Why Build a Condo With No Parking?

Posted on November 15, 2018

You don’t have to squint hard to see a Chicago where residents have all but given up driving in favor of getting around via the L, Uber, Lime scooter, or whatever mode of transportation comes into vogue next.

That’s led some real estate developers to bet that car ownership — and, thus, a need for parking — will continue to dwindle, so much so that many are designating just a handful of spaces in their new buildings. “We’re seeing from tenants coming in that very few have cars, especially in buildings that focus on smaller studios, one bedrooms, and small two-bedroom apartments,” says Thad Wong, cofounder of the Chicago real estate brokerage @Properties.

The development trend, enabled by a 2013 municipal code change that slashed the amount of parking required for multifamily dwellings near a train station or bus stop, won’t be limited to new construction. “In five years, 10 years max, we’re going to be rebuilding the parking lots in some of these [older] buildings,” Wong predicts.

Here, three residential projects in the works with parking-to-unit ratios of well below 10 percent:

1. Milwaukee and Rockwell

Phase two of the Congress Theater rehab in Logan Square by Woodhouse Tinucci Architects (which still needs city sign-off) makes room for a different vehicle: Tour buses will get four spots.

2. 808 N. Wells St.

The 17-story Amli Residential development will feature small apartments (548 feet, on average) a block from the Brown Line’s Chicago stop.

3. La Salle and Maple

The 39-story Near North Side condo by MCZ Development is actually slated to have 135 spots. But the vast majority of them will go to the neighboring Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral (though residents will be able to lease spaces from the church).