Published: April 9, 2021
When you envision your commercial property, do you think of your outdoor curbside space? While, perhaps, not the first image that comes to mind, there’s no denying it plays a role in the success of your business.
Typically reserved for your patrons’ personal vehicles, curbside parking spaces often ensure easy access to your business or restaurant. However, the curb is being reimagined as an extension of these commercial properties, helping to increase business and drive revenue.
These restructured curbside areas, known as parklets, have been a staple on the west coast for years, but became especially popular nationwide when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and safety mandates, like social distancing, went into effect.
In this post, we’ll define what parklets are, explain why they could be beneficial for your business, and share how you can set them up at your commercial location.
What is a parklet?
A parklet is a series of curbside parking spaces that have been converted into a public seating area. Most often used for outdoor dining at restaurants, parklets are a minimum of six-feet wide – the width of a parking space – but typically consist of multiple parallel parking spaces or three to four angled parking spaces.
Also known as street seats or curbside seating, parklets were first introduced in 2005, when urban designers in San Francisco reimagined unused space in order to benefit communities and businesses. Over the resulting years, parklets have become a staple on the west coast, serving as outdoor extensions of commercial properties to drive revenue.
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Why are parklets important?
Parklets are important because they extend the usable square footage for businesses and restaurants in commercial districts. Typically prevalent on narrow sidewalks where outdoor cafes may not be possible, parklets provide local property owners the opportunity to increase their seating capacity and better serve the public.
Parklets became especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic when social distancing restrictions went into effect. With the need to keep six feet of space between visitors at all times, the number of profitable tables at restaurants was greatly reduced. During the warmer months, cities and towns across the country adopted the west coast’s practice to increase physical space and bring in as much business as possible.
How can you build a parklet for your business?
To install a parklet at your business or restaurant, you need to acquire a permit from your town government. While specific processes vary for each city, most require you to complete an application and submit it for approval, along with a permit fee, before constructing your parklet.
In the past, the process of acquiring a parklet permit could take months; however, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many cities expedited the permit process and issued temporary permits in order to help support local businesses. As a result, you should consult your town hall to find out the specific steps you need to take to implement a parklet for your business.
It’s never too late to reimagine the curbside space at your commercial property to increase business and drive revenue. Discover more of Propark’s creative solutions and adaptable services to see how we can help you make the most of your commercial parking management.
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