One Pandemic Real Estate Bet: Condos for Cars

The possibility of many more urban dwellers driving than ever before, even in transit-rich locations like New York City, is still very real.

1 minute read

August 13, 2021, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Empty Parking Garage

Comrade Foot / flickr

"A Manhattan garage operator is betting that city dwellers in the Covid age are driving more, and would pay a premium for a personal place to put their cars," reports Oshrat Carmiel.

"Centerpark converted an Upper East Side garage into a condominium -- but instead of apartments, it’s selling 23 parking spaces, and hired a luxury real estate broker to market them for sale to the public for as much as $350,000 each."

Kirsten Jordan, the Douglas Elliman Real Estate broker who’s marketing the units, is quoted in the article saying the new, Covid-era twist on adaptive reuse is designed specifically in response to anticipating the needs of New Yorkers with no plans to return to the subway.

The data would seem to support that assumption, according to Carmiel, even after so many months of pandemic living. "As of mid-July, weekday subway ridership had plummeted 54% from the pre-Covid days, according to the Partnership for New York City. The number of city-bound travelers on the suburban commuter rails was down more than half."

The increased demand for parking in New York City has also been evident in the political controversies regarding outdoor dining and bus-only lanes around the city.

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