Real Estate Betting in the COVID Era: Automotive Condos

Garage operators in Manhattan are betting that COVID-19 era city dwellers are driving more and paying a premium for their personal place to put their car.

Centerpark converted the Upper East Side garage into a condo, but sold 23 parking spaces instead of apartments and hired a luxury real estate broker to sell to the public for up to $ 350,000 per car.

“So many people said,’I’m not going to take the subway again for a very long time,'” said Douglas Elliman real estate broker Carsten Jordan, who sells the unit. “I’m paying $ 60 to get from the Upper East Side to Tribeca, because Uber is so expensive. It might make sense to buy a spot.

The pandemic has changed where new yorkers live, how they work, and how they move. As of mid-July, weekday subway passenger numbers plummeted 54% from 19 days before COVID, according to a New York City partnership. The number of travelers to cities on suburban commuter trains has dropped by more than half.

Manhattan’s new car registrations increased 27% to 55,748 in 2020, according to the State Automobile Authority. This year, more than that total, 37,735 new registrations have been recorded by July 29th.

According to Gregg Reuben, CEO of Centerpark, this has increased the demand for parking. He said the restaurant hut, which sprouted along the road, was combined with a new bike lane to eliminate 10,000 street spaces. And garages that offer monthly rentals are raising prices.

“Owning a car in Manhattan will simply be more difficult,” Ruben said, estimating that at least three of the company’s other 17 Manhattan rental garages could go to condos. “People want convenience and security, and some see it as an investment opportunity.”

According to Jonathan Miller, president of appraiser Miller Samuel Inc, most of Manhattan’s garage space for sale is only available to residents of affiliated properties. The percentage of condominium and co-op building spots has skyrocketed 51% over the past year.

A new condo project, 378 West End Ave., offers nine parking spaces for sale for $ 550,000 each, available only to owners of the building’s most expensive apartments.

The Center Park Garage (301 E. 69th St.) gives buyers 185 square feet of space between painted lines. This is enough space to hang items such as golf clubs and strollers on the wall in addition to cars. Several contracts are pending at a pre-sale price of $ 199,000. Owners are required to pay property taxes (estimated at $ 3,720 per year) and general fees, as they would for residential condominiums.

“It’s as close to having your own driveway in Manhattan as you can get,” Ruben said.

New car registrations in Manhattan surged 27% in 2020, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the demand for parking lots is increasing.

Real Estate Betting in the COVID Era: Automotive Condos

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