Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 15, 2014

Unbundled up

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

Waayyy back when I wrote a post about this super neat tool from King County (Seattle Metro area) that showed how different ratios of parking affected pricing of units and the monthly cost to residents.  So I went back to the King County website to punch in some numbers to show how affordability varies when you have bundled vs. unbundled parking.   It’s sort of the whole thing that I think a lot of folks have difficulty with when thinking about the Del Monte project.

Again, knowing nothing about the Seattle metro area I again picked on Mercer Island because, well, it’s an island.  I zoomed and found a series of parcels that looking appealing:

parcels

It might be a little smaller than the Del Monte tract, but it’s all academic anyway.

So these are the amounts that the program spit out for how much the average adjusted rent would be with bundled parking and with unbundled parking.   Unbundled parking assumes that the parking spaces would be an additional $153 per month per space which sounds about right.   Probably would be a little more for the Bay Area but it’s in the ballpark.   So in order to bundle the parking there would need to be a parking ratio of about 1.32 spaces per unit.  As opposed to the unbundled parking which would require only parking ratio of 1.18 per unit because some folks, even in less transit intensive areas like these parcels supposedly are in, would opt to not pay for the parking space.   And interestingly enough because there is not the need to provide so much bundled parking, even those residents that opt to pay for a parking space under the unbundled scenario see a minimum discount for those that are given no choice of whether to accept a parking space.   While in this scenario it’s only an annual savings of $120, that could pay for a phone bill or something.   But the cost difference for someone who doesn’t need a parking space and opting to rent in a building with unbundled parking as opposed to a building with built in parking would generate an annual savings of around $2400 which is around two months worth of rent.

bundled

 

I don’t know if anyone cares about how affordable units with unbundled parking influences the parking ratios, but that’s the second data set in the graphic above.   It’s fun to play around in the parking tool if you are at all interested in trying to figure out how unbundled parking works in theory.  I would suggest that you keep to the orange and red areas since the green areas reflect higher intensity transit and therefore lower parking ratios in general and higher land costs.

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42 Comments

  1. Mercer Island is full of million/billionaires. Bill Gates lives there. I lived in Belleview which is like Marin. Mercer Island north is like Atherton. My 3 roommates and I looked at a fixer upper to rent on Mercer Island and we couldn’t afford it. I am sure it may be different now but it is like comparing apples to oranges.

    Comment by Joseph — May 15, 2014 @ 7:07 am

  2. I don’t know anything about the prices of housing in the Seattle metro, I selected that portion of the map because it (1) had low transit availability and (2) higher overall parking ratios and (3) is an island so most like Alameda.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 15, 2014 @ 7:21 am

  3. Lauren, the reason they have low transit availability is rich people don’t take public transit…but they do have access to a 8 lane freeway going through it with on and off ramps and take you right into downtown Seattle. Mercer Island would be more like Treasure Island if it was all built out but with better on and off ramps. The parking ratios does that just include street parking or does it include garages? When I lived in the area Mercer Island didn’t have any apartments or condo’s but that may have changed.

    Comment by Joseph — May 15, 2014 @ 7:56 am

  4. http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-search/Mercer-Island_WA

    Prices waaaaay high on Mercer Island

    Comment by A Neighbor — May 15, 2014 @ 10:34 am

  5. So essentially if (1) rich people don’t take public transit and (2) the property values are way high in Mercer Island, then they have even less transit availability than Alameda does. So then the numbers cited above using Mercer Island as an example are relatively conservative in comparison to Alameda as they have, arguably, a population that is more dependent on cars because of lower access to transit. Parking ratios always take into consideration off-street parking, aka the parking that must be provided (and paid for) by the developer.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 15, 2014 @ 11:02 am

  6. Alameda’s population density (per Wikipedia) is approximately double Mercer Island’s, and the empty acres of the navy base make Alameda’s effective density considerably higher still. Mercer’s per capita income is much higher as well.

    I haven’t set foot on Mercer Island since the 80’s and never commuted to or from there, but I’ll hazard a guess that an island with a population of ~22,000 with 3 full freeway exits doesn’t suffer anything close to the gridlock we will face when all this development so jauntily promoted by Russo and his minions clogs the tubes and fills the bridges. **

    This isn’t apples/oranges as much as it’s apples/cinderblocks.

