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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  • by Pascale Schwander 2015-07-06 3:20:35 PM

    I am very happy to read people drive less :-).

  • by Omer Quenneville 2015-07-13 8:35:26 AM

    This might be hard to understand but if they are going to build condo's without parking this will put more pressure on a transit system that is already underfunded. Why not put a levy on these units so they contribute to transit expansion. Cars owners pay extra tax for roads etc... If you want to build a tower with no parking, have a levy on each unit to put into a transit fund. The only problem is this would require a transit plan which in the case of Toronto, just won't happen. They will use the money to buy morning coffee for council or to fund studies like the closing of Yonge Street to make a pedestrian mall. Something that has already been done and failed. We spend a lot of money in Toronto, doing things and then undoing them, seems we can't learn from our past. Endless circle of life. Lets make sure we re-elect the same city counsel so we can continue this game. That's my rant for the day.

  • by Omer Quenneville 2015-07-13 8:37:56 AM

    I agree but we are squeezing people onto a very poorly designed and funded transit system. We really need to put every available penny into transit for a few years and not coffee funds for city counselors.

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