For owners and developers investing in new parking facilities, adaptive reuse is a popular topic of discussion. While there is no limit to the possibilities we can imagine, the reality is that designing a parking structure to be compatible with other human uses adds to the cost. However, whether you evaluate that additional investment through the short-term benefits or take a long-term view, adaptive reuse has the potential to provide a cost-efficient and sustainable solution.

By envisioning the future purpose of the building first and incorporating key design considerations at the outset, owners can make both an initial investment into the parking structure and an early investment into a future project. If planned properly, much of the infrastructure for the eventual occupied use can be designed into the parking structure so the conversion to an occupied use in the future would involve little more than constructing the exterior facade and building out the tenant improvements.

In the short term, designing a structure for partial adaptive reuse, such as only incorporating these design considerations into the ground level, can provide a more cost-friendly option that still provides flexibility in the event parking demand shifts in the future. However, when you take a more holistic, long-term look at the return on investment or ROI, a compelling case can be made for full adaptive reuse design.

Learn all the nuances to consider when it comes to adaptive reuse and see what might make sense for your next project in the August issue of Parking & Mobility.