In China, Germany, and Japan, automated parking structures have been engineered and constructed for a few years. It was only a matter of time before automated parking popped up in densely developed areas of the US.
Constructed primarily of steel and glass, these properties leverage a small real estate footprint up to multiple levels, greatly expanding the site’s possibility of development. Acquisition of a relatively tiny plot proximate to a multifamily or office site can significantly enhance the site’s achievable density and thus value.
These structures are now appearing in cities such as San Francisco, Oakland, New York, Chicago, and other areas where development space of any kind is at a premium. Advantages of these automated properties over traditional concrete parking structures are many, but three stand out immediately from a physical standpoint:
Assembled with components that allow further modules added as needed
Reduction of structural square footage by at least 50%
Other advantages include lower cost of operations and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Expect to see these in the most densely developed portions of your jurisdiction.
And as always when automation is involved, your challenge as an assessor will be to allocate what is real estate... and what is not.