Ellandi investment manager, David Cohen, asks if there is a future for physical car parks
Posted by Retail Destination on 4th Mar 2019
there a future for physical car parks as the placemaking movement gathers pace
and what will their role be?
In the current
market, owners/ operators must be creative to ensure their car park continues
to serve a purpose and remain relevant to the local population. Car parks face
increasing pressures from; fewer young drivers, declining footfall in town
centre retail locations and rising costs.
This has led
to the emergence of ‘Mobility Hubs’.
car parks occupy prominent town centre locations, have large floorplates and
excellent accessibility; these characteristics together with relatively cheap
costs of occupation mean that car parks have been transformed to last mile delivery
stations, Deliveroo dark kitchens, EV charging stations and perhaps soon,
driverless car depots.
regional locations, implementing a Deliveroo dark kitchen is not viable and
therefore, being able to optimise the performance of a car park from parking
vehicles remains vital to the asset’s longevity.
operators are now alert to the benefits that a data driven approach can
provide. A car leaves a data trail every time it enters and exits a car park,
measuring the customer’s behavioural patterns. This includes information about
the date and duration of visit as well as the amount and method of payment.
This data can
be analysed to deliver wider benefits. This is particularly true for shopping
centres, where the car park is usually a customers’ first and last impression
of the scheme as well as their primary parking destination. If the customer
service between these adjoining buildings can be optimised, this can lead to a
myriad of benefits including longer dwell times and increased spend, which can
translate to higher turnover for retailers and more successful lease renewals.
The greater the understanding, the better the chance of finding and
implementing value accretive solutions.
Many key town
centre stakeholders are now adopting a holistic approach to bring a purpose and
vibrancy back to their location.
At Ellandi, we
work in partnership with Local Authorities to achieve these benefits for our
schemes and their respective town. We believe that creating a destination with
a strong sense of place, shaped around the people who use it, lays the
foundation for a sustainable future.
provide an opportunity to create vibrant and attractive community hubs that
cater for a mix of uses. This could be repurposing the asset in full or part.
Where the need for parking remains, dynamic and flexible structures that
respond quickly to the use of the asset will prevail as they will be able to
transfer under-utilised car parking space to pop-up retail, leisure, F&B or
The car park
will have a role to play in the changing town centre landscape; what that will
be will depend on each location and the needs of the local population, as well
as the extent to which key stakeholders are willing to deliver and implement
the required change.