Parking critical in condo projects
Downtown, an underground stall costs about $25,000 to create
by Alexandra Zabjek
13 February 2015
parking garages at a condominium building in southwest Edmonton.
Larry Wong , Edmonton Journal
EDMONTON–Forget about the rooftop patio, glossy kitchen, or perfect
Those might be the first things a buyer looks for in a condominium, but
they’re not the first things a developer thinks about when drawing
plans for a project.
“Every project revolves around parking. Most buildings are designed
around it,” said Robert McLeod, CEO of McLeod Project Marketing, which
works on condo projects in Edmonton.
Parkades may not be pretty to look at, but they literally form the
foundation of highrise condo towers and remain a vital selling feature
for any condo unit in Edmonton.
The cost of an underground parking stall in the downtown area these
days? Approximately $25,000. The cost for a surface level stall? About
Land costs are so high downtown that it generally makes sense to move
parking underground. Some projects can involve two to four levels of
underground parking, which is an expensive and potentially complicated
project, McLeod said.
In more suburban locations, a developer might build one level of
underground parking and then offer additional, less expensive,
surface-level parking as an alternative.
“I always try to help buyers understand what the true value of parking
is,” McLeod said.
parking stalls at a condominium building in downtown Edmonton.
Larry Wong, Edmonton Journal
And sometimes they figure it out for themselves. He recalled a recent
condo project where units initially went on sale in the summer. Some
buyers opted for the surface level stalls. But as winter came into
force, many of those buyers asked to upgrade to underground stalls.
Some condo developers in Edmonton are breaking out the cost of a
parking stall, with suites sold at a certain cost and parking stalls
sold separately. McLeod’s firm is working on the six-storey Infinity on
105 building in Oliver, which initially allowed buyers to choose
between a surface and underground stall and the price was separate from
the unit. Prices at the Infinity now include the surface stall.
Parking in condo towers is controlled by city regulations, which
dictate specifications such as the size of a stall and the size of the
aisle. The city also sets parameters for the number of stalls needed
for a building.
For example, a condo building requires one stall per one-bedroom or
bachelor apartment and requires at least 1.5 stalls per two-bedroom
apartment. There must be one visitor parking stall per seven units.
Those rules change for buildings in transit-oriented development areas,
and the requirements ease up for buildings located downtown. Condos in
the area between 95th Street and 111th Street generally require 0.4
stalls per one-bedroom unit and 0.8 stalls per two-bedroom unit.
covered parking stalls at a condominium building in downtown Edmonton.
Larry Wong, Edmonton Journal
This has led some developers to market suites as “one-bedroom, plus
den” rather than “two bedroom,” McLeod said. A bigger two-bedroom suite
not only bumps up the selling price significantly but also requires
more parking stalls.
In Calgary, a developer has made headlines for pitching a condo tower
without offering parking stalls to residents. It’s a relatively rare
proposal in Canada.
“... 100 per cent of my clients need
“I would say that 100 per cent of my clients need parking,” said Jakie
Ng, a realtor with Re/Max River City in Edmonton.
The number of clients who don’t need a stall is “very, very small,” Ng
said. The lack of a parking stall becomes an issue when that client
wants to sell the unit—few people will want to buy it without a stall.
Ng thinks the situation may change in Edmonton when condo prices get so
high that people may consider shaving $30,000 off the cost of their
home to get into the building they want, even without parking.
Things might also change when public transit in Edmonton develops to
the point where not having a car becomes an easier option, he said.
Ng has seen an underground parking stall in a high-end Edmonton
building sell for $45,000, although he acknowledges that price is
When it comes to the best spot in the garage, Ng said the criteria is
simple: “It’s the one with the least amount of steps from the stall to
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