The Saigon Times Weekly
Parking woes continue
While around half a million new cars are sold yearly, the parking problem in urban areas remains unsolved. Without a new solution, it will continue to be a pain point for authorities for years.
Statistics showed that HCMC has only 20% of the planned parking space, falling short by over 900 hectares compared to the goal of nearly 1,200 hectares. Despite the authority’s efforts to develop four underground parking projects at Trong Dong Theater, Le Van Tam Park, Tao Dan Park, and Hoa Lu Stadium, none has been implemented.
Those four underground parking projects have been delayed due to various difficulties related to investment costs, underground land rent, and fire safety regulations. Investors find it challenging to recover capital as parking fees are much lower than the input costs.
To address the issue, the local authority has proposed building multi-story parking facilities and sought specific guidelines for establishing procedures, investment policies and design appraisal from the Ministry of Construction.
The authority of Can Tho City approved a detailed plan for a network of 168 public parking lots covering nearly 29 hectares in 2017. After five years, only one project with a capacity of 1,000 parking spaces was developed, while the others failed to attract investors due to the lack of revenue potential.
Previously, the winner of the auction for a 309-square-meter parking lot in the heart of Dalat requested to cancel it, although he offered VND6.85 billion for the bid, or 11 times the starting price. The reason was mainly insufficient revenue to cover leasing and other costs.
Some 11 similar parking auctions in the city have seen successful bids at up to seven times the starting price, but some lot owners have set exorbitant prices, leading to public backlash and regulatory scrutiny. As a result, they had to withdraw from the projects.
Vietnam’s car sales reached a new record of over 500,000 units in 2022. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of cars sold in 2021 exceeded 400,000 units, a slight increase compared to the previous year. These figures indicate a growing demand for cars due to improved driving technology and affordability.
However, this trend is putting high pressure on transportation infrastructure, especially parking facilities. If there is no fundamental change in addressing this issue, administrative procedures that have been in place for decades will continue to delay the implementation of parking lot projects in urban areas throughout the country.