If you own a commercial building and are considering the best option for parking systems, your primary question is probably whether you should choose to invest in an above-ground parking structure or underground parking systems that provide added security and other features. The answer to this will vary, depending on your specific needs and what you expect out of a parking system.

Above-ground parking, also known as at-grade parking, is less expensive to construct when compared to an underground structure. However, because of the increasing lack of available real estate, the cost of above-ground parking continues to rise. This leads many people to seek better solutions, which can include utilizing vertical space by constructing an underground parking system for their commercial buildings.

Underground parking systems are also more aesthetically pleasing—since they’re underground, no giant parking towers are sticking out among the otherwise beautiful buildings in the area. While some above-ground garages span upwards of four or five levels, underground structures are usually limited to two levels because the costs to go further down below ground get quite exorbitant.

One way to maximize parking structure space, regardless of location, is to consider an automated parking system. This will allow you to fit more cars in the same amount of space than you would be able to fit if people self-parked. It provides more usable space for parking and the automated features make it easy for people to retrieve their vehicles when they’re ready to leave.

The best thing that you can do is to partner with parking solutions professionals early on in the concept and planning stages. That will help you maximize space and your parking situation as a whole and ensure that you get the most for your money with your new parking system, no matter where it is located.