Many residential buildings are built with more parking than their residents need, and even more parking goes unused during daytime hours when residents are away. So it was encouraging to see a recent announcement from GarageHop. GarageHop is providing 40 spaces for commuter use in an apartment building at the South Kirkland Park & Ride.
GarageHop is a Seattle company that provides monthly parking spaces in apartment buildings, typically leasing spots in buildings with over-provided parking to commuters and residents of buildings without their own parking. This is their first foray into suburban transit parking.
Kirkland Crossing is a market-rate apartment building in South Kirkland, created as part of an award-winning TOD effort that opened in 2015. It was, somewhat ironically, built with excess parking. GarageHop puts these spaces to use by offering guaranteed parking for $80 per month. Customers sign up online and access the secured garage using their smartphone to park in their own reserved parking space.
Parking at the Metro lot across the street is free. However the lot fills daily (averaging 97% utilization in fourth quarter 2017). At busy times, there have been issues with spillover parking to neighboring businesses. The only guaranteed parking at the Metro lot is via a pilot program for carpools and those spots are only guaranteed until 830am. GarageHop doesn’t require a carpool and can be accessed at any time.
Market rates for parking, even with guaranteed access, aren’t high enough to attract developers to build structured parking for transit in the suburbs. But GarageHop’s offer is welcome. They are efficiently reusing parking stalls that exist anyway, and offering an additional option for transit users to access the system.