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Paramount CEO: Get Ready For 'Transportation Transformation'

Get ready for a massive transformation in the way Miami residents live and drive, one of the city's top condominium developers is predicting.


“We are literally on the cusp of a transportation transformation,” said Paramount Ventures CEO Dan Kodsi (second from left), who is developing luxe condo projects Paramount Fort Lauderdale Beach and Paramount Miami WorldCenter.

Kodsi told our audience at Bisnow's Miami Residential & Multifamily Forum last week that the revolution is being fueled by two main things: Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing programs and the advent of autonomous vehicles.

“I don't think people realize that cars driving themselves are going to change the world,” he said, adding that he sees driverless cars affecting transportation in the next 10 to 15 years. “You're going to tell your kids one day, 'You know, your parents used to actually drive their cars.'”

Driverless vehicles have been a topic du jour this year, especially as Tesla and other automakers—as well as Google and Uber—continue to test autonomous models. It's a topic Bisnow examined in depth earlier this year, which detailed potential impacts the mass adoption of self-driving vehicles could have on commercial real estate, including the reduction of parking needs at properties.


But even before cabs pick up passengers without a cabbie, at least one developer on our condo panel was noting a decline in parking space demand.

The Related Group SVP Arden Karson said at her company's Brickell Heights tower, each buyer of a two-bedroom unit received one parking space in its 951-unit garage. With an ability to add another 40 spaces, Karson said Related began to attempt to sell them to residents at $25k/space. In the end, the demand just wasn't there.

“I can't even give away excess parking," Karson said. "People don't want to pay for it. They do not need it. It's not a factor in their decision-making."

While some panelists said Millennials may be shunning car ownership and a need for parking, Stantec Architecture & Design's Jon Cardello said banks could need some convincing that reducing condo projects' parking ratios wouldn't hurt their demand.

“The problem is with the banks and financing, it's not achievable,” Cardello said. "So we're kidding ourselves a little bit."

But Millennials and other condo residents do want to live around transit-oriented hubs. “We need to start looking at smaller units that acknowledge that they have a different lifestyle than us,” he added.


But Dezer Development CEO Gil Dezer said going without cars isn't for every condo buyer, especially those buying units at Porsche Design Tower, which is designed around car ownership. Dezer just paid off its construction loan on the property.

“We built a building around a car," Dezer said. "It's a completely different market. We have the guy who wants to come here to Miami to party. He's not worried about Uber."