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The Impact of the Pandemic on San Francisco Offices and Real Estate, Feat. Wen Sang

Updated: Jan 8, 2021

Manny Fishman: "Parking vacancies mean building vacancies and can inform building owners on occupancy levels and revenue. Wen, can you tell us what you're seeing when it comes to parking recovery?"

Wen Sang: Luckily for us, we have real-time parking data to 2,500+ properties across North America. In the beginning of the pandemic, back in April revenue and activity went down to less than 5%. The industry has been climbing back slowly and as of recently we're at about 40-45% of YoY volume. There are significant differences between the markets, for example, New York is recovering volume much faster than in other regions.

There are two major trends from a parking perspective for building owners:

  1. Enable flexible parking programs for a positive tenant experience: Back in May and June, many employers who hadn't previously provided parking for employees started calling their property managers about allocating space for employees, Because they expected a shift in how people were coming back to the office, such as A and B shifts. A monthly parking pass no longer makes sense for everyone, more flexible payment options are needed.

  2. Treat parking as an asset class with significant revenue opportunities: As tenant leases decreased during COVID-19, the opportunity for parking revenue has increased. In today's environment, everyone is trying to work with what they have and find opportunities to maximize their NOI. Parking revenue has supported revenue recovery and brought new opportunities when combined with dynamic pricing.

Manny Fishman: "Street parking is sort of a Tale of Two Cities right now. In San Francisco, the city is taking away on-street parking so that restaurants can use it. How does that affect the value of on-street parking in residential areas?"

Wen Sang: As you mentioned earlier, we do work with municipalities and parking revenue can account for up to 30% their revenue to keep the communities running.

The majority of the cities have mostly free on-street parking and a segment where it is paid. For example, San Francisco has 266,000 on-street spaces and only 26,000 of those are metered and paid. We believe that no real estate should be free. When cities remove on-street parking, it pushes commuters to off-street garages, so overall, I do think it's a good thing and necessary right now.

Meet with Wen Sang to discuss trends in real estate and opportunities to mitigate revenue loss.

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