- REEF Technology (formerly ParkJockey Global) announced a plan to transform parking garages across the country into tech-forward hubs that will support the on-demand economy.
- The hubs will eliminate parking spaces to host businesses and services. More than a dozen companies have partnered with REEF for the launch of the hubs. REEF hopes to bring on more businesses including dockless mobility companies and peer-to-peer car rental businesses, and potentially develop ride-hailing buffer zones to reduce traffic congestion within communities.
- A key component of the hubs will be REEF Kitchens, which will support on-demand food delivery from restaurants. REEF Kitchens already has operations in Miami and London.
As the urban landscape changes, entrepreneurs are seeking new ways to use structures that have outlived their useful life for their originally intended purpose. For example, the rise of e-commerce has reduced the need for retail brick-and-mortar stores, and malls are repurposing vacant stores into new, non-retail spaces such as yoga studios and childcare facilities.
Similarly, cities are finding that the push to reduce car use and support other mobility options has resulted in reduced need for parking garages. These structures are expensive to maintain and only generate revenue if they consistently reach target fill rates to balance operating and maintenance costs.
Parking garage owners are finding enticing options for redeveloping garages into spaces that would meet the changing needs of the surrounding community. For instance, a proposal in San Francisco last year suggested converting a 732-space garage into a multi-use complex with affordable housing units and hundreds of hotel rooms.
But transforming a large structure such as a parking garage into something new isn't necessarily easy. It involves significant demolition and construction costs and environmental impacts. Plus, owners can't guarantee that the new concept has staying power and long-term revenue generating capabilities.
REEF Technology's idea to transform parking garages by setting up restaurants in movable containers provides a lower-cost, lower-commitment way to use these spaces.