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How is parking integrated into a development plan?

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Parking plays an extremely important role in creating successful, active, and economical real estate developments. Parking structures with mixed-use incorporated in the facility encourages pedestrian movement at the street level, as well as encouraging further growth in surrounding areas. Early consideration of parking during development planning will identify the best and most cost-effective opportunities for integrating parking into the development plan.

One essential component of incorporating parking into a master development plan is the utilization of shared-parking strategies to serve various users (i.e. transit commuters and office employees during the day, and residents and retail during evenings and weekends.) Shared parking helps to maximize the use of parking facilities and reduces the amount of parking needed. By sharing parking, the parking resource is “right-sized” thereby improving the financial viability of the project and reducing the amount of land and space dedicated to parking resulting in more effective use of land for development. Parking provides essential infrastructure to support access and mobility options for development. Structured parking can also serve as a platform for the development of offices, residential towers, and retail destinations. In addition, incorporating mixed-use development helps enliven the development area and by activating the street adjacent to the parking facility with the continual flow of people to and from the parking facility.

Parking serves as a critical component to development planning, providing essential infrastructure for each anticipated use. Early attention to parking planning for development provides more than just space for cars. It is critical to plan the “right” amount of parking to ensure that the project and its associated components are marketable and that the project is not financially burdened with excess parking. The creative design and incorporation of other uses in the parking facilities can also contribute to the vibrancy, appeal, and overall success of the development plan.

*Federal, State, and Local codes govern most of these requirements and should be thoroughly investigated. Data presented herein should be considered guidelines only.  For more specific information and assistance with implementation of these guidelines, please contact THA Consulting, Inc. via email at

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