They’re building another parking lot right next to that empty one

Yesterday I wrote about an empty parking lot at the Gateway, a mixed use mall-office-residential development in downtown Salt Lake City.

But here’s the amazing thing: they’re building another parking structure less than one block away. Here’s a picture of of the construction site from a few weeks ago:

IMG_3633

This new parking lot is part of a new hotel development that is being built on this site. It will eventually include two hotels.

And here’s where it is in relation to the parking lot in yesterday’s post.

gateway hotel parking

In the picture above, the green arrow marks the location of the empty lot in yesterday’s post and the red arrow shows where the new, multi-level parking garage is being built.

As is obvious, these spots are less than one block apart — or easily within walking distance of each other.

Sadly, this situation isn’t surprising; different developers often build their own parking and in this specific case it probably didn’t occur to the various developers to consider the overall parking supply. Instead, they’re probably just looking at supply and demand for parking at their particular facilities.

But wouldn’t it have been great if these two sites could have shared. As I hope yesterday’s post pointed out, there’s ample parking in this area for everyone. In fact there are probably more empty parking spaces at the Gateway on most days than the new hotels will have rooms.

Sharing also would have been cheaper for everyone because building garages is really expensive. The Gateway could have recouped some of the cost of its currently-empty parking by contracting with the hotels, and the hotels could have drastically reduced their construction costs by not building a garage. If the 150 or so feet between the hotels and the Gateway parking seem like too far for guests to walk, the hotels could even have purchased and operated several shuttle vehicles; that still would have been vastly cheaper than building a new garage.

I don’t know to make shared parking in Salt Lake City a reality, but the potential is already here. The first step, I suspect, is simply communicating better about what we have and what we think we need.

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