Condo development without parking the future?

Developers are facing a struggle to provide well-designed condos but also affordable ones, leaving some to try a new method that is sticking with millennials and other groups where demand is strongest.

“Parking is becoming an increasing issue for developers and many are looking at different options for use,” said Kenny Wong, a real estate agent with Tradeworld Realty Inc. who manages more than 50 condo properties in the GTA.

“There’s a condo project near University and Dundas in Toronto that has no parking and it’s worked well but it’s unclear if similar projects like this will continue to increase in demand.”

The project he’s referencing is the once-controversial 42-storey building featuring units under 750 sq. ft. in the downtown core. The project was cleared in late-2009 as parking spots can add up to $70,000 or more to the cost of a downtown condo these days, according to Wong.

Providing multiple-use spaces caused a growth in popularity among consumers and a similar project out West highlights a growing interest in parking-less condo buildings.

In Calgary, a company called Knightsbridge Homes is committed to building well-designed homes in a great location in underserved markets, but does so by removing one thing that’s less and less important to millennials – parking.

The Knightsbridge Homes condo project in the city’s East Village consists of 167 units between 461 and 620 square feet, priced from $199,000 to $299,000 and managed to lock that price down by convincing municipal officials to waive municipal parking requirements for residential developments.

“How do you provide cutting-edge design in a desirable location when both factors will increase costs?” as quoted in a Globe and Mail article.

By making parking optional, the development company was able to pass on saving onto buyers, adding some affordability into the mix, and it’s blending well for millennials occupying those units.
Since most millennials don’t drive, according to a recent report which shows that 25 per cent of Calgary millennials in their 20s don’t have a driver’s license, and 50 per cent don’t own a vehicle.

The challenge, however, has been the struggle been to create more developments like this in places across the country and still keep the affordability factor. 

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