The Hidden Reason Behind Seattle's Skyrocketing Housing Costs

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Mondoman 5 years, 2 months ago.

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    The cost of building one parking stall in residential garages is estimated to be between $20,000 and $50,000. This can add several hundred thousand to millions of dollars to a project, depending on the size of the building and other factors. Parking also takes up precious space where more housing units could be built. Developers build parking because the city requires them to and/or because they believe the market demands it.



    As is often the case, the Stranger is totally wrong on this, since parking spaces can be and are rented separately from the apartments. Thus, the cost of the parking space has no bearing on the rental rate of the apartment.

    In any multi-unit building of note, the off-street parking is all underground, so it doesn’t take up “precious space where more housing units could be built” (unless you’re a survivalist wanting to live in an underground bunker).

    Developers build parking when they can’t get away with taking it for free from the city’s supply of on-stret parking, because most of their renters don’t want to live without a car.



    The Stranger is a joke. They’re virulently anti-car, so I’d take anything they write on this topic (and many others) with a large scoop of salt.

    Mondo’s right. Developers can and do charge for parking, unless they can avoid building it in the first place.



    Large buildings with underground parking don’t take up precious space, unless the Stranger believes that people would choose to live underground without windows.

    In addition, the underground structure itself allows the itself to be larger (meaning more units) because its much more stable.


    great idea

    did any of you actually read the entire article?

    because other than the “underground parking taking away living space” the author is 100% correct.

    do you really believe renting out a parking space for $200 is going to fully subsidize a $50,000 parking spot?

    “But at Velo Apartments—a new, 171-unit, fully leased building located at 3635 Woodland Park Avenue North in Seattle’s Fremont area—just 100 out of 128 parking stalls have been rented, according to Rob Hackleman, associate development and asset manager for Mack Urban, which developed the building. Using the estimated $20,000-to-$50,000 per-stall calculation, that’s about $560,000 to $1.4 million worth of unnecessary parking spaces”

    regardless of what you think about the Stranger, you should all read this primer to better understand the parking issue: “The High Cost of Free Parking” by Donald Shoup.



    $200 a month is $24K a year, so yes, in two years that spot would be paid for. Maybe 128 spots is too many, but none is inadequate. There has to be a happy medium that the market will bear.



    Damn those wealthy, car-owning apartment dwellers who are making rents skyrocket! And the evil builders who rent to them!

    The headline is misleading (as putting parking a building is not a new concept, so not adding a new cost that is suddenly driving rent up) and surely renting parking spots must, at some point in time, cover construction costs, but the essence of the article makes sense to me. Building parking adds to project costs and make a more expensive dwelling. Duh!



    CR, in the interests of accuracy, I’d like to point out that $200/month is $2,400, not $24K ($24,000), as you assert. I don’t know what this means to the larger discussion, but accurate information would be a good place to start.



    To clarify Kate’s post, just as building 2 bedrooms in some apartments in a project doesn’t make the 1-bedroom apartments there any more expensive, building parking doesn’t make the apartments any more expensive, because they’re all rented out separately. “Free” on-site parking, on the other hand, would raise rents for those units that included it, but that sort of “bundling” doesn’t seem to be happening anymore.
    Those developers not providing any off-street parking are essentially just bundling the public on-street parking into their units, raising costs for all the neighbors. If there were some mechanism that prevented residents of these new no-parking buildings from overnight parking on the street (perhaps a parking permit system with only 1 or 2 permits allocated per address, no matter the number of units?), that might go a long way to deal with the problem.

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