Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How much is a parking space really worth?

Cities are lousy with parking spaces. Most of the spaces are required through the zoning code, even in Manhattan where parking requirements were enforced until 1982. Even before parking requirements New York City was planning for automobiles into lower Manhattan. For these and other reasons, there are plenty of parking structures in Manhattan. To park in these spaces is expensive--upwards of $1,000 per month in some places--but is parking an efficient use of the space?

To help think about this, the Wall Street Journal has a story about a converted parking garage that is now apartments. The apartments rent for $12,000 per month for a two-bedroom. That's a lot of money! Since the apartments are about 1,500 square feet, that's about $8 per square foot per month. Monthly parking in the same area starts at about $450, or about $1.50 per square foot per month! Even with the improvements that make these spaces apartments that's a pretty big difference. There is far more value in living spaces than parking spaces.

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