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Parking ratios fall along Silver Line as transit options increase

  • ​Northern Virginia’s Silver Line corridor, spanning from Rosslyn to Herndon, has seen average parking ratios reach all-time lows for new construction as the shift toward transit-oriented development increasingly shapes the market.

  • Tysons and the Toll Road, in particular, have witnessed the most dramatic drop. In the Toll Road, 39% of Reston and Herndon’s total supply delivered across only five years, from 1998 through 2002, with an average parking ratio of 3.5:1,000. By contrast, fast forward to 2017 and1900 Reston Metro Plaza, the Toll Road’s first new building since 2010, opened adjacent to the Wiehle-Reston East station with a parking ratio of 2.4:1,000, a 31% drop. 

  • In Tysons, 40% of supply delivered from 1984-1990, with an average parking ratio of 3.4:1,000. Since 2010, however, the average parking ratio for the 1.3 million s.f. of new construction is 2.2:1,000, a 35% drop as Tysons transitions to a Metro-served urban corridor, with 100% of the recent deliveries and current construction occurring within ½ mile of Metro.

  • These changes align with Fairfax County’s regulations; the county requires buildings in the majority of Fairfax to have a minimum parking ratio of 2.6:1,000. In Tysons, the new maximum is 2.2:1,000 for new construction within ½ mile of Metro, with no minimum space parameters and in Reston, the latest update to the comprehensive plan revises the maximum parking ratio to 2.1:1,000 for new construction.

  • Looking ahead, several dynamics will play a major role in further fine-tuning parking ratio requirements for buildings on-Metro, including Metro ridership and driving habits: Metro: While overall Metro ridership within Northern Virginia fell slightly by 1.8% from Q1 2017 to Q1 2018, ridership in Tysons and Reston increased 2.6%, with the Greensboro (+10%) and Tysons Corner (+6%) stations posting the biggest gains. Driving habits: Intertwined with Metro, driving behavior is key, and despite Northern Virginia’s concentration of future development along the Silver Line, and buildings on-Metro commanding 34% rent premiums and stronger leasing activity, the market remains car-centric. In 2010, 83% of workers in Fairfax County drove to work, down to only 81% by 2016. The added density of new developments around Metro, particularly in Tysons and Reston, is poised to add traffic to already congested micromarkets when projects deliver ahead, likely fueling a greater shift to Metro as the market urbanizes. 

  • Source: JLL Research, NVTC

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