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Private Parking Goes Deluxe - The New York Times

Parking requirements were waived a few years ago for Long Island City, Queens, a densely settled area served by several subway lines. But garages are still required for new developments in nearby Astoria, home to The Rowan, a 46-unit condo from RockFarmer Properties. Although the developer had to include 23 spaces, the Rowan offers 96, thanks to automation. A parking spot costs $90,000, plus a “nominal monthly common charge,” RockFarmer says. Many spaces not purchased by condo owners will be available on a transient basis, at more typical hourly rates, by people who drive to shop at the 16,000-square-foot grocery store and another large store at the condo’s base.

Yair Goldberg, an executive vice president of U-Tron, the company behind the Rowan’s technology, noted that more parking spaces mean fewer cars having to circle blocks and belch exhaust while hunting for street parking. Besides, he added, “garages help differentiate a development from the rest of the products in the market.”

In another trend that could significantly alter the city’s parking landscape, developers have bought existing parking garages that are open to the public, and taken them private.

The Parking Club, a 150-space condo at 185 Pacific Street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, is currently selling deeds for $185,000 to $200,000, plus $220 a month in common charges and taxes. Built in 1957, the building largely operated as a conventional by-the-hour parking garage until 2016, when it was purchased by Lonicera, one of the partners at the Symon, and underwent a $500,000 renovation, including a new lounge, according to Jamie Anthony, a firm founder. About 25 spaces have sold since then, Mr. Anthony said.

Similarly, last year Iliad Realty Group paid $9 million for a 90-space garage at 94 Laight Street in TriBeCa that offered hourly and monthly rentals. Iliad is now converting it to a members-only facility with just 60 spaces, with the assumption that more space between cars equals fewer dings. Other improvements include turning a bike area into a furnished waiting room and the addition of lockers for golf clubs and surf boards, said Simon Anderson, a Douglas Elliman agent who’s marketing it.

“That’s really where you are elevating the entire experience,” said Mr. Anderson, who moved to New Jersey last year after living in New York City for 25 years and shuttling among 12 different public garages in search of cheaper parking. The parking spaces on Laight Street, which are licensed, were unveiled this summer for $400,000, plus a $500 monthly fee. By September, 17 contracts had been mailed out, mostly to condo owners in the upstairs River Lofts complex, but also other nearby buildings, he said.

Developers are next targeting public garages in the West Village and Sunset Park, Brooklyn, to convert them as well, said Mr. Anderson. “I think I have identified a real trend here,” he said.

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