Portland’s new commuting toy: Robo-style ‘puzzle parking’

We’ve seen the future, and there are no parking valets.

Not human ones anyway.

At a 51-unit green apartment complex at Southeast 20th Avenue and Hawthorne Boulevard, developer Gerding Edlen is showing off the largest residential robo-parking system of its type in the U.S.

Portlanders can expect to see more like it soon, as building owners and managers increasingly turn to automated systems that stack cars, saving money and minimizing the amount of space needed for parking.

“Over time,” development manager Damin Tarlow said today, “people are going to realize this is a wonderful solution to a common problem.”

For decades, the car-park solution in high-density urban areas was to dig deep holes or go multi-story. So 20th century.

Instead, the new system at The 20 on Hawthorne building allows 29 cars to be parked in an area that would usually fit 10.

“Watch this,” Tarlow said as he

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