‘No Car Park’ Trend on the Rise for Apartments

November 21st, 2014

Curtis Associates Oct 2

No car parking for buyers and tenants is the hot new trend in apartments, according to Willow Aliento on The Fifth Estate.

More apartment developments, particularly high and medium density ones, are acting on the TOD (transit-oriented development) ethos and promoting public transport usage by not offering car parking spaces for many – or even any – of their apartments. The trade-off is that they’re providing parking spaces for scooters, motorbikes and bicycles, as well as free Vespas for buyers and car-sharing services.

Here’s a look at how some of the states in Australia are taking on the “no car park” trend:

Victoria

Not all apartments in Melbourne are required to have car parking spaces. The City of Melbourne stated that the 2010 planning scheme amendment C133 doesn’t allow onsite car parking spaces, but one car parking space is allowed per apartment in a development with more than four storeys.

Radio Consultants undertook a demographic and accessibility analysis for the City of Melbourne, and it was decided that areas affected by the amendment “are equally suitable for such a maximum car parking rate”. The reason being is that the affected areas have good access to public transport and other amenities.

Furthermore, car parking spaces add to the cost of new apartments. Therefore, the amendment to the Melbourne Planning Scheme is a response to the market demand for apartments with no or minimal car parking. The main aim of Amendment C133 is to decrease the number of onsite parking for new developments with good access to public transport and other facilities. This means that some of the new developments will not have any car parking spaces for apartments.

Developers of new tall apartments in Melbourne are also creating minimal parking spaces, with many of them having no car parking for one-bedroom apartments and only a few parking spaces provided for those with two-bedroom apartments. For example:

  • Mammoth Empire’s MY 80 Silver Skies has 486 apartments but only 150 car parking spaces.
  • Mammoth Empire’s Empire Melbourne has 465 apartments, 96 car parking spaces and 76 bike spaces.
  • PDG and Schiavello’s Abode 318 has 433 apartments, a car-sharing system, and 150 bike racks.
  • ICD Property’s Eq. Tower has 632 apartments, and 212 spaces each for cars and bikes.
  • Apex Vic’s Southbank apartment tower has 439 apartments, 99 car parking spaces, and 160 bike spaces.

The City of Port Phillip in Melbourne also has a sustainable parking policy. For residential land uses, 0-0.8 car spaces are allowed per one-bedroom apartment, and 1 car space for a three-bedroom (or more) apartment. For office land uses, 2-3 car spaces per 100sqm are allowed for unshared parking, while 2-2.8 car spaces per 100sqm are allowed for shared parking.

The policy considers how close the apartments are to public transport and local amenities, car-sharing programs, and sustainable transport infrastructure contributions in regards to reduced parking rates.

Queensland

Serra Property Group also gave buyers free Vespas for its 10 one-bedroom apartments that were sold with no car parking on 38 High Street, Toowong. They also provided scooter parking, a 12-month scooter registration, plus helmets.

Place Projects’ spokesman Bruce Goddard, who also marketed the development, said that the development is situated in a public transport hub so residents won’t need a car. There’s a bus stop 10 metres away, a train station 50 metres away, and the CityCat is 500 metres away. Toowong is also an inner-city suburb, located only a few kilometres from the Brisbane CBD.

Brisbane Housing Corporation’s Oxenham Apartments in Nundah has 67 apartments and no car parking. The apartments are affordable, and there are train and bus stops 400m away.

South Australia

A medium-density apartment complex in Adelaide, Vespa Apartments on Storr Street, adopted the “no car park” trend back in 2011. Considering that it’s situated 500m from the CBD and there’s a bus station 100m away, only motorbike parking was provided for the seven apartments.

New South Wales

Many of Australand’s Discovery Point apartments in inner-city Sydney have no car parking. According to Domain, these apartments sold out fast, as more people want to use public transport, bikes or car-sharing services, rather than paying for the additional premium car parking rate that only adds to the apartment’s price.

Furthermore, car-sharing company GoGet will also be having a number of vehicles based at the development. This is part of the approach that Frasers Property and Sekisui House have undertaken at One Central Park. Over half of the 1,000 apartments sold at the development had no car parking, and the biggest car-share pod in Sydney was also established on the site.

The “no car park” trend adopted by apartments in or near the CBD epitomises the concept of inner-city living that the councils in each state are advocating, and that an increasing number of people are being drawn to, reported Goddard.