LA’s miles of parking lots could house more than 800K residents: report

Parking lots in the city take up more real estate than the entire island of Manhattan

A parking lot at Dodger Stadium (credit: Ben+Sam via Flickr)
A parking lot at Dodger Stadium (credit: Ben+Sam via Flickr)

Los Angeles’ numerous surface-level parking lots take up more space than the entire island of Manhattan and could be developed with hundreds of thousands of housing units.

Parking lots take up 27 square miles of real estate in the City of L.A. alone and almost four times that across L.A. County, according to research by Superspace, a division of architecture firm Woods Bagot. Curbed first reported on the research.

If all of those lots in the City of L.A. alone were developed at the densities of their surrounding neighborhoods — an unrealistic prospect — enough housing could be built for 830,000 people.

More realistically, the city could add 11,000 homes for 20,000 more residents if just 20 percent of parking lots in Downtown L.A. were developed at a density level around 80 percent higher of the current density level in the area.

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Superspace director Christian Derix said developing some of those lots with housing could help solve both L.A.’s nightmarish traffic problems and its growing housing crisis, because it would house people in the same neighborhoods they are working in and visiting.

“If you reduce sprawl, you reduce commutes,” he said.

The pace of residential development will have to triple to meet the 3.5 million homes that California needs by the mid-2020s.

[Curbed] – Dennis Lynch