The Real Deal New York

Developers transform East Village garages into luxury condos

January 10, 2014 04:00PM

Instead of tearing down old parking garages for new developments, a handful of firms are taking advantage of their industrial architecture and transforming them into luxury condominiums.

Among them are Rigby Asset Management, which plans to build an apartment on each floor and a duplex penthouse at the top of an East Village garage at 17 East 12th Street, according to the New York Daily News. Rigby bought the 49,257-square-foot building in August for $50.2 million, according to StreetEasy. The firm has been gutting old buildings to convert into condos for two decades — garages are just par for the course.

“The idea was to keep the space open to park more cars,” Peter Armstrong, managing director of Rigby, told the Daily News. “Turns out that’s good for parking people, too.”

And there’s a market. Leonardo DiCaprio recently checked out a conversion with a crystalline triplex that, in a former life, was an eight-story brick Hertz garage at 12 East 13th Street, according to the Daily News. The top unit is listed for $31.5 million and is now under construction.

The garages offer a couple perks. They were built before areas of New York City set limits for the construction of buildings to a maximum height, meaning some top floors will get unobstructed views. Moreover, keeping a few bottom floors of the garages allows New Yorkers ample parking space. [NYDN] Angela Hunt