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What Does an $800,000 Parking Spot Look Like?

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Parking in Manhattan is rough. No doubt about it. Those New Yorkers who have been brave (or, depending on who you ask, stupid) enough to own cars in this densely-packed city are quite used to doing battle over the coveted few spots available on the street -- some even literally. Remember the father of two who punched a woman into a coma over a space she was holding on 14th Street in the East Village for her boyfriend’s car?

Those fortunate drivers with money to spare after shelling out their comically high rents can avoid the street parking hassle altogether. Depending on the neighborhood and type of lot, car owners can spend from anywhere between $150 to $1,200 per month to shelter their car in a garage. In 2007, renowned real-estate appraiser Miller Samuel estimated the average cost to own (not rent) a parking space in Manhattan was $165,019, or $1,100 per square foot.

Others still, like Chelsea resident Glauco Lolli-Ghetti, with a tad more disposable income than, say, 99% of us poor saps, don’t even have to schlep to the garage. Mr. Lolli-Ghetti’s car is just three steps outside the door of his 11th floor apartment, resting safely in his personal single-car, 300-square-foot, windowed “en suite sky garage.” With his 11th Avenue apartment on the market for $7 million, the garage alone is worth $800,000 ($2,666 per square foot) -- making it one of the costliest parking spaces in the entire world.

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And this is no dark, drab, oil-streaked garage. Outfitted with expansive windows that offer views of the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building, the space actually had its own Modernist architecture firm, owned by Annabelle Selldorf, behind its design. An elevator, with infrared sensors to monitor the car’s position, transports it from his sky garage to the street.

For a parking space this exceptional, you’d expect it to be housing some pretty precious cargo. Perhaps the oddest aspect of this eat-the-rich-inducing story is learning that what’s living more comfortably than many human beings in New York City is not a CL-Class Mercedes or a BMW Z4 Roadster, but a seven-year-old Range Rover.

It just goes to show that, in these economic times, we’re all having to cut back.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.