18A — August 12 - 25, 2016 — DelMarVa — M id A tlantic

Real Estate Journal


D el M ar V a

By Wes Guckert, The Traffic Group The impact of driverless cars on real estate

Rider’s KITT Car or scenes from the sci- ence fiction film “Minor- ity Report” may come to mind. While it’s hard to wr a p y o u r W

hen you talk about “driverless” cars, images of Knight

Meanwhile, several companies have already unveiled driver- less vehicles. We have previously discussed how driverless cars will reduce our need for parking, and cre- ate a need for more bike lanes and data centers. But the im- pact of driverless cars doesn’t stop there. Transit Oriented Developments (TODs) Another aspect of the real estate industry that will feel the effects are TODs. There are some in the real estate space who believe that values of real estate increase with the proxim-

ity to transit centers and metro stations. A recent CBRE study determined that office towers adjacent to subway stations in Manhattan receive up to a 19% rent premium over buildings only two blocks away. Some real estate experts believe that these types of premiums could ultimately diminish. The desirability of living close to mass transit may in- crease as more abandon their cars and depend on the avail- ability of driverless cars (and still have the convenience and dependability of mass transit systems). We see this happen-

ing today with millennials in cities and urbanized areas. In Washington, DC, for example, apartment developers are pro- viding parking for new facili- ties at only a parking rate of .33 spaces per unit. In Baltimore, the demand for parking has already lessened to about one space per unit. When asked why, major developers have indicated that shared mobil- ity companies, such as Uber, Lyft, and zTrip have created a market that results in millen- nials not requiring a first or a second car. Suburban and Rural

Residential Property One of the items that has not been talked about much is the issue of making long distance commutes from the suburbs more feasible. Faster and more efficient drive times will allow riders to do other things – such as work or sleep – while a driverless car is taking them to their destination. It is possible that tomorrow’s 100-mile commute – with cars traveling a mere inches apart – could take as long as today’s 25-mile trip with far less stress and greater productivity. In the past, as transportation became cheaper and more convenient, people moved further away from their places of work. If that phenomenon holds true following the introduction of driverless cars, urban centers could suffer population reduc- tions as the exurban areas/ suburban areas rebound. There is no question that vast economic and cultural change will arrive with the driverless car and real estate will be clearly impacted in many ways. Smart investors, developers, transportation engineers should begin analyz- ing their portfolios and setting goals for the future, immedi- ately. Wes Guckert, PTP, is pres- ident & CEO of The Traffic Group, a leading 30-year- old traffic engineering and transportation planning firm. To contact the author, please email: wguckert@ trafficgroup.com. n Duerk Brewer joins Greysteel as managing director WASHINGTON, DC — Greysteel announced that Duerk Brewer has joined

Wes Guckert

head around the idea of self- driving cars, significant public discussion and substantial private investment is accel- erating automated vehicles.

Faster and more efficient drive times will allow riders to do other things - such as work or sleep - while a driverless car is taking them to their destination.

the firm as a managing di- rector to lead and oversee the firm’s op- erations and Transaction Services Cen- ter. Brewer is charged with

T Traffic Engineering Transportation Planning Traffic Engineering Design Traffic Data Collection

Duerk Brewer

contributing to the develop- ment of Greysteel’s strategic goals and objectives. Brewer comes to Greysteel with 17 years of industry experi- ence. Most recently he was a vice president at Berkadia, tasked with integrating the company’s Investment Sales and Mortgage Banking platform. n




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