Can Parkd’s modular, low-cost car parks save us from parking hell?
It’s been estimated Australian drivers will spend more than 3000 hours looking for a park in a lifetime.
And it’s likely to get worse.
There were 18.8 million registered cars in Australia at the start of 2017 — a number that’s growing more than 2 per cent a year according to the bureau of statistics.
The Grattan Institute this month recommended congestion charges to ward off “future gridlock” in Sydney and Melbourne.
It’s enough to make the average driver wince.
But it’s all good news for Parkd — a modular, mobile car park builder due to list on the ASX next month.
Parkd’s pre-made modular concrete blocks can turn unused commercial real estate into multi-storey car parking in a quarter of the usual building time.
The Perth-based car park builder, which recently raised $6 million selling 30 million shares at 20c each in an initial public offering, is due to begin trading on the ASX from December 11.
Most of the money — $3.9 million — will be used to further develop the system over the next two years. Another $1.2 million will cover corporate costs including salaries and directors fees over that time.
Parkd’s (ASX:PKD) patented modular systems consist of lightweight concrete blocks made offsite, transported by trucks, craned into position and bolted together for up to six levels.
The blocks allow multi-storey car parks to be built up to 75 per cent faster and 35 per cent cheaper than traditional car parks construction, according to the company.
Founder Peter McUtchen says the blocks can be deconstructed, relocated and reused in new locations with flexibility to add or remove levels in response to demand.
“With only three primary elements, the Parkd System is easy to install by contracted builder and designed to be assembled in a variety of configurations, and that means our system is easily scalable across Australia,” he said.
And the technology doesn’t only apply to car parks.
“It is a structural solution, not car-specific, and could work for any structure that needs a large open space like storage, industrial or commercial space or even a leisure centre,” the former construction engineer told Stockhead.
“The speed at which they can be constructed means there is potential for disaster relief centres where people need full concrete solutions with a level of robustness.”
Parkd has no revenue — and made a $741,000 loss in the eight months to June according to its prospectus
But it has signed its first commercial deal with a car dealership in Perth, where it will be constructing a single-level car park with 49 bays.
Car dealerships will be the initial focus, where parking space is at a premium and will be followed by partnerships with builders, large construction projects and CBD landholders.
Former chief executive of the $1.2 billion Automotive Holdings Group, Bronte Howson has thrown his support behind the company, coming on board as chairman.