    **Correct me if I’m wrong

    Comment by dave — May 15, 2014 @ 11:02 am

  7. The point of this post is to point to a tool that helps inform discussion on how unbundled vs. bundled parking works to affect housing affordability. But feel free to turn it into yet another hyperbolic discussion about the car-maggedon that faces Alameda.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 15, 2014 @ 11:08 am

  8. If it’s “informed discussion” you wish, how about getting informed before discussing?

    Comment by dave — May 15, 2014 @ 11:19 am

  9. The tool is income blind and it still works with all the factors thrown out above. If you have issues with how the tool generates the numbers then perhaps you can tell the folks who created the tool.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 15, 2014 @ 11:20 am

  10. Issue is with how this number is used to further (poorly) an agenda (yours).

    Comment by dave — May 15, 2014 @ 11:24 am

  11. Don’t be a tool.

    Comment by vigi — May 15, 2014 @ 11:28 am

  12. Then perhaps you would like to offer reports or data that show how unbundled parking actually makes housing less affordable since that was the purpose of my post.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 15, 2014 @ 11:29 am

  13. dave, your awesomeness in being able to totally ignore facts is, well….. awesome ever consider a career with fox news? By the way, the best part of your awesomeness was where you acknowledge basing your world view on a visit that occurred 30 years ago. Because we all know nothing has changed in 30 years. On a troll rating, i give you a 3 out of 5. You could improve your score by saying there is no basis for comparison because the houses were painted different colors.

    Comment by notadave — May 15, 2014 @ 1:37 pm

  14. 13

    May I suggest you re-read what I wrote? Especially the parts where I cite factual data on density & income, data that you can google for yourself if you feel a need to fact-check me. I also refer you back to the part where I guess about Mercer Island traffic (perhaps you are unaware that the word “guess” indicates uncertainty?) and invite anyone to correct me if that guess is wrong. I typed that part very slowly to help you understand it. Try reading it again.

    Comment by dave — May 15, 2014 @ 2:05 pm

  15. Sorry Lauren, I didn’t mean to get this off track and have people putting others down…I was just trying to point out that Mercer Island is very different then Alameda. I appreciate you taking the time to write a blog every day and do what you do. When I first moved to here we had the Don Roberts show and Pat Bail running for city counsel and Dave Howard started action Alameda…your blog has essentially changed Alameda and got people thinking about issues. Personally I like the unbundled parking with a 72 hour parking limit.

    Comment by Joseph — May 15, 2014 @ 2:27 pm

  16. I know this is sort of off subject but they seem to be preparing the Del Monte site…also the one on Clement St. I went by the Tri Pointe homes site yesterday and it seems they are just about ready to start building. They say the houses will start in the $400,000 but by the time they are built I expect they will start in the $600,000.

    The only thing I am waiting for is the new Safeway which is suppose to open in the fall. The only complaint I have about Bayport is there is no little corner store which you can run into when you need something real quick…you have to drive. The new complexes for the base the have some retail on the ground floor…so maybe they can cut back on affordable housing and offer affordable retail…so you can have a corner store…with unbundled parking…see I brought it back to the subject.

    Comment by Joseph — May 15, 2014 @ 3:10 pm

  17. Dave, the weather on mercer island is different than Alameda’s as well, but neither that or none of the other factors really impact the relative difference between bundled and unbundled parking

    Comment by notadave — May 15, 2014 @ 3:49 pm

  18. The significant density differences have great impact on parking demand. Mercer, a much less dense island with a greater concentration of SFH’s will have much different demand characteristics than Alameda, a much more dense place with a greater share of renters and multi-families.

    Mercer’s substantially greater household income will also affect both price and demand vis-à-vis Alameda. Income figures are notoriously inaccurate because they tend to understate non-wage income, but per city-data.com Mercers’ is approx. double Alameda’s. The fact that our blogmistress’s latest toy is “income blind” renders it meaningless, as supply & demand for parking will vary greatly with local incomes.

    So far Lauren has ignored income, density, and housing mix — the three most important variables in the discussion, and yet you somehow say I am the one who ignores facts. Feel free to retract that anytime.

    Comment by dave — May 15, 2014 @ 4:09 pm

  19. A much denser parcel in downtown Seattle:

    Unbundled parking in a higher density area assumes that the parking spaces would be an additional $291 per month per space which sounds about right. Probably would be a little more for the Bay Area but it’s in the ballpark. So in order to bundle the parking there would need to be a parking ratio of about .74 spaces per unit. As opposed to the unbundled parking which would require only parking ratio of 0.55 per unit because some folks would opt to not pay for the parking space. And interestingly enough because there is not the need to provide so much bundled parking, even those residents that opt to pay for a parking space under the unbundled scenario see a minimum discount for those that are given no choice of whether to accept a parking space. While in this scenario it’s only an annual savings of $420, that could pay for multiple phone bills or something. But the cost difference for someone who doesn’t need a parking space and opting to rent in a building with unbundled parking as opposed to a building with built in parking would generate an annual savings of around $2340 which is around two months worth of rent.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 15, 2014 @ 4:18 pm

  20. And, the Northgate neighborhood with a median income of $60K compared to Alameda’s $69K. Population density of 7500/sq mile compared to Alameda’s at 7600/sq mile.


