Most of us have attended a major event and seen enterprising individuals turn their nearby yards and driveways into parking lots to cash in on the demand for convenient access. My first experience with this phenomenon was at the Indy 500 in 1969. It seemed like every yard within two miles of the famed oval was occupied by homeowners offering their yards and driveways as parking lots. And business was brisk.
An enterprising entrepreneur has taken this idea and created a web site to expand this concept to almost any available parking space in North America. Anthony Eskinazi, CEO and founder of ParkatmyHouse.com intends to make more convenient parking available to drivers while delivering dollars to driveway owners across America.
Eskinazi, 28, launched the website in 2006, test marketing the idea in his hometown neighborhood in the U.K. The inspiration for the idea occurred when he was a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley. Eskinazi had tickets to a San Francisco Giants and when he motored to the ballpark vicinity, he had trouble finding a spot to berth his vehicle.
On his student budget, Anthony found the rate advertised in available lots to be a bit steep for his wallet. Also, previous experience with post-game traffic had taught him that exit from these lots required a long wait which necessitated an early exit from the game if he wanted to avoid the delay in getting to his next destination.
Nearby empty parking spaces reserved for residents and businesses caused a light bulb to come on in his head and he recognized a business opportunity connecting supply and demand.
Since launching the web site, more than 150,000 people in the U.K. have earned more than $5 million from the site, Eskinazi said. His goal is to take the rental site worldwide, with a target market being anyone with an address or geographic point with a latitude and longitude and a parking space available for rent. The site assists drivers in finding spots in a specific area and allows payments online. Homeowners post driveways and businesses post parking during their off-peak hours. A church in London, England reports turning a sizable profit renting spots in their prime location.
The idea might just catch on. It has been featured in the New York Times, BBC News, and recently announced a strategic long term investment by automaker BMW. Apparently there’s a lot of appeal in potentially paving your driveway with gold. I’m currently searching spots in Indianapolis. Not for the 500. I can’t wait until May. The Super Bowl is just around the corner. Heck, this might even create a new real estate bubble for homes within easy reach of popular venues.