Hamilton rates and taxes investing in parking

Updated May 2014 – Knox St car parking sold

Parking policy debate often proceeds with confused assumptions about the kind of economic good we are dealing with: sometimes it is assumed to be a public good.

Few appear to question whether investment in parking facilities is a good use of precious government resources, and strong efforts by central and local government to provide parking suggests that most see provision of parking as a government responsibility, worthy of taxpayer money.

This post lists taxpayer and ratepayer spending on car parking buildings in Hamilton, to increase parking supply by 2,215 over the last 10 years. At an average value of $19,000 per car park this equates to $42,085,000 of investment (cost excludes land purchase).

Hospital Hague St Carpark Wintec Nisbet St Carpark

Taxpayer Ratepayer Cost No. of Car parks Value per car park
The Knox Street commuter car parking building ($8.517m in 2005/06) was opened on 19 April 2006 – HCC annual report summary 2005-06 It provides 460 additional parking spaces for Hamilton commuters. The five-level building has been designed for the future, with provision to add an additional two floors to the structure to provide a further 180 parking spaces W & H construction Knox Street Car Park $8.5m 460 $18.5k
Located at the eastern side of the campus, the building can hold more than 800 vehicles and provides direct access into the main hospital buildings – Completed 2008Construction of the 18-level car park and main entry building began in 2005 and is part of Waikato DHB’s $252 million.Source – Waikato DHB – Hundreds attend official opening 800
Waikato Times 29/08/09 by Geoff Taylor – Car park buy back vital for councils plans to revamp CBD – $9m for the purchase from Wilson Parking comes at a $5.5 million loss as the council sold it in 1998 for $3.5 million to reduce debt. $9m 460 $19.5k
Waikato times 15/07/10 by Nicola Boyes – New car park for staff and students –  A $5 million 5 1/2-storey car park is being built at Wintec to cater for staff and students, providing public parking on the weekends.The 257-bay carpark on Nisbet St is set for completion in early 2011. $5m 257 $19.4k
Waikato Times 23/01/12 by Maryanne Twentyman – Car park options widen – Waikato Hospital will have more parking a new $7.7 million parking building opens on Pembroke St. The five-level building has space for 218 vehicles and a cafe. $7.7m 218 $35.3k
Waikato Times 10/05/11 by Nikki Preston – Fresh moves to net CBD users – The cost of relocating the entrance to the Garden Place car park to Anglesea St had blown $600,000 over the $3m budget due to a design oversight. $3.6m
NZ Herald 01/11/11 by Nikki Preston – Hamilton City to lose $2.5 million on car-park – The city council bought the car-park in 2009 for $9 million, funded by an interest-only loan as a core part of the planned $3.7 million Garden Place upgrade aimed at revitalising the city’s heart. At the time of purchase, the council had agreed to sell it on to Kiwi Income Property Holdings.But according to confidential documents, a heads of agreement signed on October 2009 required the council to sell the former Downtown Car-park to Kiwi Income Property Holdings at a price to be established by an independent valuer.A recent valuation shows that the car-park is steadily declining and in the past year decreased from $7 million to $6.5 million and the sale agreement must be completed by September 2013.However, the report justified the reduction in the sale price at the cost of achieving the council’s strategic objectives for the Garden Place/Ward St West precinct and greater CBD. The parties agreed the car-park would be aimed at shoppers, rather than commuters, and the pricing would reflect that.The revitalisation of the Garden Place car-park, and its ultimate acquisition by Kiwi, was seen as being “critical” to the upgrade of the CBD.As part of the deal with Kiwi in 2009 the council also agreed to a 999-year lease for the land known as Ward St West, which is to be converted from a road to a pedestrian area. $2.5m?
Waikato Times 18/11/14 by Aaron Leaman – Knox St car park sold for $5.07Hamilton City Council has sold the Knox St car park building to Care Park New Zealand for $5.07 million – $3.6 million less than the building cost to construct. $3.6m  460  11k

 Hospital Pembroke Carpark Angelesea St Mid block

The list above does not give a fixed cost per car-park to every project, as these projects often include surrounding infrastructure costs. For example the Garden place car park includes budget blowouts and a confidential agreement with a Property investor,

In addition, the Hospital Pembroke St car park appears to have a very expensive coffee shop attached to it, or is just very expensive car parking? If $19,000 is a sensible cost for a single car park and the Pembroke street car park has 218 car park spaces in it, then the subtotal for the car park will be $4,100,000. The cost of the café must therefore be $3,600,000 to achieve the total cost of $7,700,000 (excluding the land purchase price).

References on parking policy

Trips and parking related to land use – Nov 2011 – NZTA report 453

Parking Policy in Asian Cities – 2011 – Asian Development Bank

2 comments on “Hamilton rates and taxes investing in parking

  1. I think it’s about time we had a discussion as to whether parking should be considered a “public good” and funded out of general rates contributions/taxation. It causes a tremendous distortion of the economics of driving.

    I think ideally there should be no parking minimums. If someone wants to build a development without parking, let them! but we should mandate parking MAXIMUMS for new developments. Every developer should be made to specify the proportion of journeys to their site to be by public transport and active modes, and maximum parking should be calculated based on that.

  2. Min or Max are bit like council rates (and most taxes) being based on land value or capital value, both types hold back others, if you look at NZTA report 453 page 62 smaller business are all over the place, some need lots of parking some need next to no parking.
    The answer may be as easy a having less parking requirements – http://www.reinventingparking.org/2013/09/which-cities-have-abolished-parking.html

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