The CRE focus has long been about buildings. But given the hybrid work model, or full-time remote working model, parking lots and parking garages around the city have gone from fully occupied to having tumbleweed roll around. And this is gaining lots of attention. The Finch Station commuter lots, for example, have turned into drag racing arenas, skateboard parks, bike training schools and even unpatrolled spots for gang hangouts. And then there’s hotel, mall and office lots and garages sitting ¾ empty.
There’s also been an increase in motorized scooter sales and the demand for electric vehicles. Mobility, logistics and electric vehicle charging technologies need serious consideration now more than ever. Massive lots and garages need an overhaul or a serious conversion to better usage. In fact, conversion of lots to retail spaces and/or movie theatres has taken off in the US. And above ground parking is paving the way for conversion into office and warehouse space. For building owners, it’s about adapting to change. For CRE agents like me, and after my last post about repurposing abandoned buildings, experts could consider converting portions of unused parking venues into commercial and industrial spaces. E-commerce and manufacturing sectors would love it.