    Unbundled parking in a medium density area assumes that the parking spaces would be an additional $153 per month per space which sounds about right. Probably would be a little more for the Bay Area but it’s in the ballpark. So in order to bundle the parking there would need to be a parking ratio of about 0.96 spaces per unit. As opposed to the unbundled parking which would require only parking ratio of 0.83 per unit because some folks would opt to not pay for the parking space. And interestingly enough because there is not the need to provide so much bundled parking, even those residents that opt to pay for a parking space under the unbundled scenario see a minimum discount for those that are given no choice of whether to accept a parking space. While in this scenario it’s only an annual savings of $228, that could pay for a phone bill or something. But the cost difference for someone who doesn’t need a parking space and opting to rent in a building with unbundled parking as opposed to a building with built in parking would generate an annual savings of around $1656 which is around one and half months worth of rent.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 15, 2014 @ 4:58 pm

  21. And, the Rainier Valley neighborhood with a median income of $64K compared to Alameda’s $69K. Population density of 7500/sq mile compared to Alameda’s at 7600/sq mile.


    Unbundled parking in a medium high density area assumes that the parking spaces would be an additional $202 per month per space which sounds about right. Probably would be a little more for the Bay Area but it’s in the ballpark. So in order to bundle the parking there would need to be a parking ratio of about 1.08 spaces per unit. As opposed to the unbundled parking which would require only parking ratio of 0.91 per unit because some folks would opt to not pay for the parking space. And interestingly enough because there is not the need to provide so much bundled parking, even those residents that opt to pay for a parking space under the unbundled scenario see a minimum discount for those that are given no choice of whether to accept a parking space. While in this scenario it’s only an annual savings of $240, that could pay for a phone bill or something. But the cost difference for someone who doesn’t need a parking space and opting to rent in a building with unbundled parking as opposed to a building with built in parking would generate an annual savings of around $2448 which is around two months worth of rent.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 15, 2014 @ 5:10 pm

  22. Good analysis Lauren. Thanks for the information.

    Comment by Karen Bey — May 15, 2014 @ 5:46 pm

  23. I hate to bring it up again but when I lived in Seattle/Belleview area they didn’t have affordable/low income housing requirements or prop 13. So to make comparisons is not reasonable you need to compare it to someplace with the same conditions.

    Comment by Joseph — May 15, 2014 @ 5:55 pm

  24. One other thing is no matter how rich you are and where you live George Russell who murdered my best friend Mary and 2 others and on the way to the next one grew up on Mercer Island. Ted Bundy and the green river killer also came from the Seattle Tacoma area…maybe it is due to parking or the weather.

    Comment by Joseph — May 15, 2014 @ 8:19 pm

  25. Dave, I fail to understand your objections, but then I’m probably not as smart as you think you are. What unbundling does is to add some market data to the discussion of the utility people derive from a parking spot. If density and so forth differ, so will the values. It’s kinda like the number of channels you might demand if the cable company allowed you to pick individually. It’s an interesting analysis.

    Comment by BC — May 15, 2014 @ 10:07 pm

  26. I know I have said a lot today but one other thing crossed my mind and it about moving the ferry to Sea Plane Lagoon will they still have free parking for all the people who ride the ferry? That is one of the biggest incentives to riding the ferry is the free parking. If you started charging for parking the ridership would probably go down by at least 50% bundled or unbundled. If you consider that you will have like 200 people leaving the ferry every night looking for something to carry out and take home for dinner or a place to get some grocery’s. The retail needs to be centered around this. You will have your target customers of ferry riders, and people who live on the West end. But if you charge people to park to ride the ferry you loose 50% of your target customers. To be honest people are most likely to have 2 cars per household. If you are single or live in SF you may only have one. Bundled or unbundled you can expect 2 cars per household. John rides bikes but probably 95% of people in Alameda don’t ride bikes. We have 2 which we haven’t rode in 2 ;years because of flat tires…I tried to buy patches at Walmart, Target, CVS…no one sells them…my next stop for the last year is Alameda Bikecycle. but we never get over to Park St.

