Could Uber “skyports” for LA air taxis be real estate’s next big thing?

The large properties would include landing pads and a mix of retail space
June 13, 2019 11:00AM

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, a concept Uber Air taxi and Gensler's skyport design

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, a concept Uber Air taxi and Gensler’s skyport design

Uber intends to start its flying taxi service in Los Angeles, complete with “skyport” stations that would include a retail component. Could those skyports be the next big thing in real estate?

New details about the ride-hailing company’s Uber Air service show prototype concepts for the sleek landing stations, according to Curbed.

Uber wants to build those skyports in cities around the country, starting with L.A. and Dallas in 2023, according to the report.

Uber bills Uber Air as an “affordable shared flight” option for consumers, although it estimates that operating each of its four-seat electric-powered vehicles will cost around $700 per flight hour. It’s unclear who would pilot the vehicle, whose price would would likely put a ride far out of reach for most L.A. residents.

A number of design firms are working on skyport concepts, which Uber wants to be capable of handling 1,000 landings per hour. Architecture giant Gensler revealed its CitySpace concept for L.A. on Tuesday.

The modular CitySpace skyports are designed to be quick to build from the ground up or converted from an existing parking garage to “minimize the effect ton the local community and environment.”

Like those of most competitors, Gensler’s concept resembles small airport terminals with multiple landing pads on their rooftops. [Curbed]Dennis Lynch