A condominium used to be a place where human beings lived. But the definition continues to get more elastic. Today, a condo can also be a place where an automobile sleeps when it’s not performing its intended function: sitting in New York City’s horrendous gridlock traffic, waiting for the light to change.
The latest addition to the condo-parking-space trend is in a garage at 845 Union Street in Park Slope, Brooklyn, where you can buy a parking space for just $300,000 that comes with all the typical condo amenities, including a $240 monthly maintenance fee and $51 in monthly taxes. Just four years ago, a spot in the same garage sold for $80,000.
"Even though you’re not going to be saving money monthly, it’s an asset that’s increasing in value," Constantine Valhouli, co-founder of the real estate analytics firm NeighborhoodX, tells DNAinfo. "It shows how the market is maturing, where people are willing to pay an amount tagged to luxury and convenience rather than to yield."
For co-op and condo boards, parking space can be a cash cow or a splitting headache. It was just a few short years ago that a single parking space in a Soho condo cracked the $1 million barrier. More recently, irate shareholders at the sprawling Seward Park co-op on the Lower East Side filed suit when the co-op board switched from a self-park-and-lock system to valet parking. A Queens co-op, on other hand, got rid of its valet parking contractor and went to self-parking, which reduced crowding and inconvenience, while increasing revenues for the co-op. A New Rochelle co-op went so far as to buy a nearby building, demolish it, and pave the lot to increase its parking capacity. Other boards mull whether selling parking spaces or renting them is the best way to maximize revenue.
Meanwhile, the value of parking spaces is sure to continue to go up. The reason? Because more and more parking garages and lots are being converted into condos – the kind where human beings live.
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