If owning a car in New York is considered a luxury then the trials of parking make us think, “maybe that word doesn’t mean what we think it means.”
For a lot of people in Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill and Downtown, where the parking situation is the favorite subject to gripe about, there may be a ray a hope. In last week’s conference on hotel development in Brooklyn, organized by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and its Real Estate and Development (RED) Committee (which was written about by our colleagues Linda Collins and Sarah Ryley), Gene Kaufman of Gene Kaufman Architects, who designed the combined Sheraton (with 325 rooms) and Aloft (175 rooms) on Duffield Street in Downtown Brooklyn, puts a number on the actual cost to the hotel developers to construct each parking space under the hotels. And we ask you, is $25,000 too high to pay to own a piece of Brooklyn, even if it is underground?
However, the developer has said that they will not build the parking lots under the hotels, because they are “too expensive,” and instead rely on a proposed city-built underground lot across the street. Kaufman is quoted as saying: “We are lucky that the city is building an 800-car underground garage across the street [at Washington Square Park]. We see that as an ideal situation.”
Well, it certainly is good to be lucky.
A little less concerned with luck, and just trying to find a solution for parking their cars, we know of two Heights businessmen looking to take “co-op parking” big time. The two locals used to have the privilege of paying $320/month (that’s without holiday tip) for parking their cars at the Love Lane Garage, (which housed 350+ cars and closed this summer to the dismay of the neighborhood.) The pair, and many they know, are still scrambling to find adequate long-term parking.
Somehow, they have attained the list of all of Love Lane’s former customers, and have started calling around to see if there’s interest in putting up $40k each and approaching the developers with a big lump sum to build another level which would be co-op and owned.
“We figure to get 200 commitments, so $7 or $8 million or so, could be hard to turn down,” the pair said. “Of course there would still be maintenance fees, but it would be an asset which we believe would appreciate over time, and be transferable.”
Solutions abound, good luck, and we’ll keep you posted.