Are We at the Edge of a Parking Crisis?

In order to function smoothly, companies need to have an organized parking system that accommodates its staff. Unfortunately, the necessary space for employee parking is often underestimated by both tenants and landlords. This issue has led some to believe that a parking crisis could be around the bend.

For the most part, suburban office buildings are required to provide three parking spots per 1,000 SF of space. Keep in mind that since public transportation is much less accessible outside the city, the majority of employees drive to work. This necessitates a significant amount of designated parking spaces. Meanwhile, landlords do not maximize parking ratios, since they don’t make any money from the spots. Their focus is strictly to maximize the footprints of their buildings.

Tenants are constantly learning how to make their space more efficient in an effort to minimize real estate costs. Years ago, the average technology company allocated 250 SF per person; that number has since been cut down to 150 or 200. Despite these cuts, the parking ratios rarely change. That means that a 10,000 SF space that used to house 30 to 40 employees can now pack in 50 to 60. With an average parking ratio of 4/1,000 SF of space in the suburbs, they would be short 20 to 30 parking spaces, which could be a significant blow to any company.


Here are a few strategies to combat a possible parking crisis:

  1. Do a full review of your space and how you’re utilizing it. Keep in mind that on any given day, a company may have 80% of their employees in the office.
  2. Shift to a flexible schedule. By staggering the hours employees work, and giving the option to work from home, tenants can alleviate parking shortages.
  3. Keep communication open with your landlord. Discuss your capacity and efficiency, and see if they have any input that could help. Bring up creative options, like offering ride share incentives.


While negotiating space with a landlord can be a stressful task, remember that it’s best to consult a trustworthy real estate advisor to advocate for your company throughout each stage of the process. Having that third party to rely on can be an extremely valuable resource as you navigate your lease.