Buying car park with Manhattan condos
Posted by Wei Min Tan on August 23, 2022
Buying a car park with a Manhattan condo is not necessary. Very few condo buildings in Manhattan have privately-owned car parks that a condo owner can buy. The select handful of high end new developments with car parks for sale price these spots between $300,000 to $500,000. Here are factors to consider when deciding whether you really need to buy a car park.
90 percent of Manhattan residents do not own a car
Manhattan residents do not drive. This is because traffic is so congested, and even if you drive, it takes a tremendous amount of time to find a parking garage when you arrive at your destination (if it’s within Manhattan). For example, it doesn’t make sense to drive your car to a restaurant in Midtown when it’s going to take 20 minutes to find a parking garage to park the car, pay the parking attendant etc. In addition to the time, there are also expenses – parking and tip – which makes it more inconvenient. It’s easier and cheaper to just take an Uber.
Weimin’s article: Property Investment in New York
Why some Manhattanites still own a car
In my observation, Manhattan residents who own a car use their car only occasionally, eg during a weekend trip to Long Island or Jersey shore. The car is not for daily use to go to work. It’s absolutely impractical to drive one’s car to work because of the traffic jams, having to park the car and the daily costs involved, eg with paying for parking and tipping the attendant. It is way cheaper and faster to call an Uber ride.
The exception is when a Manhattan resident needs to drive frequently to the boroughs like Brooklyn, Queens or New Jersey. Then it makes more sense to drive one’s own car because it’s easier and cheaper to find parking outside of Manhattan.
What about all the cars and traffic in Manhattan?
The traffic in Manhattan are usually commercial vehicles (car service, taxis, people driving in from outside Manhattan). Yes, there’s lot of cars in Manhattan. Having lived here for more than 20 years, my bet is 95 percent of the cars you see in Manhattan are not being driven by Manhattan residents. If one has a private driver then it’s different.
Weimin’s article: How recessions impact Manhattan property
Deal example: Our client’s waterview luxury condo overlooking New York Harbor. Advised our client in the purchase and eventual sale.
What if I still want to own a car?
That’s perfectly fine. There are parking garages all over Manhattan owned by third party car parking companies (eg SP+, Central Parking). You drive up, an attendant checks you in and gives you a ticket, then you come back with the ticket when ready to get the car back (don’t forget to tip the attendant). The common question is whether a condo building has a parking garage onsite or nearby (and not whether a buyer can buy a car park). In Tribeca, the monthly rate in a garage is about $800 plus tax.
Should you buy a car park?
There are two differences between owning a car park (which you can do only in a select handful of high end buildings) and parking in a third-party owned garage. 1) owning a car park within the condo building will cost between $300,000 to $500,000, 2) owning a car park can make the condo more attractive when selling because the future buyer may want a car park as well.
The price point for a building with privately-owned car park is $5 million+, so in the context of overall price, the cost of a car park is less significant. If the budget is lower, then it’s unlikely that car parks will be available for purchase anyway (and I don’t feel it’s necessary either).
What We Do
We focus on global investors buying Manhattan condos for portfolio diversification and long term return-on-investment.
1) Identify the right buy based on objectives
2) Manage the buy process
3) Rent out the property
4) Manage tenants
5) Market the property at the eventual sale