REAL ESTATE AND MOBILITY
Work From Home Statistics
WFH Research – In Jan’23: 13% of Full-Time Employees are Fully Remote, 59% are Full-Time on Site, and 28% are in a Hybrid Arrangement
Working from home and corporate real estate
We examine how corporate real estate market participants adjust to the take-off of teleworking. We develop an index for the exposure of counties to teleworking in France by combining teleworking capacity with incentives and frictions to its deployment. We find that the valuation of offices declined more in areas more exposed to telecommuting, a pattern that we do not observe for retail assets. In addition, we show that telecommuting increases vacancy, decreases construction, while transaction volumes are not affected. It implies that the drop in price is due to a shift in demand for space. In addition, our result suggests that market participants are expecting the shift to teleworking to durably affect the demand for office space.
City planners are questioning the point of parking garages
Demolishing these garages requires additional energy, emissions and money. Garages’ sloped ramps and heavy concrete make adaptation challenging; there isn’t a natural transition to, say, loft apartments, like the high-ceilinged, big-windowed mills of the Northeast. But these impediments haven’t stopped some developers from creatively repurposing existing garages. For example, in Wichita, Kansas, Bokeh Development retrofitted a mid-20th-century garage into a 44-unit apartment building. In Denver, developers of the Denizen Apartments have built ground-floor parking designed to be easily converted to stores or apartments if cars fall out of favor.
Here’s why this Larimer block wants to stay closed to cars while other streets have reopened
Nearly three years later, dozens of temporary outdoor spaces have stuck around, but most of the closed streets, many of which pedestrians and cyclists loved, have reopened. Only four remain: 7th Avenue between Grant and Sherman streets; Glenarm Place between 15th and 16th streets; Larimer Square; and the 2900 block of Larimer in the River North Art District. – Olde Town Arvada and Boulder have both already launched their own five-year outdoor dining pilot programs. Olde Town semi-permanently closed two streets for pedestrians only, adding more crosswalks, removing traffic lines in the road, building new medians and adding street murals. And this summer, Boulder allowed restaurants, brewpubs, taverns, wineries and distilleries that have available space within 150 feet of their entrances to permanently offer expanded outdoor dining.
Foot Traffic AHEAD – Ranking Walkable Urbanism in America’s Largest Metros 2023
In spite of the changes to urban areas brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2023 edition of Foot Traffic Ahead’s research findings demonstrate continued real estate market and consumer preference for walkable urbanism through premiums in commercial rents, multifamily rental rates, and forsale home prices, compared to drivable alternatives. To illustrate these preferences, Foot Traffic Ahead 2023 benchmarks the range of walkability in the 35 largest metropolitan regions in the U.S. and shows that the market is continuing to seek more well-connected, walkable neighborhoods. This report shows that the demand for walkable, well-connected real estate far exceeds supply; and this imbalance underscores the urgency of policy reform to deliver more mixed-use, mixed-income housing near transit, especially in the midst of today’s housing access crisis.
Tax Breaks Threaten Remote Work If Cities Start Enforcing Them
Of the billions in tax incentives granted to US companies every year by cities and states, many agreements require workers to come into the office some of the time, or at least live in the region. For companies receiving these incentives, relaxing in-office attendance could be costly. The contracts were crafted in a pre-pandemic era, at a time when commutes to the office were a given. Now governments are deciding whether to crack down or rewrite the rules entirely. In some states and cities, policy changes have already been proposed to account for the new reality of hybrid work.
Electrifying the parking lots of the future
What fascinates me about parking, aside from its expansive presence across the U.S., is the potential for a positive impact in the transition to a fully electric transport future. I heard rumblings across the industry that FLASH, an operating system technology company across the paid parking ecosystem, had a promising EV charging service and vision for the future to help electrify parking garages across the U.S. So, I caught up with Dan Sharplin, chief executive officer of FLASH, to learn about what the company is doing in the EV charging space. According to Sharplin, FLASH has about 100 Level 2 charging stations across the U.S., with more to come soon. The company is concentrating in key areas such as Austin, New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C., Seattle and San Francisco. FLASH owns the ParkWhiz and BestParking apps on which it is pioneering some of its EV charging ideas.
Potential Impacts of Autonomous Vehicle Deployment on Parking and Development
The research found that, contrary to headlines about AV impacts on parking, achieving large reductions in parking demand based on AV deployment will not be easy. To achieve significant parking reductions, AVs would need to be shared (not privately owned), pooled (riders willing to pick up other passengers along the way), have widespread geographic deployment (across entire metropolitan areas), and would need to complement high-capacity transit. Without all or most of these factors, parking demand may only by marginally impacted by AV deployment.
The U.S. needs more affordable housing – where to put it is a bigger battle
Three states — Oregon, California and Maine — and a handful of cities have already opened up their zoning. Housing experts say this is key to eventually ending the severe housing shortage — a deficit of millions of homes — that has been a main driver of sky-high prices. These new laws legalize all kinds of housing that were banned for generations, including duplexes, townhomes and smaller apartment buildings. It’s called the “missing middle” and is meant to fill the gap between single-family homes and high-rise apartments.
Zoning Out American Families
By taking away the right to build housing that economizes on land, zoning rules limit the amount of housing that can be built and drive up the cost of what does get built. In 1940, attached single-family housing—townhouses or rowhouses—and units in duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes made up nearly a quarter of the country’s total housing stock. Today, their share is down to about 13%. Even in parts of the U.S. where multi-family housing is allowed, meaning that households can economize on land, most new apartment units are small, with two bedrooms or fewer. North American building codes indirectly ban family-size apartments. Multi-family buildings in the U.S. and Canada are required to have two interior staircases for emergency egress. This leads developers to create apartment buildings with long corridors that have units on each side. In turn, the apartments only have windows on one side, making it infeasible to build large units. Many parts of the world allow tall apartment buildings with a single staircase, making family-size apartments more common and much more affordable than they are in the U.S. Moreover, the two-staircase requirement is not even leading to good fire safety outcomes; in fact, the U.S. has one of the highest fire death rates in the developed world.
Ride-share companies are losing billions, so why their interest in unprofitable public transport?
By 2019 Uber had about 20 such agreements and Lyft about 50. Neither company has disclosed whether the number of agreements has increased or decreased in the post-COVID environment. Uber’s 2021 report, Towards a New Model of Public Transportation, identifies four main areas of co-operation with public transport agencies. The most common is the integration of public transport information into the TNC app. Uber has done this on a limited scale, including Sydney where its app has provided public transport information since mid-2019. The second most common area of co-operation involves providing first mile, last mile transport – transferring a commuter between a public transport stop and their home or destination – or providing transport in areas with low public transport frequency. Dallas, in 2015, was the first city to subsidise short shared Uber rides to and from a train station. Dallas transport officials said it cost US$15 per rider on one of their buses, but only US$5 per rider with Uber. The third area is enabling users to buy public transport tickets on their Uber app. The first of just a few operating examples was in Denver in 2019, followed by Las Vegas in January 2020. A year later a consortium of 13 small transit agencies in Ohio and northern Kentucky was added to this Uber feature.