When a business or other organization realizes it needs more parking at a location, it is faced with a fundamental choice: to build new parking spaces, or use existing parking more efficiently. There are many factors that come into play in this decision, including environmental impact and reactions of the community around the organization, but one of the most significant factors is cost.

Watry Design, one of the nation’s premier parking design firms, has created a handy calculator that can help you estimate the cost of building a new parking garage, estimating both cost per square foot and cost per parking space.

 There are many different factors that can affect the cost of building new parking. Obvious factors include the size of the building, the number of stalls, and the number of levels the parking structure will have. However, there are also additional factors to consider, such as the number of levels below ground, how deep the foundation is, what type of finish is expected to be put on the building, and whether or not a percentage of the roof will have solar panels. And of course, the city and state can also have a big impact on the cost of building a parking garage.

 All of these factors can lead to parking spaces costing from around $16K to as much as $80K. That’s a wide margin, but even $16K is a significant investment for a single parking space. A smarter alternative is to use existing parking spaces more efficiently with smart parking.

 A smart parking solution like Streetline is one that combines sensors and cameras with signage to helps drivers quickly and efficiently find every single open space. If drivers are able to find available spaces more easily, there will be less demand for new spaces that may not actually be needed. And of course, smart parking is far less expensive than building a new parking garage.