Keller Williams Greater Seattle, Ben Kakimoto, Seattle Condo Agent

Would you buy a parkingless condo?

Hat tip to Publicola for this article about a Toronto developer’s plan to build a 42-story condo building without any permanent parking spaces. Instead, it will have 9 car sharing rental spots and 315 spaces for bicycles.

“If you look at the evidence of what sells downtown, the majority of units under 750 square feet in the downtown core sell without parking,” said Stephen Deveaux, a vice-president with the developer, Tribute Communities. Parking spots typically add $20,000 or more to the cost of a downtown condo.

Deveaux called the project, which still needs approval from full city council, an opportunity to design and market an “environmentally progressive building.” With so many jobs and handy transit nearby, the units will sell, Deveaux said

Great discussion taking place on the Publicola blog.

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About the Author

About the Author: Ben Kakimoto is a Seattle condo and urban real estate marketing & listing specialist. Contact Ben to learn more about the Seattle condo and loft real estate market or about buying or selling a Seattle area condo. Find Ben on Google+, Twitter and Facebook. .

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There Are 11 Brilliant Comments

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  1. SHORT VERSION: NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    LONG VERSION: I sold my car and bought a long board about a year and a half ago. Even though the bus system is great and zip car is somewhat of a nice service, I’m really regretting not having a vehicle. Thanksgiving was rough going to see family. Grocery shopping doesn’t exist so I pretty much eat out daily. Was fun, and I was proud when I first made the sacrifice, but thank goodness I have a parking space for the car I will be parking in it. In the meantime, it’s great for guests to use. I will never buy a place without parking. ESPECIALLY in the city.

  2. Ben Kakimoto says:

    Giving it a little more thought, we do have condos in the city with limited parking spaces available, while some don’t have parking at all. In that respect, it may not be a big deal. Though, I do think a new high-rise without parking (aside from Zip cars) is novel. Unfortunately, I don’t think we have the necessary transit and service options to really make it viable here.

  3. Michael Snyder says:

    Absolutely! I don’t own a car. Not owning a car lets me put $5000/yr (AAA estimates of annual car ownership costs) into my condo.

    The only problem with my current place is that my bicycle parking is in my living room. The storage lockers are inconvenient for daily use, so the bike comes inside with me every night.

  4. katienorth says:

    Indeed I did just buy a condo on First Hill w/o a parking spot. It takes me about 10 min to walk to work and just about any other place downtown or on Capitol Hill.

  5. Kevin says:

    I would definitely buy a parkingless condo in Toronto downtown because it has great public transit.

    I would definitely NOT buy a parkingless condo in Seattle.

  6. downtowner says:

    A parking space in the garage attached to my building is $275/month. For less than that (parking alone, forget the cost of obtaining, maintaining, and insuring a car), I can rent a car every weekend from Hertz at the convention center a few blocks away (or any one of 10 zipcars in a 2 block radius.)

    Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods on Westlake, and in a pinch the Kress IGA mean I don’t even rent cars every weekend anymore, though.

    So, no, I don’t need or want parking with my condo.

  7. MargaretBartley says:

    If all I did was hang around the condo, go to work, and eat, then a carless life would be OK. But I am involved with civic life, I have family around Puget Sound, I volunteer in several non-profits, I attend community events, (Seattle has a great selection of lectures, author readings and special movies, almost none of them in downtown Seattle) and I have clients and friends to visit.

    When my child was young, and living with me – no way would I voluntarily choose a carless life. I can just imagine what it might have been like trying to deal with what is a fifteen-minute sidetrip to the day-care-center with a car becomes an hour-and-a-half ordeal on the bus, each way. And taking a kid and all her stuff plus the groceries on the bus? Getting home at 8:30 to start dinner? Moms are obviously not worth considering, in your world.

    For single people with no connection to the community, a carless life would be OK.

    You can get pretty much anywhere you need to go in the active part of Seattle, which includes the Eastside, in 15 or 20 minutes by car, whereas to go by bus typically takes 45 minutes to an hour, not including the wait time, and the time it takes to walk to where you are going, once the bus drops you off. That pretty much limits how much you can get done in a day.

    For slackers, a carless condo would be OK, but if you’ve got things to do, a car is pretty important. d

  8. Michael Snyder says:

    To give a counterpoint to Margaret, I decided to go car-free after becoming friends with a 60 year old woman who had never driven a car and lived her whole life in Seattle. We served together on the board of one organization for several years.

    Since becoming car-free, I joined 6 clubs and have served on boards for four different organizations. I’m currently attending regular meetings for 6 committees. Where did I find the time? I also got rid of my TV and I started bicycling. Between the bus and a bicycle and zipcar, single ownership of an entire automobile isn’t necessary, I just spend more time planning my transportation and being intentional in my scheduling. Sure, it gets tougher when I have 9 committee meetings in a month, but a committee meeting takes the whole evening no matter if I get there by car or by bicycle. An extra 45 minutes for transportation isn’t that big of a deal compared to the 3 hours spent in the meeting.

    The one situation where I won’t argue that a car isn’t a necessity is for parents of babies. There is a blog of a woman who is doing it by bus, but it is so hard that I won’t try to twist anyone’s arm there. Now, the good folks at totcycle have a lot of solutions, and I see Julian bicycling with a couple small children in his cargo bike, but he is a saint and a superhero.

    I also have a friend who bicycles from Fremont to Capitol Hill to pick his two children up and tows one on a trail-a-bike while the other rides a separate bicycle, to Greenwood. Other times, he bicycles over and then the three take the bus back.

    It is possible for active, social people with civic connections, but there is a trade-off in travel radius that does make it less ideal for frequently visiting friends and family who live away from transit lines.

  9. downtowner says:

    Margaret,

    If only you knew.

    I am married with a young child in our parkingless condo. I work, so did my spouse until recently. Our daycare was a block away, our jobs are (were) 10 minutes away from our homes. When we needed to get out of downtown, hertz and zipcar provide when the bus system wouldn’t. Incidentally, my spouse (now stay-at-home) doesn’t drive – never learned how growing up in New York. Never needed it. Still don’t.

    Get out of the past. (By the way, Dads can start dinner, too.)

  10. EDT says:

    Slackers? Nice.

    Whatever Margaret thinks about people who make a real effort to be truly green by not owning a car which as far as I’m concerned makes them less of a slacker.

    I would not buy a condo without parking. I do not have a car, but it adds value, is convenient for guests, and good chance that sooner or later I will buy a beater to get me out to the wilderness.

    I have been living and working here for 4 years without a car, and love it.

  11. I am on both side of this one. I walk to work every day -45 minutes in and 45 minutes back – how green is that? Having said that most of our clients buying in Spain are Brits looking for a second home in the sun. Many look for a garage to keep a small car for when they are in Moraira

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