A $300,000 Park Slope parking space, which asked "just" $80,000 four years ago, made headlines this week for representing peak yuppie Brooklyn. But there's a cheaper option that launched last fall over in nearby Cobble Hill that now, with its $180,000 to $230,000-per-spot price tag, feels like a steal.
The Parking Club is the brainchild of Lonicera Partners. The company's principal, Jamie Anthony, saw an opportunity to sell spaces like condos because of two main factors: He says "parking is a neighborhood amenity that's disappearing while at the same time demand is increasing."
Anthony says that out of the 30 people who've already bought spots (there are 55 left), he'd guess that about 75 percent of them are Brooklyn brownstone and townhouse owners who've found that a space at the Parking Club costs them less than the premium they'd pay for a house with parking.
And because the spots are owned outright, people can, in the future, sell those townhouses and brownstones (and condos too!) for a premium given how they're equipped with a deeded parking spot. "It helps increase the value of your home," he says.
You have to put down a 10 percent deposit plus monthly maintenance fees, which include real estate taxes and common area upkeep and add up to about $210 a month. For that price, an engineer checks your tire pressure and alerts you when you're due for oil changes and emissions testing. They'll even take your vehicle to get serviced. "[It's] taking all of the headache of car ownership off people’s hands," Anthony points out.
The company, he says, has partnered with a local bank that will lend 65 percent of the cost. You can also finance the purchase of your parking space with your home if you're buying it at the same time, he says. Robbie Gendels, of National Cooperative Bank (fyi, a Brick sponsor), confirms that they will, in fact, loan to a unit and parking space or garage together. Other banks may not, though.
Here's the Parking Club elevator pitch: Anthony asserts that the question of whether to buy or rent a parking space is similar to that of buying versus renting a home. "When you own a spot, you don't need to worry about large rent increases, you can sell whenever you want and in this case, you also don't worry that your parking garage could go out of business. In the city, we're seeing lots of lots being demolished and converted into condo buildings and that's not going to happen here."
And even if you don't live in Cobble Hill, he says not to worry. The company has partnered with Luxe, a valet parking service, for the next two years. Luxe drivers will pick up and drop off owners anywhere in southern Brooklyn and most of Manhattan (except for Midtown, between 38th and 48th streets.) The average wait time is reportedly about 30 minutes, which could be a hassle for some; there's also the option for owners to pick up their cars themselves.
Anthony says he hopes to expand and open other garages in other neighborhoods in the city. "The availability of parking is decreasing," he says, adding that having more parking options "is good for neighborhoods."
Not quite ready to put down tens of thousands of dollars on a mortage down payment for a space? There are increasingly more options beyond winging it with the (pricey) neighborhood parking garage. We recently wrote about DropCar, a new app that can act as a parking spot, as well as a valet and chauffeur (for $350 a month).
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