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Study: Downtown parking can support growth

Staff Report

Published Sept. 9, 2013

There’s enough parking in Columbia’s Central Business District to accommodate further tightening of the office space, according to survey by Colliers International.

However, the commercial real estate firm added that “location of parking is always a concern of employers.”

The vacancy rate of parking garages in the downtown area was 33.29% at mid-year 2013, down almost 3 percentage points from 2012, Colliers reported.

The drop in parking space reflects tightening of the office market in the Central Business District, which was 87.45% occupied at mid-year, Colliers said.

City-owned parking facilities had a vacancy rate of 41.12% compared with 26.23% for privately owned facilities, Colliers added.

The Central Business District has about 3,570 parking spaces at 17 parking facilities. Some 1,920 of those spaces are in the Business Improvement District and can accommodate almost 480,000 square feet of vacant office space, assuming 4 employees per 1,000 square feet, Colliers said.

About 560,000 square feet of office space remains vacant in the Central Business District, Colliers said.

Hourly parking rates in garages averaged approximately $1.75 per hour and daily rates averaged $10.

Monthly rates for reserved parking spots in downtown ranged from $40 to $135. Monthly rates for unreserved parking spots ranged from $52 to $90.

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