Living in New York, one quickly becomes accustomed to the ongoing and ever-escalating financial bloodletting that is an unavoidable part of life in this city. Whereas newcomers wince over every $13 cocktail, $1,300 rent check and $14 movie ticket—to wit, Andrew Sullivan’s New York Shitty post of last fall, in which he decried, among other things that “a glance at your bank account shows a giant sucking sound as the city effectively robs you of all your pennies at every juncture”—after a few months of residency, they’ve generally resigned themselves to an embarrassingly low bank balance. There is, after all, only so much one can do after rent and health insurance premiums and $112 metro cards and grocery stores where tubs of yogurt run $5 have taken their cut.
So when we read that a Park Slope parking space had sold for $80,000, the first thing we thought was, “Eighty thousand isn’t that bad.”
Sure, another parking spot in the Garage Condominium sold for just $62,500 last month, as reported by DNAinfo, which broke the news of the $80K square of asphalt. But honestly, $62,500 sounds like a steal considering that the garage was selling spaces for $29,000 when it opened in the 1980s. And the parking garage across the street is being torn down to make way for a new condo, so there’s something of a parking panic in the neighborhood. (To say nothing of last year’s brouhaha over the secret parking ring allegedly being run by doorman in some of the tony co-ops along Prospect Park West.)
“It’s a seller’s market,” the parking spot purchaser told DNAinfo.
In fact, we were actually surprised to hear that Park Slope parking spaces weren’t selling for more. While parking in Brooklyn isn’t nearly as hellish as parking in Manhattan, it is said to take an average of half an hour to find a spot in “no Park Slope.” And a 12-foot by 23-foot parking space in a new development at 66 East 11th Street in Manhattan is currently asking $1 million, boasting few special features beyond a 15-foot ceiling that would allow for spot to be “duplexed” to hold two cars—at the owner’s expense, of course.
Moreover, although Brooklyn is the second most expensive place to live in the U.S. (after Manhattan), a parking space in San Francisco sold for $82,000 this June and a pair of spaces in Boston fetched half a million (also in June).
Indeed, $80,000 isn’t a borough record—a quick Google search reveals that a parking space at 60 State Street in Brooklyn Heights sold for a $110,000 in 2010.
However, one financial feature of the parking space sale did manage to stun even our jaded soul—like every other condo, parking space owners at the Garage Condominium must pay maintenance fees, which are a whopping $240 a month (and do not include the annual real estate taxes!). Then again, we’re sure it’s the kind of thing that stings at first, but soon becomes just another dull pang. Just like a $5 ice coffee, paying $17.50 for a 3-D movie that you’d prefer to see for $3.50 less in 2-D and that irksome $1 fee that the MTA now charges every time you need to get a new MetroCard.