New York Car Owners Buy “Condos” for Their Rides

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New vehicle registrations in Manhattan jumped 27% in 2020, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has increased the demand for parking.

Dream time / TNS

Manhattan mechanic is betting that city dwellers in the COVID-19 era drive more and would pay extra for a personal place to put their cars.

Centerpark converted an Upper East Side garage into a condominium – but instead of apartments, it sells 23 parking spaces and hired a luxury real estate broker to sell them to the public for up to $ 350,000 each.

“So many people have said, ‘I’m not going to be on the subway for a very, very long time,” said Kirsten Jordan, the Douglas Elliman real estate broker who markets the units. “There are others who say,’ I pays $ 60 to go from the Upper East Side to Tribeca – because Ubers are so expensive, it might make sense to buy a seat.

The pandemic has transformed where New Yorkers live, the way they work and travel. By mid-July, weekday subway ridership had fallen 54% from days before COVID-19, according to the New York City Partnership. The number of travelers to cities on commuter trains has fallen by more than half.

New vehicle registrations in Manhattan jumped 27% in 2020 to 55,748, according to the State Department of Motor Vehicles. They are on track to exceed that total this year, with 37,735 new registrations registered until July 29.

This has increased the demand for parking, according to Centerpark general manager Gregg Reuben. The open-air restaurant shelters that have sprung up along the roads, combined with new cycle paths, have wiped out up to 10,000 places on the street, he said. And garages that offer monthly rentals are raising prices.

“It’s just going to become more difficult to own a car in Manhattan,” said Reuben, who estimates that at least three of the company’s other 17 rental garages in Manhattan could become part-owners. “People look for convenience and security, and others see it strictly as an investment opportunity.”

Most Manhattan garages for sale are only open to residents of properties they’re affiliated with, says Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel Inc. appraiser. And their value is increasing: Average price per square foot Number of spaces in condominiums and co-ops has climbed 51% over the past year.

In a new condo project, 378 West End Ave., nine parking spaces open only to owners of the buildings’ most expensive apartments are listed for sale at $ 550,000 each, according to the documents.

At the Centerpark garage at 301 E. 69th St., buyers would get 185 square feet of space between painted lines – enough for a car plus extra room to hang items like golf clubs or strollers along. from the wall. A few contracts, priced at $ 199,000, are on hold. Homeowners have to pay property taxes – projected at $ 3,720 per year – and common charges, just as they would for a residential condo.

“It’s about as close as it gets to having your own driveway in Manhattan,” Reuben said.


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