  • The 9-level parking facility has approximately 2,300 parking spaces
  • As the occupancy in the building increased, the landlord began receiving complaints from the tenants that there were no spaces available in the parking garage.
  • This was a serious condition, and whether true or just the perception that the garage was full, the situation could negatively affect the value of the building and severely restrict the landlord’s ability to sell the property at some future date.

An investigation into the parking situation began in earnest. One of the largest parking consulting firms in the country was contacted to provide additional input.

  • There are no areas adjacent to the facility to expand the garage beyond the existing footprint of the garage.
  • The only potential way to “grow” the garage was to add more levels.
    • The costs to dig down further and add levels below the current lowest level were staggering and therefore prohibitive.
    • Due to some physical constraints, there was a limited number of spaces and levels that could be added. Only two levels, each with approximately 90 spaces or a total of 180 spaces, could be added.
    • Pricing for the two additional levels could only be accomplished at a premium of 50% to 100% over standard costs.


Costs, Concerns, and Comments 

The building department would require the two levels of parking below the current top level (3 levels total) to be closed during the construction.

  • A significant number of existing parkers would have to be relocated
  • All the other parkers that didn’t get relocated would experience additional traffic congestion and other inconveniences.

There are several ways to address the relocation problem:

  1. Rent parking spaces in nearby properties
  2. Shuttle parkers to and from remote locations
  3. And/or establish valet assist programs at the bottom level of the garage and the highest level of the garage that the building department would allow vehicles to be parked. Valet assist allows a higher number of vehicles to be parked closely together in the aisles and driveways by individuals employed by the parking operator.

All three solutions are expensive and not convenient for the tenants or their visitors.

Since the requirement to relocate parkers would not commence until the actual construction occurs, design, pricing, and permitting could all be accomplished without interference to the parkers. Once the construction starts the process could be completed in the best case in 7 months or worst case 12-15 months. The timeline can only be achieved if all goes well and no other issues such as a noise ordinance around the property, no nearby area for staging construction, and highly limited space to erect a crane(s) are quickly remedied.  Any additional delays could add materially to the projected timeline and overall costs.


Projected Construction Costs 

The cost to build the 180 new stalls, under the assumption that the addition two levels of parking could be added without substantial structural reinforcement:

Standard cost per stall in a new parking structure – $18K per stall $3,240,000
Premium cost per stall (could be much higher) – $9K per stall $243,000
Architect and engineering fees based on 5% of hard cost $243,000
Total Costs $5,103,000



Install the Parking Sense Intelligent Parking System. The improved parking efficiency, estimated at 10%, would in effect “create” 230 virtual stalls throughout the existing structure. That is 50 more than $5,000,000 would buy the owner, and the estimated cost to purchase and install Parking Sense is 1/10th the cost. Additional benefits include:

  • A Cost-Effective Infrastructure
  • An integrated parking management and revenue-control system built on the foundation of an accurate “occupancy read.”
  • Parking Sense’s EasyGuide Parking Guidance System with Infra-red sensor technology was engineered with a focus on operational performance, intuitive functionality, reliability, ease of installation and maintenance, and affordability.
  • Lower Operating & Overhead Cost – Increasing revenue
  • Operators benefit by optimizing space utilization which increases revenue and lowers operating cost and carbon emissions.
  • Integrating sensor technology to a parking occupancy program leads to more effective system management and wayfinding allowing patrons to quickly find and pay for parking.
  • Accuracy of each parking stall is a fundamental advantage for the EasyGuide system functionality.

Summary and Conclusion

Looking at this situation the owner could spend $5,000,000 to gain 180 more spaces at the top of the garage. Parking Sense Intelligent technology is more useful and less intrusive and it would direct parkers to the open spaces for years to come. The improved parking efficiency would in effect “create” 230 virtual stalls throughout the existing structure.

  • This equals 50 more spaces at 10% of the costs

The Parking Sense system is 99.9% accurate, works with Google Maps to lead parkers to the facility, cuts the time spent searching for available parking in half, is equipped with a “Find My Car” feature when you are ready to leave the garage, allows automatic payments, and greatly improves the overall parking experience. At this time, the owner is reviewing the one-time purchase price  or accepting our offer to put the system in at no upfront cost to the owner and simply pay a monthly charge over a five-year period which could be passed through as an operating expense to the property.