Benefits of New Development Construction: More Parking Options
As cities and dense urban areas grow, one common issue that seems to almost always comes up is parking availability. With most local jurisdictions requiring a given amount of parking in order to build a new residential building, developers are turning to creative ways to generate more parking spaces. One of those solutions: parking stacker systems.
Here’s a closer look:
What Are Parking Stackers, and Why Do We Need Them?
A parking stacker is an electronic system in which cars are lifted on platforms so that another car (or multiple vehicles) can fit underneath. This allows people to utilize vertical space that would otherwise go unused and ultimately creates more available parking. The vehicles rest on platforms safely while being lifted, and can remain in their elevated spots indefinitely without concern.
Here’s an example of a common parking stacker system from ParkPlus.
The stackers are generally shared with another resident – your parking “partner” – who would be the only other car in your individual stacker. If you are in a two-car vertical stacking system, one resident would have the upper stacker spot, the other, the lower spot. The resident with their car parked on the upper stacker would need to lower the stacker down to access their vehicle. If their partner's vehicle is parked in the lower space, they would use an electronic fob, code, or other safe method to access a secure lock box with a spare key to the lower stacker’s vehicle inside. They would pull the car out of the lower spot, lower their vehicle from the top spot to ground level, pull their car out, raise the lift back, and then return their partner's car back to its lower stacker spot. If you have the lower stacker, you can pull directly in and out of the stacker, but would need to provide key access to your upper stacker partner in order to access and move your vehicle when they need to lower the stacker and get their vehicle out.
It’s a quick and frictionless process.
Why Do We Need Parking Stackers?
While this may seem unfamiliar if you’ve never used a stacker system before, it’s actually quite common in dense urban areas around the globe. In places like New York, Los Angeles, or Tokyo – to name a few – parking stackers are more common than regular parking spots, and as Boston increasingly becomes a global city, they’ll become the norm here as well.
For locals who’ve parked in Boston’s alleyways and side streets, tandem parking spots might sound more familiar; parking stackers are ultimately no different than tandem spots – they’re just vertical, instead of one in front of the other at ground level.
As Boston continues to be developed, developers are required to allocate parking spaces as part of the city’s building code. Older residential buildings without designated parking often get grandfathered in, circumventing new construction building code and leaving residents searching the streets for a resident permit parking street spot. New code provides parking spaces where there would otherwise be none – and helps keep the neighborhood parking scene less crowded as more people move into a neighborhood with a new development building.
Cost Savings of Parking Stackers
There’s also an element of cost-effectiveness that benefits both developers and residents alike, as parking stackers are far less expensive and invasive than digging several stories underground to build a traditional garage.
But by avoiding doing so – and utilizing parking stackers – developers are able to create more amenity-rich space with their savings, which means residents living in those homes get a better, more fulfilling experience.
Benefits of Parking Stackers
So what exactly is the benefit of a parking stacker? There are many, but these are a few of the best.
When using a parking stacker, you’re still parking in a private, resident-only garage. You get private entry to the garage, only you and your parking partner share your stacker system (over time, you get to know your partner a bit and it all becomes second nature), and you utilize private entry to the building that’s only accessible to residents.
In a major urban city like Boston, getting off-street garage parking is a massive bonus.
In even busier, more populous cities like New York, a space in a parking stacker often sells for around $350,000. That’s the cost of a small, single-family home in other parts of the country, for those keeping score at home. But in Boston, spaces in parking stackers can be found for as little as $30,000 – less than a tenth of the cost.
But just as the price of homes is appreciating, so too will the value of a parking stacker space, meaning as Boston continues to grow, an investment in your parking space will grow with it. Plus, the cost of these spaces is typically built into the price of a new construction condo, so it’s not a surprise extra fee at the end. And if you don’t have a car or don’t need a space, you can simply waive the purchase and save the money.
The convenience of Parking Stacker Spots
If you’re the type of person who doesn’t drive a lot, are working from home, or often takes public transportation or utilizes ride-sharing services – and if you live in the city, that’s probably the case – opting for a top spot in the parking stacker is remarkably convenient and the logical urban lifestyle choice. A top spot means no one ever has to move your car to access theirs – and your car never needs to move for anyone else. On the flip side, a bottom spot in a stacker means you never need to move someone else’s car to access your own, and if you’re paired with a top-spot partner who doesn’t drive very often, you’ll hardly notice the difference from an unshared spot.
Save Time with Parking Stackers
When all you have is a local resident permit parking sticker, you’re in a constant battle for parking any time you need to take your car out. The time saved simply by not looping around and around the block – and navigating all those one-way streets that make it less of a “loop” in the process – is worth it. But factor in how many blocks away from home you’ll inevitably have to park and the time spent walking to and from your car (regardless of weather conditions) and you’ll be grateful for the simple luxury of taking a private elevator down to your car in the garage at your home.
Avoid the Elements and Inconveniences
Clearly, we’re burying the lead here, but you’ll never have to unbury your car from a Nor’easter snowstorm ever again.
When you’re in the comfort of a garage with a parking stacker, it means you’re never moving your car for snow removal, never shoveling out your parking spot (and re-shoveling when it gets plowed in), and you don’t have to deal with annoying space savers or other “unwritten” parking rules, and you never have to wake up at 5 a.m. to move your car out of a tow zone on street-cleaning days.
With a parking stacker spot, you’re out of the elements, on your own time, and never have to deal with street parking inconveniences again.