I n the world of planning, design, finance and development, park- ing has become a necessary evil.You need parking to satisfy the demands of zoning and finance, and to attract customers to a multifamily project. But it adds huge costs (as much as $30,000 per space for structured parking) and gobbles up land and rentable space needed to create compact, walkable and vibrant communities. So what does the future look like? Some say driverless cars may elimi- nate the need for parking, at least in the core. But that seems distant. Meanwhile ride-share services already have reduced demand for parking and revenues for operators. This is a time of transition. The challenge is to design and build communities that compete today, while planning for reduced park- ing demand in the future. Apartment Appraisers & Con- sultants, in conjunc- tion with Apartment Insights, recently analyzed parking ratio trends in apart- ment communities in metro Denver and presented the results to Urban Land Institute Colorado. At first blush, it appeared that recent park- ing ratios had decreased signifi- cantly compared to ratios before 2016, especially at high- rise and midrise densities. On a per-unit basis, parking ratios decreased from 1.52 to 1.31 spaces per unit for midrise construction and 1.24 to 1.11 spaces per unit for high-rise construction. However, it appears that the difference resulted, in part, from changing unit mixes – specifically a preference for smaller, more affordable apartments. When analyzed on a per-bedroom basis, the change was much smaller, from 1.03 to 0.99 spaces per bed for midrise construction and 0.98 to 0.88 spaces per bed for high-rise construc- tion.While these numbers indicate a smaller change, they do verify the downward trend in parking ratios. Ever-increasing construction costs have moved ahead of rent growth, which puts pressure on the feasibility of new development. Developers must Please see Page 27 INSIDE Real estate experts offer 2018 recaps and share forecasts for the 2019 multifamily market. Market forecasts Read about some of the biggest names in Colo- rado affordable housing in these profile pieces. Affordable housing PAGES 31-38 The rezoning in River North should be consid- ered as a template for future rezoning efforts. Rezoning success PAGE 20 March 2019 Michael Leccese Executive director, Urban Land Institute Colorado PAGES 4-10 What’s the future of parking for multifamily projects? Scott Rathbun Consultant, Apartment Appraisers & Consultants D4 Urban Denizen at Broadway Park is a mixed-use project with 275 apartments next to Regional Transportation District’s Alameda Station. Denizen used a progressive parking ratio and was designed to include parking that can be converted to retail as parking demand decreases in the future.