Contact Us

Tad Leithead: Parking Ratios 'Going The Wrong Way'

Parking. It's going backwards. Or so believes one of the region's foremost brains on growth and development.


Tad Leithead (on left, with his son Michael), chairman of the Cumberland Community Improvement District as well as a noted developer consultant, says that parking ratios “are going in the wrong direction.

But that's because companies are cramming more employees into smaller office spaces than ever before. Thirty years ago, developers typically needed to accommodate three or four spaces per 1k SF. Today, that ratio is up to seven spaces, even at a time when companies are encouraging transit and alternative commutes.

Tad is one of our panelists at next week's Atlanta 2016 Roundup & Outlook event. And his views on CRE trends should carry a lot of weight, given his experience in regional planning and development.

Tad's career spans nearly 30 years, begun in leasing with Trammell Crow, including office leasing at The Galleria complex, a founding partner of Childress Klein Properties and a director of development for Cousins Properties for almost a decade before heading toward public service as chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission. Today, he spreads his time split between ushering issues as chair of the Cumberland CID and consulting with developers with his own firm, TLA.


Despite efforts to change the situation, Atlanta commuters are still very much married to the car. And developers are still having to spend a huge portion of development dollars on accommodating their vehicles.

It's a trend that, while going, as he says, the wrong way, won't change anytime soon, even with Uber and other ride-share apps, or with the prospect of autonomous vehicles.

Nobody's taking Uber to and from work, to my knowledge,” Tad quips.


But while certain aspects of development have changed since he first started—when developers were concerned about curb cuts and surface lots instead of transit access, bike paths and sidewalks—others remain the same. “The issue that has not changed at all is convenient access to a development,” he says.

Hear more from Tad, along with other Atlanta business elites—RADCO's Norman Radow (here), Atlanta Braves president Derek Schiller, Daniel Corp president Pat Henry, Atlanta City Council president Ceasar Mitchell, Cumberland CID executive director Malaika Rivers and MARTA CEO Keith Parker—at our Atlanta 2016 Roundup & Outlook at 7:30am, Tuesday, Dec. 6, at the InterContinental Buckhead. Register here.