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Active Sublease Market for Parking in Santiago, Chile

There is an active sub-lease market for owners or long-term lessees of parking spaces in Chile’s capital. And, since there are lessees, there are investment opportunities in parking and transportation infrastructure.

Santiago is a modern, bustling city with a population of five million. The city has experienced steady, if unspectacular growth in the past decade. Growth has followed the classic pattern of the hollowing out of the older low-rise central core with population relocating to the suburbs. This has now been followed by regeneration of the urban core with new commercial development and condominium/rental high rises. Likewise, the parking market has matured as open parking lots are developed for higher uses.

According to Regenerating Urban Land: A Practitioner’s Guide to Leveraging Private Investment, by Rana Amirtahmasebi, et al, (published by the World Bank, 2016) land prices have risen thirteen percent per year over the first decade of the twenty-first century. In the central part of the city, raw land values average around CLP$ 457,837 (USD$688) per square meter (one meter equals about 10.7 square feet so that works out to about $64.29 per square foot).

Many of the spaces are only leased long term, some as long as five years. Payments can be made monthly; however, some facilities require a year paid in advance. The facilities that employ this tactic often forego transient, daily parking and control the unmanned lots with permits or a simple license plate registration. When parking lessees lose their jobs or relocate, they are often stuck with a long term obligation to the lot owner.

Parking spaces are also available on a condominium basis. In this case, the owner owns only a space in the lot but has access to the “common areas” , such as drive lanes and elevators. Monthly common area charges for maintenance, security and administration are collected by the owner, which may be a parking company or a landowner.

The non-descript parking space in the image above is a good example of the condominium space market in higher-end properties. The space is located beneath a modern office building that also contains apartments and condominiums. It measures 2.5 meters (about 8 feet, 3 inches) by 5 meters (16 feet, 4 inches) for a total of 25 square meters (about 267.5 square feet) and includes a small storage area.

The facility features two ways to enter: By the driver with a remote control or via a concierge, who is on duty 24/7. It was advertised for sale for CLP$23,500,000 (about USD$35,300). At that price, the cost of the space is CLP$940,000 per square meter (about USD$132 per square foot).

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