The Chandler (Arizona) Fashion Center is considering a new parking garage. The spokeswoman for the project says it would be 300-500 more spaces which she says is the "industry Standard", whatever that is.
Read the article here. When you get to the sixth graph, the real story unfolds. Seems that the mall has always said there is enough parking, just not where people want to park. My guess? That’s as true today as it was three years ago, or five years ago when the mall opened.
Parking around the mall is free. I can say that without any hesitation. Mall employees park in the area around the mall. Its a big place with 180 stores and 6200 parking spaces. I cannot believe for the life of me that the increasing of 8 percent in the number of parking spaces will make any substantial difference.
My guess is that nearly 1000 people work at the mall. And my guess is 90 percent of them drive every day. And my guess is that they all park as close as they can to their place of work. That leaves customers to park farther away and walk through the Arizona heat to shop.
What to do? Simple — charge for parking and let the stores validate. Pretty easy — employees can park for free in lots that are on the periphery of the location, or pay to park close. What do you think they are going to do? Shoppers will park close in, get validated, or if they stay longer than a certain time, pay a few bucks to visit the mall. It seems like a nice place, lots of movies, restaurants and the like.
Why is this such a big deal? Of course, the natural solution is to build a garage. During the two years of construction, there will be a few hundred prime spaces that will not be available. It will really be parking hell. Once its finished, the employees will use it because its covered and cooler, and we will be right back where we started.