If you live in Cobble Hill and are tired and jaded of driving around the neighborhood every day looking for parking, a simple solution has come to your door: Just buy a parking condo. With that, not only will you have a covered place for your car, but also a valet service that will take you almost anywhere in Brooklyn and Manhattan, plus regular fluid checks and other maintenance, like registration services or car washes. There is however, one catch: The space costs between $185,000 and $200,000.
Yup. That is the price tag attached to a single condo for your car at The Parking Club on 185 Pacific Street in Cobble Hill.
Jamie Anthony, a founder and principal of Lonicera Partners, which owns the building, said that in the more than six years that he has worked in the real estate market in Cobble Hill and the surrounding neighborhoods in Brooklyn, this is the first time his company is in the business of parking garage condominiums. Previously, Lonicera and his partners have developed 60-unit apartment buildings on 267 Pacific Street and developed a building on 173 Amity Street, both in Cobble Hill; are in development of 415 Red Hook Lane, a 130,000-square foot multifamily building in Downtown Brooklyn; and are currently developing a 100,000-square foot multifamily building on Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights.
According to Anthony, new buyers are coming in the neighborhood and buying very expensive homes, and with that that level of gentrification comes a level of expectations for amenities for neighborhoods, one of those being parking.
“When someone comes in and drops four or five million dollar on a townhouse they want to know they are going have parking in the neighborhood,” Anthony said.
While astronomical prices for car condos is not a new concept in New York City (The Wall Street Journal reported in August of last year that it cost $1 million for a spot at the 42 Crosby Street in Soho), it sure changes the dynamic and the level of Brooklyn’s gentrification.
Taso Verteouris, owner of Nature’s Grill, a restaurant on the same block as The Parking Club, said that he’s been in the neighborhood for eight years and has seen prices go up exponentially. “Everything is more expensive: rent, parking, customer goods.”
According to Verteouris, this rise in prices is to be expected. “It’s a sought-after neighborhood, man. It’s Brooklyn, New York, everybody wants to live here!”
The Parking Club is not the first outfit to offer parking condominiums in Brooklyn. According to a New York Times article from 1986, The Parking Garage on 841 Union St. in Park Slope was offering parking spot in the garage for $29,000 apiece at that time. An article from the same publication from 2016 states that a price for a parking condo at the garage could reach as close to $300,000.
For the Parking Club in Cobble Hill, Lonicera partnered with the valet service Luxe, so people who purchased a spot in the building immediately have free Lux service for two years, which will bring their car to them or from them anywhere in the service area in NYC, which includes Dumbo, Brooklyn Heights, downtown Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, Parks Slope, and portions of Prospect Heights and Fort Greene in Brooklyn, and Manhattan up to 114th Street, without a certain portion in Midtown.
Additionally, parking spots owners will also receive an oil change, tracking of their registration services, and tire pressure and fluids maintenance on a monthly basis. When it’s time for people to get an oil change, the service sends emails to owners reminding them they’re due, and it offers to take the vehicle to a service department to get it done. “It’s really a luxury, white-glove level of service for owners of these spots” Anthony said.
The parking spots went on sale end of September. Lindsay Barrett, sales agent at Compass, said that initially the company was offering 85 spots, and it has sold about 20 so far, ranging between $185,000 for a spot on the second and third floor to $200,000 for a place on the first.
Barrett, a property owner and a real estate agent in the neighborhood, said that she sells lots of townhouses and the biggest issue in Cobble Hill and Brooklyn is the lack of parking. “For me to know that I have a spot, to not have to drive around the block, looking for a parking spot is invaluable. As parking lots turn into condos for me it’s very clear that the value of the spot will increase over time” she said.
According to Anthony of Lonicera, so far all of the buyers have been people who live and work in the neighborhood.
“Cobble Hill is a very interesting market, similar to West Village in a sense that it’s a landmark district so there’s not going to be a be a huge amount of density and real estate developed, and in addition it has a lot of wealthy inhabitants” Anthony said.
Given the rules of supply and demand, Anthony said he expects prices for available parking spots to increase as they sell them.