    Comment by Joseph — May 16, 2014 @ 3:12 am

  27. 25

    The objection is two fold: the neat little app produces nice graphics but suspect data and it is being used to promote a plan that justifiably worries the larger community. A week or two back it was a huffy “you’re all a bunch of NIMBY’s” but now it’s a neat little app that is the tactic. Neither the data nor the motivation behind it is particularly trustworthy.

    This neat little app is “income blind” yet seems to know what affordable housing costs is a given area. Notice the rents it comes up with are very nearly the same in Mercer, which has approx. double the household income as the downtown areas. That is a most suspect conclusion, yet our blogmistress touts it as gospel.

    People have real concerns about traffic & parking. To be worried that your commute through the tube will eventually be 20 minutes (as a study floated by the pro-development camp has alleged) is not NIMBYism or any other nasty ism, it’s a very legitimate concern about quality of life. Yet when this very legitimate worry is communicated, it is first waved off with a smugly superior attitude; then when tactic that falls on its face, it’s backed up by suspicious data meant to look official.

    The concept of bundled/unbundled is simple: when you pay less, you get less. Nobody disputes that. The concept is being used, quite clumsily, to further a plan that has significant negative externalities on the broader community. I object to both the quality of the data and the condescension with which it is delivered.

    Comment by dave — May 16, 2014 @ 5:51 am

  28. These are the preset (fixed) values that are generated regardless of which parcel is selected in whatever neighborhood is selected: These numbers do not change. The only things that changes via the tool is (1) parking space cost — varies from $153 – 209 — depending on the land values and (2) local data of parking usage. The costs of housing are general averages but I don’t imagine that they are actual amounts. I mean no one really thinks that downtown Seattle is cheaper or the same price to live in then a neighborhood farther from the city center.

    Fixed costs, you can change these to reflect higher values, but I kept them the same in every scenario:

    The point of this whole post is to show the unbundled parking is a cost savings for people who opt to purchase a spot and for those that do not and therefore is more affordable than the traditional bundling of parking that we typically see. Some people had difficulty understanding the concept. Others want to turn everything into a discussion about traffic.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 16, 2014 @ 7:39 am

  29. Joseph: my husband’s bike had a slow leak in it too, he walked it to Changing Gears at Alameda Point and they fixed it right up.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 16, 2014 @ 8:25 am

  30. What a bunch of BULL !

    to begin with Mercer Island has the wealthiest income in the entire Seattle area
    Alameda is one notch up the low lying land of Oakland
    for the very same year Mercer had average income of $146 000
    While Alameda for the very same year was $ 29 634
    It’s like pickling ostridge or ostrich eggs and pretending it’s caviar ……

    Selling a residence without parking is an utopia , because everyone has a vehicle or 2 and some like my neighbor an entire collection parked in the street , Only Senior Citizen leaving in retirement home do not need it aside of toddler everyone else does , for themselves or peoples visiting them . are they going to make owner sign a contract no one can come in with a vehicle , I doubt it ……
    We do have a nice community at large , not always perfect but certainly better than the Killing fields one bridge away which Russo is so desperate to impose on Alameda after his grandiose failure in Oakland , or should we say success all depend where you fit in Society.
    Now they want to do is to give people who have burned their community another one to destroy ….

    In regard of parking , I have to laugh , Berkeley which is by their own account the most progressive City in the Bay area as far as public transportation alternative commute and the like , Berkeley is in the process of Building one of the largest parking structure ever erected in these last 20 years , Where right in the middle of the University , just in case you wonder where do they send the debris , excavation material , Oakland airport to be use as material to fill the bay so they can expand , it is not one or two truck a day it is hundreds of trucks which barrel down Broadway , as I followed one at 38 MPH “good luck crossing the street , I called the APD , they set up the trailer which display the speed , one went thru it at over 40 mph , few minutes later another one at over 50 mph as they are paid by the trip …..
    On the Funny side a couples block away a city crew was excavating the street to repair a broken sewer line , they are working every month on the street to repair the infrastructure.
    Can anyone tell me what would happen should a fully loaded 18 wheeler loose control , a house wont stop it nor the next , it is interesting how you all want progress at the expenses of everyone else .
    I love top see the reaction of Mercer Island should they be forced to accept what you are peddling .

    Comment by Joel Rambaud — May 16, 2014 @ 9:10 am

  31. Alameda’s average income is $29,634? That’s news……you obviously don’t live here.

    Comment by Karen Bey — May 16, 2014 @ 9:36 am

  32. I think Lauren’s article contributes to the debate about how cities handle parking — and it’s a debate we ought to have.

    But what I’m hearing from some folks is a lot of hot air from people who probably don’t even live here — Comments about Russo’s “grandiose failure in Oakland”, and “Alameda being one notch up the low lying land of Oakland” are clues about the general direction from where these comments are coming from.

