Whether you are a tenant, landlord, developer, or investor, municipal parking requirements for commercial and industrial buildings are not something you want to ignore. Parking requirements differ quite a bit between municipalities and therefore must be examined and understood extensively in order to fully understand the consequences they have on leasing and functionality of the property. Not every commercial or industrial use is treated the same and differ in how demanding they are on parking. Parking requirements are usually either based on the size of the unit or the occupancy. A restaurant may require one parking spot per 4 people, which would be based on occupancy, a retail store may require one parking spot per 30m2, and a medical office may require one parking spot per 14m2. Just looking at these three different uses it is obvious that if the standard parking for a commercial plaza is required to be 30m2 and the parking is built to this spec, issues may arise when leasing to different uses.
As a developer the main goal is to optimize your return, which requires the most amount of rentable square footage possible. All too often it is seen where a developer goes to their architect with the end goal being to optimize gross floor area and therefore parking is reduced to the minimum required, or marginally more. Not every commercial, industrial, office, or retail use are treated the same when considering parking. As an investor you need to make sure that whether it is a land purchase or building, the investment allows for multiple uses to co-exist without any parking limitations that may be encountered in the future so that you ensure competitiveness on your space to lease. Getting the advice of a knowledgeable commercial realtor can help with understanding the practical problems that can arise.
An issue that may arise could be the limiting of remaining units of a building to certain types of uses that are not heavy on parking. The worst case would be leasing space to a use that requires large amounts of parking and ending up with a unit or two at the end of leasing which cannot be leased to certain types of tenants because all parking has been accounted for between the existing businesses.
As a tenant you should utilize the services of a commercial Realtor so that any potential problems can be identified early in the lease negotiation process.
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