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Ghost parking revolution breathes life into cities

By Orana Durney-Benson
09 May 2024 | 9 minute read
underground car park reb b6ikus

Inner-city parking is a longstanding problem, but emerging tech has unveiled a solution that could help users and property owners alike.

In the bustling centres of Australia’s capital cities, parking spots are few and far between – and those that are available are eye-wateringly expensive.

At the same time, many large office towers are sitting on empty parking spots as many workers choose to work from home.

It’s a paradox that, according to Parkable CEO Toby Littin, is ripe for a solution.

“Parking has always been an emotional issue, and now that people are encouraged to spend more time back in the office, often in complex hybrid arrangements, it’s more top-of-mind for employers,” Littin said.

“We are seeing some of the world’s largest real estate companies grapple with maintaining occupancy, yield and delivering world-class tenant experience on a budget.”

Historically, Parkable has focused on helping workplaces manage employee parking. Now, in light of these challenges, the company has launched a new initiative that allows companies to make some cash on the side, while also helping address inner-city parking issues.

The platform works with multitenant buildings to identify any parking space that is unused on a particular day – whether visitor or tenant parking.

Landlords can offer vacant spaces that are not currently leased out, while tenants can offer unused spaces on days when employees don’t need them. These spaces are made known to the general public via an online platform.

“Our multitenant platform truly is a ‘win-win.’ If you’ve got a bunch of carparks being underutilised, Parkable can not only help improve the parking experience for tenants, we can also monetise the carparks and remove the need for unnecessary, time-consuming administration,” said Littin.

Importantly, this could be a useful revenue-generator for commercial landlords struggling with high vacancy rates.

“In numerous conversations over the past two years with owners and asset managers, all of them reiterated the same issue, that it’s a difficult time to satisfy tenant needs and maintain asset performance,” Littin said.

The company estimated that in Melbourne alone, there is over $90 million in untapped revenue buried in the ghost carparks under commercial buildings.

“By implementing our new multitenant platform, property owners can finally make parking a flexible resource that meets tenant needs, maximises the utilisation of parking spaces, and adds new streams of parking revenue,” said Littin.

“We’re excited about working with these companies and consolidating our global leadership in parking management software for workplaces and commercial properties.”

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