Robotic parking and other technological advancements could change what CRE tenants want in the future

A 1.13-acre site on Powerline Road in Oakland Park could be home to a brand-new mixed-use building that will stand out from the rest once it’s constructed. The reason is simple: there’s a plan to include a robotic parking system as part of the structure. 

Sweet Acacia LLC, which Fort Lauderdale’s Radonic Corp. manages, bought this piece of land in 2020. Radonic Corp. specializes in building robotic parking garages and wants to ensure this project is unique because of its efficient use of space. 

It remains to be seen if robotic parking garages will become the standard, but this and other technologies are worth keeping an eye on because they could become selling features for commercial real estate tenants. 

How robotic parking garages work

Sci-fi fans might picture a robot getting into a car and driving it to a parking space—or autonomous vehicles driving there on their own. That isn’t how these systems work, though.

When a building is set up with one of these robotic systems, the driver pulls the vehicle into a parking bay, kind of like a garage or carport. From there, a mechanical conveyor moves the car, either vertically or laterally, to a space somewhere in the parking garage. 

One big benefit of using these systems is that visitors or employees don’t have to spend time looking for a parking space. Instead, all they do is pull into one of the bays. It’s also a far more efficient use of space because the system can store these vehicles within about four inches of each other without incurring any damage or relying on a driver’s skill to get the cars in and out.

People who use these garages won’t have to worry about scratches on their doors or backing into another vehicle because they’ll never have to enter the parking garage. 

From a commercial real estate tenant’s perspective, these systems streamline the parking process, ensuring they can get into the building minutes after arrival. Retrieving the vehicle when leaving the building is also easy. It’s as simple as putting a request in through an app or interface inside the building. 

The Oakland Park project

The proposed Sweet Acacia project totals 41,391 square feet, including 14 residential units, 14,000 square feet of office space, 120 parking spaces, and a 4,000 square-foot restaurant. 

Demand in this building may be high, as many individuals looking for an apartment in Oakland Park might like having a robotic parking spot near Interstate 95. Local businesses could also be intrigued by the idea of operating out of this facility. 

There’s a good chance we’ll see larger Florida cities taking advantage of the space-saving features that automated garages offer at more significant rates, too. You can already find these garages throughout Los Angeles and New York. For example, parking can be a real challenge in downtown Miami on the best of days; retrofitting a robotic parking structure into an office building would make life far easier for businesses and their patrons and visitors.

Buildings that already have a parking garage can fit more vehicles into an existing structure or repurpose some parking space into additional office space or common areas, as well. 

CRE and technology

As a CRE investor, it’s wise to stay current on the latest trends and technology tenants might seek when leasing a property. We’re still a ways off from every building containing an automated robotic parking system. Nevertheless, the appeal seems evident if the costs to retrofit existing structures come down—and are offset by any efficiencies and tenants gained—to provide a solid ROI.

At Morris Southeast Group, we stay current on the latest trends and technologies in commercial buildings. We’re also available to discuss your entire CRE portfolio. Call us at 954.474.1776 to go over all your CRE investment needs. You can also reach out to Ken Morris directly at 954.240.4400 or