“Can Miami Develop with Less Parking?” panel discussion organized by our ULI Young Leaders Group and held at FIU’s Hollo School of Real Estate in Downtown Miami was an overwhelming success with a standing-room-only crowd of more than 100 real estate and industry professionals.
The event was moderated by outgoing ULI Young Leaders Chair Andrew Frey and the panel comprised of development and parking experts including: Bernardo Fort-Brescia, FAIA, Principal, Arquitectonica; Joseph Furst, Managing Director Wynwood, Goldman Properties; Harvey Hernandez, Chairman & Managing Director, Newgard Development Group; and Dr. Ruth L. Steiner, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Florida.
A number of exciting issues were discussed throughout the morning that varied from easing the criteria to allow greater access to the City’s shared parking credit, to replacing the required parking minimum with a parking maximum, even a recommendation to do away with parking requirements altogether and allow the market to decide. Some of the more dynamic discussion surrounded the suggestion that current minimum parking requirements have had unintended consequences on development such as:
- encouraging developers to build larger, more expensive multi-bedroom units in order to make the cost of parking feasible (same number of parking spaces required per unit regardless of number of bedrooms)
- discouraging development of small urban infill sites by necessitating assemblage of parcels and construction of larger buildings (parking ramps and circulation can only be accommodated within a certain minimum building/site footprint)
- codifying for too many, underutilized parking spaces by requiring spaces at workplaces, residences and commercial areas (even with the shared parking credit this leaves many empty spaces at different times throughout the day and night).
Overall it was a lively conversation that addressed the question, “Can Miami develop with less parking?” According to the panel, the answer is a qualified, “yes”. How much less parking? That’s a topic for the next panel.