Do CBD tenants still want parking spaces?

According to an article published in last weekend’s Sydney Morning Herald,  the demand for CBD car spaces is decreasing and being replaced by increased demand for shower facilities as more people either cycle to work, or take public transport.

The article claims that this trend is putting pressure on developers to redesign the basement areas of new buildings to cater for fewer vehicles and more bicycles and scooters. The new cycle-way network and push for light rail in central Sydney could further reduce demand over the next few years.

Interestingly, Collier International’s Office Tenant Survey for Australia and New Zealand indicated the following attributes for tenants when looking to lease office space (score out of 10):

  • Importance of location near public transport – 2005: 8.2, 2008: 8.4, 2010: 8.0
  • On site secure car parking – 2005: 6.8, 2008: 7.1, 2010: 7.0
  • On site bike racks, changing rooms and shower facilities – 2010: 7.0 (this question was not included in prior surveys)

Further discouragement for drivers is City of Sydney’s Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2011 draft paper, which recommends that the maximum number of car spaces be reduced, particularly for residential developments close to public transport. Just to put this into perspective, in Paris, if a development is 500 metres from a metro stop, there is no obligation to provide parking at all!

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