Agreed. Thanks for crunching some numbers for examples and the sake of conversation. Obviously, I don't think this would necessarily work for a large development. Perhaps something smaller. A new 30-50 unit development set up like this in the heart of Downtown could have the potential to attract the type of tenant who is interested in living car-free and having access to every bus line from Broad & High gives them the ability to easily get anywhere.
In a region of nearly 2 million, there's got to be a small handful interested in this type of arrangement.
I think you can definitely find more than a handful. The problem is designing an entire development for them. The more likely scenario is that one lives here, two live there, etc.
But what I have thought about is a car share program. I'm sure you're familiar with Zipcar. In Miami there is a smaller company that does the same thing called Cars2go. But I was thinking on an even smaller scale.
So let's say you work in the downtown/SN area. So if you rent a unit you can get to and from work pretty easily. And you've got a growing number of restaurants, bars, etc. But Columbus is still pretty spread out so you still need to get to places like Easton. And let's face it, you're not going to spend the kind of money people are paying on these new apartments and condos and then take a bus out to Easton. So you really cant go without a car.
So I was thinking if you could find a way to get reduced parking and instead provide communal cars. So let's say you build 100 units. Then you need 160 parking spaces. You provide the 10 visitor parking spaces and another 45 spaces for 30 units to diversify for less risk. Then for the remaining 70 units you work out a deal to provide 15 cars that would also take up 15 spaces. So all in all you would have to provide 70 spaces and 15 cars instead of 160 spaces. That saves you 90 spaces or about $1.8M on parking spaces. Subtract about $300k for 15 cars and you're still up $1.5M. Then just increase the rent slight to cover the cost of maintenance and group liability of the vehicles.
So say rent $1300 for a one bedroom. Instead you charge $1400 for a one bedroom with fractional ownership of car. So sure you're paying an extra $100 a month but you can ditch the car that you paying $350 for, plus another $100 for insurance. Now your saving $350 a month and you can still use a car occasionally.
You would just have to figure out some system for how people divide the car time. Maybe use some sort of credit system and require more credits for the weekend. And then adjust the car fee depending on how much they use it.
So now you have a real incentive to move to an urban area, ditch the car and ride the bus or walk for the vast majority of you're daily commutes.