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This Company Is Bringing Fully Automated Parking Coast To Coast

The Hive parking structure in Oakland

The Hive and Star Tower are not, as their names might suggest, the secret bases of crime fighters Green Hornet and Green Arrow. These structures are packed with impressive technology, and they are saving developers money and square footage while cleaning up the streets.

The Hive, in Oakland, California, and Star Tower, in Long Island City, New York, are two of CityLift Parking's fully automated parking systems coming online in the next two months. Bisnow previewed the tech’s inner workings, specifications and how it will help developers and users.

Star Tower

Star Tower in Long Island City, N.Y.

This 32-space, five-level system in the Star Tower condo project will deliver late this year. The developer found that installing a traditional garage at its multifamily property would mean sacrificing its entire basement. The fully automated system reduced the parking area to allow the developer to recapture 75% of the space and use it for storage units and a basketball court, among other amenities.

CityLift’s Aisle solution lets drivers pull into a bay and exit their vehicles (while keeping their keys) to receive retrieval tickets. The bay door closes after the motion detector senses the driver has left, and the platform with the car is lifted so the car can be stored. 


When the drivers return to retrieve their vehicles, they insert their tickets or hand them to an attendant, wait one to two minutes for their car, get in as the bay doors open and drive away. This driver-friendly customizable solution can be built up to seven levels high, with clear heights configurable to the community’s needs.

The Hive

Rendering of the Hive

Construction of the seven-level, 39-parking space Hive structure began early this year. It will be the first and only fully automated parking structure in the San Francisco Bay Area. Signature Development engaged CityLift to create a space-conservative system for its mixed-use Hive development. The Hive parking system occupies just 1,600 SF.

Operationally, and in terms of driver experience, the Hive and Star Tower are very similar, though the Hive uses a Tower design, which can be built up to 20 levels. The Tower design is almost three times more popular globally than the Aisle format. According to CityLift CEO Scott Gable, since the Tower is ideal for narrow spaces, over 15,000 spaces have been installed in Tower systems globally.

Rendering of the Hive's automated inner mechanisms

The Tower’s inner mechanisms are built with steel beams and columns, which also serve as the building structure. The exterior is fully customizable, and the system can be operated with or without a parking attendant.

As public officials and developers search for low-cost, space-efficient, convenient and attractive alternatives to traditional concrete parking garages and surface-level lots, automated parking presents a solution. Countries like Germany, Japan and China, which faced land constraints earlier or more severely than the U.S., have already invested heavily in these systems.

According to Gable, as density increases, automated parking is looking to be the best and only option to service America’s immediate need for parking.

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Related Topics: Scott Gable, CityLift Parking