Developers across the country are pitching their mixed-use developments as incubators for driverless-car technology, which they hope could allow them to pack in more product.
Developers are hoping that autonomous vehicles will free up space now allocated to parking spaces for other uses like residential and commercial.
And some institutional investors are paying close attention to how ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft alongside self-driving vehicles will shape demand for real estate.
“What is interesting to us is the densification options it brings to us,” Jeff Edison, CEO of Phillips Edison & Co., told the Wall Street Journal. The company owns more than 340 shopping centers anchored by grocery stores across the country.
“These advances will impact renters, consumers, and businesses across the country and the globe, and affect what, how and where we build,” MetLife Investment Management said in a recent report cited by the newspaper.
Traditionally, retail developments require five parking spaces for every 1,000 square feet of built floor area, and Edison said driverless cars means “we don’t need that scale of parking.”
Nevada became the first state to allow driverless cars on public roads six years ago. In downtown Las Vegas, a driverless eight-passenger shuttle launched in November and has since carried about 24,000 people.
[WSJ] – Rich Bockmann