Manhattan parking heading for extinction as garages make way for condos

February 03, 2012 11:00AM

The car is waging a losing battle in New York City, the New York Times reported. And its main foe is luxury development.

As demand for luxury apartments spurs development, parking garages are often sites for new buildings, and due to zoning that discourages the inclusion of parking even in new residential developments, the amount of Manhattan parking overall is declining, the Times said.

When new parking is built, it is usually in the highest-end buildings and sells out quickly to residents. In the last 30 years, since regulations went into effect to try and stem pollution, the amount of parking in Manhattan has fallen by one-fifth, and the parking that is available is increasingly used by residents, not commuters, the Times said.

A total of 92 lots have been converted from parking to another use in the last six years alone, according to data.

But at luxury apartments, many residents still want parking, which is not always a profitable investment for a developer; less than half of condominiums in the $5 million to $10 million range have a parking spot to offer a buyer, the Times said, citing info from the Corcoran Group.

Still, the demand is there. “It always comes up in conversation,” said Robert Gladstone, the chief executive of Madison Equities, which built a nine-unit development at 57 Irving Place recently. “If you are designing for the super-rich, you have to find a place to put their cars.” [NYT]