Oakland Company's Automated Parking Structure Designed to Save Space

In a space that spans about the size of seven parking spaces, an Oakland company has found a way to fit 39 vehicles. The trick? Go vertical and get automated.

CityLift Parking recently opened the Hive Automated Parking Structure, a vertical parking garage in Oakland that lifts cars and places them into open slots.

According to CityLift Parking, the garage — located at 2335 Broadway — is "the first and only fully automated parking structure in Northern California."

Here's how it works: a driver parks their car on a special platform in the structure's so-called parking room. After the driver leaves the parking room and indicates that no one is still inside the room, the platform with the car on top turns 90 degrees and moves onto a nearby lift. The lift then raises the platform and stores the vehicle in an open space.

When the driver returns, the system retrieves the car and it returns it to the parking room where the driving can hop back in and drive away.

Having only been open for a few weeks, CityLift has already gained popularity. Chief Executive Officer Scott Gable said the structure is spoken for during the daytime and in April, the structure will go public.

Two different groups of people will be able to park their cars in the vertical structure, those who work in the daytime can purchase monthly parking permits for $250. Gable claims they will be assigned one parking spot that will be theirs for the entire month.

In the evening, an attendant will be at the site who will be able to park their car into an available space for a flat rate.

"Because it's new, we would have the valet bring in the car, guide them into the space," Gable said. "The person can pick their car later."

CityLift ensures parked cars will be safe inside the structure, with no risk of dings or scratches, even safe from theft. And one more very important benefit, "you don't have to drive around and find a parking spot," Gable said.

The idea to bring these types of structures to the U.S. came after CityLift formed a manufacturing relationship with someone who built these in Asia.

"We worked with a developer here in Oakland who had a very tight space that needed to accommodate parking," Gable said. "This was the best solution."

A structure similar to the Hive Automated Parking Structure is currently being built in New York and Gable said they have received a lot of inquiries about building these in other urban areas.

"This is really where the future is going to go," Gable said. "Utilize space a lot more efficiently in an environmentally friendly way."

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