Robo-parking makes Colorado debut

The redevelopment of the old Boulder Daily Camera headquarters at 11th and Pearl streets is set to break ground this March. Denver-based Nichols Partnership plans to utilize 4,100 square feet of the space for three levels of conventional parking and Colorado’s first Automated Guided Vehicle parking system underground.

“With escalating land prices and real estate at a premium in Boulder, we’re excited to be able to offer additional parking downtown for residents and visitors at our PearlWest site,” said Dan Schuetz, partner at The Nichols Parnership and project manager for the undertaking.

“While construction costs to build an automated parking structure are 50 percent more per space than conventional parking, we can fit more cars in the space utilizing this advanced technology system. In tight urban locations when you only have so much real estate on constrained sites, it is the solution of the future.”

The project is due for completion March 2015.

Overview: The AGV parking system by Park Plus Inc. systematically stores and retrieves vehicles in compact, high-density areas. ParkTronix AGV devices are free-roaming, battery-operated units that travel on enclosed flat surfaces and communicate with a master traffic-control software program to manage parking transactions. Once operational, vehicles will be driven into loading bays at the lot’s entrance, located in the alley between Walnut and Pearl streets. There, mobile AGV robotic devices collect unoccupied vehicles on trays and transfer to parking stalls. For retrieval, vehicles are brought back to the loading bay for collection, and trays are reused for the next cycle.

Cost:  Total project price tag:$85 million. Parking structure price tag: $3 million.

How To Drop off: Patrons drive into loading bays, with direct access to lobby, elevators and common areas. The bays are fitted with mounted vehicle storage trays, guidance displays and detection devices to help drivers safely load and correctly align onto the trays. Patrons then go up to the kiosk and complete a loading checklist. Once the list is accomplished, the exterior door to the loading bay will close and the car will be parked.

How To Pick Up: To recover their sedans, SUVs and other vehicles, patrons will enter a waiting room and swipe their cards to notify the system that they have arrived for their vehicle. The process takes approximately 60-90 seconds to receive the vehicle that comes out facing the street ready to drive. Schuetz says there is no chance of cars being dinged or nicked.