Biking to work, walking to work, Ubering to work and a bunch of other words ending in "ing" are all increasingly popular alternatives to the traditional commute. However, the vast majority of workers still drive themselves to the office or another workplace -- 76.4 percent of them in 2017, according to CityLab. This means that finding some way to provide parking for your workforce is at least a strong perk if not an absolute necessity. As you negotiate your lease with your landlord, here are some parking terms to keep in mind.
1. Reserved Parking
The holy grail of parking terms is to have a specific -- and, hopefully, ample -- block of parking set aside just for your use. Reserved parking guarantees room for your workers and can save them from having to drive around in circles looking for parking, boosting job satisfaction and potential reducing tardiness. Convenient parking becomes especially important if you have workers that are mobile during the day -- like outside salespeople.
2. Guaranteed Space Allocation
If you can't get parking terms that give you a specific area of the property's parking garage, lot or ramp, look for a guarantee that you will have somewhere to park. This can include a cap on other tenants' parking or a specific number of spaces that will "always" be open for you and your team. If you're in a building where parking is tight, getting written assurances from your landlord is key. This is doubly true in this time of increased employee density -- more people per square foot means more cars in the garage!
3. Predictable Cost
When you sign a lease, your goal is to have predictability over the course of the lease. You specify your rental rate. You also specify how it will increase over time. Some leases have limitations on how much expenses can increase, too. Try to do the same thing with your parking by inserting terms with a rate per space per month and getting some control over how it can escalate over time.
4. Validation for Visitors
You and your workers aren't the only ones that need to park at your building. It's likely that you will have some visitors -- at least from time to time -- and some of them will also need to park. A certain number of hours per month of validated space is a popular parking term that allows you to give your visitors a better experience while controlling your parking costs.
5. One Way to Not Worry About Parking Terms... At All
Finally, there is one way to eliminate concerns about the parking terms in your lease. Look for a building that has ample, free parking. Most communities have markets where parking is tight and expensive and other markets where parking is ample and free. While, as of this writing in late 2019, the pendulum is still firmly on the side of downtown locations being more desirable, high housing costs, rents and commute times are beginning to create more demand for suburban locations. Moving your company in that direction -- if it is a good fit for you -- could simplify your parking situation.
Ultimately, you, your business and your employees determine the parking terms that you will need. Your ability to get the most favorable terms possible comes from your strength in negotiating with your landlord. Having a professional tenant rep in your corner can help you achieve this goal.
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