Manhattan Condo Buyers Prize Private Parking More Than Ever

Posted on Fri, 02-10-2012

If there is ever a bigger complaint that New Yorkers have about commuting by public transportation in the city, it would most likely be driving and finding viable parking options in Manhattan. The Department of City Planning recently revealed a report on the parking trends in Manhattan over the last three decades and the numbers are glum to say the least. The number of legally designated off-street parking in Manhattan has declined by close to 20 percent (from 127,000 to 102,000) since the 1980s. For many buyers who are looking to purchase a luxury condo in Manhattan, the inclusion of an on-site parking garage is just as big a deciding factor as a fireplace or walk-in closet. Contrary to intuitions however, many developers are reluctant to incorporate residents parking in new residential constructions.

The city first adopted the Clean Air Act in early 1980s that limited the number of available parking lots in Manhattan in hopes of discouraging incoming commuer traffic. In addition, zoning rules have also deterred developers from adding parking to new residential buildings. Buildings that support more than 20 percent of the building’s total number of units are required to apply for city approval and those requests are commonly denied. As it currently stands, developers are not required to provide parking to residents in new residential buildings and those that do do so out of consideration than demands. Out of the 109 condos listed at $10 million and above, only 66 have garages and for apartments between $5 to $10 million, it’s 112 out of 209. Sales for private parking spaces in Manhattan often close for as much as $200,000 while rentals are at around $1,000 a month.

Just in the last six years alone, over 92 parking lots and garages have been sold and redeveloped as luxury condo and rentals building. Many developers continue to be hesitant about adding parking spaces to new residential constructions in Manhattan because “adding parking to a new development only marginally increased profits,” reported the New York Times. Just as the lack of parking situation has affected the ways in which developers think about new residential developments, consumers have also been heavily weighing in on the issue. “The parking industry is facing tremendous price resistance among consumers these days. The industry faces the reality of fewer cars coming into Manhattan, a weaker economy as well as higher rents, higher real estate taxes, and higher insurance costs. Because of this, it is becoming more and more difficult to maintain profitability,” said Vincent Petraro, the executive director of the Metropolitan Parking Association.

As the lack of parking situation in Manhattan becomes more dire in the immediate future, it’s ironic to consider that former parking garages such as the Dillon at 425 West 53 Street in Clinton and 57 Irving Place in the Flatiron District are now both prime examples of highly sought out Manhattan condominium buildings with private parking.

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