New York’s robotic parking systems are costing upscale residents $300,000 per space

Hidden deep beneath some of New York City’s most luxurious apartment buildings is a unique world of futuristic parking where high-end vehicles are parked and retrieved by robotic parking systems.

High-tech commercials are a rare amenity in the Big Apple, and if you want your car to occupy one of these VIP spaces you must be prepared to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The spots are only accessible to residents of buildings where apartments will cost you several million, and if you want your car to live in them as well, you’ll need between $300,000 and $595,000 more to gain valuable space in the private garage.

CNBC found two buildings in Manhattan that offered spaces for sale inside a so-called robotic parking lot.

The first is located at 121 East 22nd Street, near Gramercy Park in New York, where there is a 140-unit condominium developed by Brothers Toll it has 24 automated car parks.

High above the 22nd St condominium’s underground garage is the wraparound terrace of a 5-bedroom duplex apartment that recently sold with a $300,000 parking space for $9.45 million.

Drone hub mounts

Earlier this month, full-time Florida resident Lori Alf bought a rare parking lot for $300,000 when she bought the most expensive unit in the building: a 5-bedroom duplex spanning nearly 3,800 feet square.

She told CNBC that the package, totaling $9.45 million, was a gift for her children who are now spending more time in New York.

The sunny living area inside Lori Alf’s penthouse at 121 E 22nd St.

Toll Brothers City Living

Now, when Alf or his sons want to park the family Porsche Cayenne in the apartment building’s garage, they stop in front of a kiosk where the wave of a small radio frequency identification tag unlocks access to an underground car den where they are not allowed. humans.

Pressing a button on the kiosk sends a jolt of life into an empty metal pallet downstairs. Glide down a track on a powerful lifter that sends the empty pallet up towards ground level to meet the Alfs who can then carefully position their car on top of it.

When a vehicle enters the automated system, a movement card sends messages to the driver to ensure that the vehicle is positioned correctly for the parking process to begin.


Before their wheels are taken away, a series of cameras scan the entrance to the system to confirm that the trunk and doors of the car are all closed and that there are no objects or humans left behind that could impede the automation .

When the scanners read “all clear,” the pallet, with the car on top, disappears into the floor, pausing briefly on its way down to the basement to spin the vehicle 180 degrees before slotting it into one of the gaps.

The system can lift and move two dozen wagons across four rows and two levels.

One car parked downstairs in the automated parking lot at 121 E 22nd St, where prices start at $300,000 per spot.


Retrieving the car is a bit like making a selection from a giant vending machine. Residents swipe their RFID tags again and the system delivers their cars in about 2 minutes and 15 seconds.

One of the advantages for Alf: he never has to put the car in reverse to get out of the building.

“The car is turned around for you by the robot,” he told CNBC. “Who doesn’t live for a robot to point you in the right direction in New York?”

Pedro Fernandez, a local sales representative for Klaus Parking, the company that sold the German-made parking system to the building’s developer, told CNBC that it’s the most automated parking garage he’s ever installed in Manhattan.

The company’s top-tier system typically costs between $50,000 and $70,000 per spot installed. Fernandez said developers are investing over a million dollars in smart parking infrastructure because it’s super efficient at organizing vehicles and maximizing space.

The view inside the robot-parking at 121 E 22nd St reveals a system of pallets and hydraulic lifts that maneuver cars around a two-level underground parking structure.


“There was no other way to park 24 cars,” Fernandez said of the garage under 121 East 22nd Street.

The self-parking system can unlock more spaces per square foot because it doesn’t require the ramps and drive lanes you see in most conventional garages, he said.

“As crazy as it sounds, $300,000 for residential parking is considered a reasonable price in New York City,” said Senada Adzem, a Florida-based real estate agent at Douglas Elliman, whose team represented Alf in his recent purchase. .

Adzem told CNBC that points in the system that include an EV charging outlet will set you back $350,000. And whether it’s electrified or not, each parking spot incurs a $150-per-month maintenance fee.

“The general lack of parking in the city, an ongoing problem with no end in sight, will only drive those prices up,” Adzem said.

He believes that tight supply could turn the seemingly lavish expense into a buck for landlords, who could eventually resell their place at a profit.

A car inside the automated parking lot at 520 West 28th where spots start at $450,000.

Martien Mulder and the like

Across town, parking is even pricier in a building that once housed pop star Ariana Grande and now houses rock musician Sting and his wife, film producer Trudie Styler.

The price to park at 520 West 28th Street starts at $450,000.

The $16.5 million penthouse at 520 W 28th St spans the 15th and 16th floors, with a 2,040-square-foot terrace that wraps around the building’s curvaceous glass facade.

Colin Miller / Related

The luxury residence, designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid and developed by The Related Companies, includes a 4,500-square-foot penthouse currently on the market for $16.5 million. And according to Corcoran’s listing agent Julie Pham, a parking space in the building’s garage can cost up to $595,000 more per vehicle.

“I’ve never seen anything like it before,” Pham said of the unique amenity.

Residents can use an app to communicate with the so-called “secure parking portal” and remotely initiate the automated recovery process so that the car is ready to go when they are.

The $16.5 million penthouse listing includes ten rooms and nearly 4,500 square feet of interior living space, the asking price does not include parking.

Colin Miller / Related

Though Pham didn’t reveal the identity of any past or present customers, he told CNBC that the automated parking was a big draw for a famous resident, who had a security crew examine the parking area before moving in. .

Representatives for the unnamed celebrity agreed to the deal in part because the star could enter and exit the garage in privacy, Pham said.

“They liked the idea that you didn’t have to interact with a waiter or an assistant, or that nobody could come in right behind you,” she said.

And during the pandemic, the broker said, residents who wanted to minimize their exposure to Covid-19 loved being able to drop off and retrieve their vehicle without handing over their keys to a valet.

While the automated commercials are expensive, they aren’t even close to the most expensive in NYC.

In recent years, some condo developers have pushed their asking prices for a basic concrete-and-yellow-stripe parking lot as high as $1 million, according to Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, a firm that specializes in real estate appraisals and consulting. Still, he said, a spot with a 9-figure asking price is unlikely to ever attract a real buyer.

“I’ve never found evidence of their actual closures,” he told CNBC.

Miller, who analyzed public records at the request of CNBC, said one of the most expensive parking lots sold in the city last year was located at 220 Central Park South, where one parking lot fetched a whopping $750,000. Miller said, based on public records, it appears connected to an apartment in the building that was traded for $16 million.

“It’s really hard to track since most of the sales are built into the sale of a unit,” Miller told CNBC.

And it’s even harder to track spot sales in the new automated systems because, in many cases, spots are actually licensed to buyers, not leased and sold like most real estate, according to brokers.

Miller gave his best estimate for the going rate of a single New York parking lot: “I think $300,000 to $400,000 is the sweet spot for a new development.”


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