Growing Demand for Bike Storage by Tenants
Are you aware of the growing demand for bike storage by tenants? City dwellers and city planners alike from Boston to New York City to Los Angeles and beyond are looking for alternatives to the hour-long car commute. The answer has been sitting in front of us even longer than the automobile has been in existence. The humble bicycle’s stock is rising as increases in protected bike lanes and other cyclist-friendly infrastructure spread across the United States. Bike commuting is definitely on the rise in America’s cities. The League of American Bicyclists have recorded a 400% increase in cycling since 1990 in cities such as Washington DC and Portland. ALPEN Storage, Inc., designer of the premium ALPEN Bike Capsule, is paying close attention to the swell in enthusiasm for bicycle storage in urban centers.
Amenities Renters Want in 2020
Again and again, property management companies report that bike storage is one of the most requested amenities by tenants. The largest demographic bloc of renters at present are millennials, and millennials primarily look for amenities that add convenience or help preserve the health of their minds and bodies: secure package delivery, hot tubs, saunas, full-service fitness centers, and amenities for their pets such as bathing quarters and dog parks. The time of outdoor bike racks has passed. Bicycles these days can cost thousands of dollars: tenants are disinclined to risk their purchases outdoors overnight with a bike being stolen every thirty seconds in the United States. They want something better.
Residential Buildings Get Bike-Friendly
As tenants and prospective tenants ask more and more frequently about a residential building’s provision for cyclists, property managers increasingly offer bike lockers or other bicycle parking solutions. Floor space that may once have been reserved for parking garages and additional cars is now being given over to cyclists. Older buildings may already have unused ‘back-of-house’ space that can easily be pressed into use with a couple of days work cleaning, adding wall mounts, and the like. In cities like New York, times are changing: instead of simply providing the bare minimum of storage space for bikes required by a 2009 zoning amendment, many properties are going above and beyond.
Guide to Bike Rooms
There are many approaches that properties can take towards bike rooms. What tends to be most appreciated by tenants, though, are the following:
Security: The expense of a bike, and the frequency with which they are stolen, mean that the first priority of many cyclists is to keep their vehicle safe when it isn’t in use. Make sure your bike room is outfitted with security cameras, or at least U-lock bicycle racks.
Accessibility: Almost as important, however, is the ease with which a bike room can be accessed. If a bike has to be carried up three flights of stairs to a dark, dirty, out of sight storage room that was grudgingly converted into a bike room, don’t be surprised if tenants don’t use it.
Restricted access: Who can use the bike room? Is it unlocked? Do only people storing bikes in it have access? How do you enforce that: a key system? An electronic keypad lock? Bluetooth? If anyone can just walk into the bike room off the street, you’re not really keeping it secure.
Spaciousness: Check your local zoning laws. What are you obliged to provide? Think about your tenant demographics. How many people are living to a unit? Is it possible that family units will have multiple bicycles to store? You may want to err on the side of providing more storage than needed by law, to cover your bases.
Resourcefulness: If you are worried about efficiency of the space, there are options such as the ALPEN Bike Capsule, which can often store two modest-sized bikes per unit. If you have the wall space, you might try wall-mounted vertical bike racks.
Extras: You can easily add features to your bike room without adding too much in the way of square footage. Bike repair stations take up very little space. Bike lockers are an alternative to racks for those who don’t mind paying extra for the privilege. You could even offer bike valet or bike rental services, if your building is a high-rent or tourist-friendly one.
Sophisticated and Secure Bike Storage from ALPEN
The ALPEN Bike Capsule is the future of bike storage, offering sleek, fully-enclosed protection for your tenants’ bicycles. No need for a bike room when you have ALPEN Bike Capsules: six Capsules can fit into a standard size parking spot and they can also be placed in otherwise unusable square footage, like behind pillars, under ramps or in small corners. The Bike Capsule is roomy, easily storing most bikes types, and comes with interior pegboards for organizing all your cycling gear. There is even an optional grommet allowing easy access for a charger cord so that e-bikes can be recharged overnight.
ALPEN Bike Capsules typically rent for $50-$100 per month, depending on the market, which is a nice incremental income stream that adds real property value.
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