How much does the garage cost, REALLY?


How much does the garage cost, REALLY?

Cost per space cost per space — you hear that everywhere.  So what is the true cost per space.
Usually its figured on the construction cost, with the cost of the land not added in. Well, OK…Most cities and universities consider the land to be free anyway.

Now —  Cal State Fullerton will open a 1,513 space structure this April.  The structure was built on an existing surface lot which had 825 spaces (so net parking space gain is 688)Total cost for the project = $20.7M Cost per space = $13,680

Right? WRONG

You must consider the cost of the ADDITIONAL spaces. You already had 825 in the lot you destroyed to built the structure. Those spaces were already there, for free. You are really gaining 688 spaces for your twenty million. The cost per space is therefore over $30,000.

It seems to me that before a public institution gets into the construction business, they should call an investment banker who does this for a living — There are a number who will put up the money and build the garage – if it makes business sense.  If they won’t go for the deal, then why should you.  It means that you are most likely subsidizing the rates and the taxpayers will be footing the bill.

Think how many labs or classrooms, or even gyms or velodromes that $20 mill could build.  Raise the prices to the students and faculty. They will carpool or take buses or move closer to the campus. Guaranteed. If not, then at least you will have the money to build the structure.


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John Van Horn

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