    As Alameda gets closer to becoming a regional player, we can expect more from these folks.

    By the way – my phone was hacked a couple of weeks ago. Interestingly, they copied a post from this blog and posted it on my phone as a text message.

    I’ll share more later – but I can tell you I’m mad as hell about it!

    Comment by Karen Bey — May 16, 2014 @ 10:33 am

  33. Boo about the phone hack, sorry about that Karen. 😦

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 16, 2014 @ 11:47 am

  34. Thanks Lauren. Like I said earlier – more later.

    Comment by Karen Bey — May 16, 2014 @ 12:25 pm

  35. Karen, I’m pretty sure Joel does live here. Just highlights the great variability of opinions in Alameda. And I agree with Joel: the average income of Alamedans is probably way closer to 30K per year. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be so many people lined up for bread at Mastick or such demand at the Food Bank. I have never seen you, Karen Bey, at a church supper or other community event that is attended by mainstream Alamedans. Plus people embarrassed about being poor tend to exaggerate their income. Bayport is a wealthy bubble not typical of the rest of Alameda.

    Comment by vigi — May 16, 2014 @ 12:44 pm

  36. Nope, you don’t get to have an opinion about a data point that is verifiable with actual, you know, data:

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 16, 2014 @ 12:53 pm

  37. Mercer Island probably doesn’t have anyone in the first 5 income bracket listed above…It is a hilly island with not much for retail…and I am surprised that the population is 22,000. We could also use Coronado Island with limited access which actually would be more representative of Alameda…but neither is Alameda. What you may or may not want to accept most families will have 2 cars unless you are single, or a retired couple. Vigi Bayport is not a wealth bubble in Alameda, you have the gold coast and Bay Farm, Grand Marina, along Otis many of which have houses comparable to Bayport if not more expensive. About 6 or 7 years ago we stopped at a house on Otis to pick up a flyer as Adolfo mom thought she might want to move to Alameda…it was 3 bedrooms 2 baths and $800,000. The great thing about Bayport is the location. You don’t have to drive all across the Island to get to it…you can walk to the Ferry or to Webster and catch the bus and if you drive it is the first exit coming into Alameda…and you can walk to the new Safeway if you don’t have a lot to buy. I actually walked to Target yesterday…I didn’t realize they had groceries until someone told me…my mistake is I took a shopping bag and bought some heavy stuff…next time I will take my backpack…I only bought one bag of groceries but I kept having to switch arms on the way home. What was funny is they have this huge store and they only had 2 cash registers open but there was no line…I only had to wait for one person.

    Comment by Joseph — May 16, 2014 @ 6:55 pm

  38. As the saying goes: there are Lies, Damned Lies, and then there are Statistics. “Actual, you know, data”

    Comment by vigi — May 19, 2014 @ 12:50 pm

  39. *shrug* if you elect not to trust the newest Census data but rather someone “opinion” on what the number should be, that’s your own deal.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 19, 2014 @ 2:17 pm

  40. 6ff: Dave, Vigi, and all: the sky is NOT falling.

    Transportation use is changing, folks. Big time. Basing our development planning and zoning decisions–or our paranoia about being inundated by “traffic”–on 1980s or 1960s experiences or data is absurd in an era when people are giving up on buying cars, using public transit in record numbers (BART, AC Transit, etc.), and bicycling more than ever.

    In addition to the parking costs argument Lauren recommends, consider than most new multifamily residences island-wide as well as ALL residents of Alameda Point will have fees built in that will purchase transit passes as a fixed cost of the housing. This increases the incentive to use these passes, which will further take pressure off of the Posey and Webster Tubes, parking spaces, and on-island streets.

    Remember: it is our ability to move people, not vehicles, that counts. More people taking buses, riding bikes, and walking already means that the capacity of our streets, roadways, and sidewalks will be more than sufficient to handle the higher number of people moving around Alameda–we just need to move more intelligently than we do now to keep our streets unclogged–and generate fewer greenhouse gases while we’re at it.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — May 20, 2014 @ 9:10 am

  41. If a bike bridge were built near the tubes, I would ride my bike to BART regularly to get to work, which could be a 5-10 minute ride from the West End. The current path through Posey Tube is hellish and I won’t do it. But a bike bridge would remove dozens of cars from the tubes daily. I wish Alameda Point & Del Monte developers would be forced to help pay for a bike bridge as an inherent cost of doing the projects.

    Comment by Aaron Thies — May 20, 2014 @ 10:51 am


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