With rental values of office space back on the upward trend again, it is no surprise that the owner of the Market Street Car Park has decided that the land it sits on would be better utilized as a proper commercial/office property rather than serving the needs of hundreds of drivers who work in Raffles Place.
Well, it is hard to say no to money. But, perhaps businesses and organizations in Singapore should be quicker to do a rethink of their mentality that provision of car parking spaces as a drain on profit.
Owners of commercial properties and shopping malls should be the first to take heed. After all, despite whatever the Government is trying to do; most middle and upper class Singaporeans simply refuse to travel on public transport. And, if you make parking difficult or if you charge an exorbitant rate for parking; there will come a time when the balance is tipped and drivers will simply figure that it isn't worth it any more and they will choose to pass on the shopping mall. Drivers are customers too; often generous ones at that.
Property developers too have been all too anxious to cut down on the provision of car park spaces once the Government authorities have relaxed the requirements. Every square foot expended on parking, is one less square foot to be sold. While their sales talk about how providing 1 lot per unit is enough may smoke the first time house hunter, savvy drivers/house buyers are increasingly becoming aware of parking woes cropping up in newer private properties. After all, most who can splash the cash for the record breaking property prices today have the means to buy a second, third or fourth car. And when parking spaces become scarce, neighbourly relations take a beating and sometimes the parking woes get published all over the internet or the papers. That can only be bad for the property value.
So to the big-wigs at these huge businesses, it is time to do a rethink. It might be a wise investment to build a little bit more parking space than you deem necessary. In quasi-business lingo, this is a hedge against the risk that the market attitudes change.