Re: Underground Parking - Parking Machine
From: Fred H Olson (
Date: Sat, 28 Dec 2002 14:03:02 -0700 (MST)
This discussion brought to mind a third approach to parking that I learned
of about 10 years ago from an architect when we were proposing cohousing
in the Seward neighborhood here.  I use the term "approach"  because I am
unaware of any extant examples of it's use. However, there may be one
soon. (In 2003, in downtown Minneapolis - when it's built, I'll report
again...)  It could be an attractive alternative for cohousing

Automated Mechanical Parking  

The mechanical engineer, Bill Sternad, who has been developing this idea
for at least 10 years lives here in the Twin Cities and I've talked to him
a number of times over the years.  The basic idea is to put cars on a
"pallet" which is stowed by a computer controlled mechanical system in a
vertical structure which can store 4 cars on each level. A typical
installation would have 13-16 levels for for 50 to 62 cars (2 spaces on
first level are used for entering the system). Space to drive a car into a
parking spot or get out of the car is not needed allowing for much denser
storage. Since storage is stacked, only 1000 square feet of surface space
(50' x 20') is required for the whole system. A 62 car system is 140 feet
high thos some of that could be underground.

The cost is also predicted to be lower than underground parking.  Tho it
depends on the number of levels; cost in the range of $10,000 to $13,000
per car are expected.  The mechanism costs $400,000 so the more levels the
lower the cost per car.  But the scale of the system is in the right range
for cohousing.  If you're in a dense location you could rent unneeded

Bill says current prices for underground parking average $15,000 tho the
$20,000 cited by Diane are in the right range depending on the total size,
site specifics etc. 

I'd be happy to ask Bill questions and post response to them here (tho
there is an email listed on the web page, he does not use it directly at
this time.) 

The illustration at the web site does no show the elevator mechanism
in the open shaft on the end.  All mechanical systems are adapted from
existing technology and is expected to be quite reliable.  

See Automated Mechanical Parking  


Fred H. Olson  Minneapolis,MN 55411   (near north Mpls)
fholson [at] 612-588-9532 (7am-10pm Cent time) 
List manager of Cohousing-L & Nbhd-tc  Ham radio:WB0YQM          
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