As a commercial concern, Costa Rica parking lots are only really viable in the urban areas of the Central Valley. Due to rampant crime, unoccupied vehicles must be watched at all times.
In and around downtown and in some of the suburbs, the density is such that parking lots or parqueos occupy unbuilt lots. A guard watches the property and charges a fee for time the car is parked there.
A fence around the property makes security easier. Some lots of have gate arms at the entrance.
A guard house helps as a central location to store change and watch video equipment if installed. Some lots also offer extras such as covered parking or a car wash facility.
An asphalt or cement slab is preferable as many people do not want to get their cars dirty on a dirt lot.
Room for signage makes a difference as well.
Some lots offer a membership type fee for people who live or work in the area and frequent the lot.
Of course, the biggest factor in choosing a lot to operate a parking lot is location. Dense areas where parking is at a premium will always be full
As the suburbs continue to grow, this business will continue to grow further and further outside of San Jose.
Renting a vacant lot is a viable business. Questions to be asked should include what is included with the land such as pavement, fences, a guard house, lighting, phone line, etc.