February 7, 2022

How Many Parking Spaces Are Required for a Commercial Building


When purchasing a commercial property, it’s important to consider the issue of parking. The parking ratio is not only important for the functionality of the building, but it also may have an impact on the value of the property as a whole. This guide will provide the information needed to determine the parking ratio for a commercial building.


What Is the Parking Ratio?

The parking ratio is defined as the amount of parking space a commercial property should have, relative to the size of the building. The square footage of the building is often what’s used to calculate it.


Most commercial buildings require a minimum parking ratio but it could vary based on how the building is zoned or what the building will be used for. For example, a large automobile plant that has extensive square footage may have a lower parking ratio because a smaller number of employees will be on-location at any given time. A shopping center that has less square footage may require a higher parking ratio due to the volume of people who will be entering in and out of the building.


Calculating the Parking Ratio

The standard parking ratio calculation is as follows:


  • Divide the square footage of your building by 1,000.
  • Divide the number of parking spots required by the square footage calculated in the first step.

For example, if you have a building that is 10,000 square feet and should have about 100 parking spots, the parking ratio would be about 10 spots per every 1,000 square feet. If you know the ratio that is required, you can always work backward to determine exactly how many parking spots you need to accommodate at your commercial building.


Parking Trends in the Commercial Real Estate Industry

In addition to the minimum parking ratio requirements, as you plan for a parking lot, you also are going to want to keep in mind the current industry trends. For example, there is an increased demand for parking at office buildings. Typically, an office building is going to have a parking ratio of about four spots per every 1,000 square feet, but increased demand has some developers increasing the parking ratio to six spots per every 1,000 square feet.


The Role that the Parking Ratio Plays in Resale Value

Constructing a parking lot and adding the appropriate number of spaces can be expensive, which is why some commercial developers try to minimize the amount of on-site parking. However, the money you invest in a parking lot will often pay off in the long term. Generally speaking, commercial buildings with a favorable parking ratio can be sold for a higher price than a similarly-sized building with a lower parking ratio. In addition to boosting the resale value, ample parking at your commercial building can also attract higher-quality tenants who are searching for that feature in their next commercial space.


Other Factors to Consider When Planning for Parking

In addition to meeting the minimum parking ratio requirements, there are other factors that you will need to keep in mind:


  • Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance (ADA): The ADA has a strict set of requirements about the number of handicapped-accessible parking spots that must be in a lot. The number of handicapped-accessible spots that are required increases based on the total number of parking spots that you have.
  • State and Local Government Requirements: Depending on the location of your commercial building, there may be state or local requirements for parking that you will need to consider, as well. While planning for your commercial building’s parking lot, make sure to consult and follow these requirements for your area.

Know the Value of Your Commercial Property

While you are working on your parking lot and determining how many spaces you need for your commercial property, you also will want to be aware of the total value of your commercial property. At Rakow Commercial Realty Group, we offer owner representation services, and our qualified team of experts will assess the value of your property. Our goal is to help you thrive as a commercial real estate investor.


To maximize your commercial real estate investment, you need to partner with an experienced commercial real estate firm that specializes in personalized owner representation services. For more information about how we can help you build up your portfolio and increase your commercial real estate investment returns, contact Rakow Commercial Realty Group today!

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