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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

If the future of personal transportation is scooters and self-driving cars that are most always on the go, that will leave a lot of empty parking spaces open for new uses, like redevelopment, food delivery hubs or vehicle recharging centers.

Why it matters: The disruption in urban transportation is creating opportunities for innovative entrepreneurs who see value in repurposing the lowly parking space for the digital era.

A number of companies are already reimagining how parking space could be used...

1. ParkJockey: The Florida-based company’s ambition is to sell space access to businesses such as ride-hail, car rental and food delivery.

  • To do that, it wants to sell an “operating system” (hardware and software) to garage owners that will turn their real estate into a service that customers can pay to access.
  • Late last year, ParkJockey acquired 2 large parking operators as part of a financing round led by SoftBank.

2. City Storage Systems: Best known as former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s new undertaking, the company is also in the business of repurposing parking lots.

  • It's been buying up properties, including parking garages, that it will turn into commercial kitchens for delivery-only restaurants and other consumer services.

3. SpotHero: The company is focused on a parking spot booking app (for human drivers), but it’s already thinking about the arrival of robot drivers.

  • It’s been working with partner lots to upgrade some of their technology to handle autonomous vehicles, which CEO Mark Lawrence tells Axios can also have immediate benefits for human drivers.
  • “Every location that we make [AV]-ready today is a better experience for our consumers now,” Lawrence says. “We’ve done studies that show that people are willing to pay more for an automated experience versus one that’s not.”

Meanwhile, some real estate developers also are planning for a future without as much parking space.

  • AvalonBay Communities, which is working on an upcoming residential complex in Los Angeles, has designed a large parking garage that they anticipate converting to recreational purposes like a gym and theater, and even some retail and restaurant space.
  • The owner of the Grove and other upscale shopping centers is working with Google to eventually convert to more restaurants and stores, according to the LA Times.

Yes, but: Developers already have tough decisions to make in regards to their investments, which typically have a 30-year horizon, as they juggle near- and long-term uses.

  • Construction costs for above-ground parking structures can cost $21,000 per space, and another $500 per year to maintain each space. Meanwhile, parking costs an average of $2 per hour in the U.S., but can reach $33 for 2 hours of parking in New York.
  • And converting garages is expensive: In Pittsburgh, it cost $17 million to convert a 3-floor garage into more than 60 apartment units.

The bottom line: These companies may have to make big investments years before it's clear if they made the right bet.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
53 mins ago - Economy & Business

The European Central Bank and the market's moment of truth

ECB president Christine Lagarde; Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The biggest event for markets this week will be Thursday's meeting of the European Central Bank's governing council and the press conference following it from ECB president Christine Lagarde.

Why it matters: With interest rates jumping around the globe, investors are looking to central bank heads to see if they will follow the lead of Fed chair Jerome Powell, who says rising rates are nothing to worry about, or Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda, who has drawn a line in the sand on rates.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's next power play

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), America's ultimate swing voter, told me on "Axios on HBO" that he'll insist Republicans have more of a voice on President Biden's next big package than they did on the COVID stimulus.

The big picture: Manchin said he'll push for tax hikes to pay for Biden's upcoming infrastructure and climate proposal, and will use his Energy Committee chairmanship to force the GOP to confront climate reality.

Why picking a jury for the Derek Chauvin trial is so hard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The tough task of selecting a jury for former MPD officer Derek Chauvin's trial for the killing of George Floyd is set to begin Monday.

The state of play: "This case may be the most highly publicized criminal trial in a long time. ... That means that it's harder to find people who really have an open mind," Richard Frase, University of Minnesota Law School professor of criminal law, told Axios.