The National Parking Association has named Watry Design’s David LoCoco as its 2022 Innovator of the Year at this year’s NPA Convention & Expo in Austin, Texas. David, a founding Principal at Watry Design, serves as the chair of the NPA Parking Consultants Council’s Automated Committee
Celebrating his 40th year in the industry, David's passion for solving his client’s parking problems naturally drew him to technology.
Early in his career, he championed the firm moving away from hand drawing designs to harnessing newly released computer software – first VersaCAD, then a transition to AutoCAD and ultimately to the adoption of Building Information Modeling with Revit. Along the way, this visionary recognized that technology represented opportunities beyond design tools.
In 2000, David became a founding principal of Watry Design, Inc. and owner. He began contributing to the Dimensions of Parking and writing articles for industry associations. Always focused squarely on his client’s project needs, he was drawn to mechanical and automated systems.
As his practice and Watry Design grew, so did the number of projects he utilized the emerging technology for. At the same time, David’s involvement with associations, such as NPA and its Parking Consultants’ Council deepened.
David was finding a strong value proposition between residential development and the use of automated systems. Sites previously thought to be unbuildable were unlocked when mechanical and automated parking solutions were entertained. For example, about 15 years ago, David began working on a parking solution for a tower in Seattle.
Designing the tower itself on such a triangle shaped site was no simple task, but when it came to parking, things got even more complicated. In order to provide the views the developer envisioned, the tower’s structural core needed to be in the center of the building. This sliced the available area to design the parking into 30 foot wide sections. Since a conventional parking requires 60 feet, it wasn’t an option. However, an automated system seemed a natural fit for the planned high-end tower.
This marked the beginning of a project journey for David and Paul Menzies, who was developing the tower. The duo looked at systems on two continents. First, they visited Italy and Switzerland. Later, China and Taiwan. They considered puzzle, cantilevered, shuttle, post and no-post systems to ensure the right solution not only met the needs of the site, but also provides the desired experience for residents and the best long term value for the project. Ultimately, the exploration resulted in a better parking design for the now-open luxury residential development known as The Spire.
"Dave understood our vision to build a 41-story building on a quarter acre triangular site, and designed a unique, fully-automatic parking system – truly the first of its kind in the world,” said Paul.
David’s passion for parking is well know in the industry; from his contributions as NPA’s Parking Consultant Council’s Automated Parking Committee Chair to the hundreds of completed projects for satisfied clients. David continues to show us the opportunity that mechanical and automated parking represents and inspires us to continue to innovate!