“En-Suite” Parking, for the Discerning Antisocial Urbanite

 
Love the glamor and glitz of the city but looking to avoid unpleasant public spaces, like sidewalks and building lobbies? Then 200 Eleventh Avenue in Chelsea may be for you.

Featuring "New York’s first En-Suite Sky Garage," which will allow residents to enter and exit their apartments without coming into contact with another human soul, this 19-story high rise brings the isolationist paranoia of the suburbs straight to the heart of super-chic Manhattan. As demonstrated in the video, owners will be whisked via car elevator from ground level to their McMansions in the sky. Units start in the low millions, and include 300 square feet of automobile living space.

As for those stories of shady union-busting labor practices employed to build the tower, well, that’s for the little people to fuss over — like the members of Community Board 4, who rejected the car elevator before it was ultimately approved by city planners.

  • Charlie D.

    300 square feet for your car?! That’s larger than my first apartment!

  • ddartley

    This is actually great. Let this the future of private motoring: a stupid luxury for very eccentric rich people.

  • Parking typically takes 300 to 350 sq ft per car (including the space needed for driving as well as the parking space itself). Typical suburban standard is 1.5 spaces per unit, which could easily be larger than the floor space of a studio apartment.

  • Jonathan

    This looks like the motel setup in Louis Malle’s “Ascenseur à l’Echafaud,” where you can drive into the enclosed garage with your girlfriend (no nosy hotel clerks) and party in the hotel suite behind it. The video, however, undercuts this rationale by having the blonde girlfriend borrow the car as soon as the guy gets home. It would be a more effective selling tool if the two of them had driven home together in the car, gone upstairs in the elevator without passing by a nosy doorman, and met a third sexy, cool, computer-generated person in the apartment.

  • Brooklyn

    I read somewhere that the Fire Department was putting the kibosh on this for fire safety reasons.

  • Presumably to avoid ventilation complexity, the automobile living space appears to be open to the air. Which means that the owners have bought a patio for the car, but none for themselves.

    Odd note that the parking spaces are all screened by greenery. It seems to recognize that, among other things, nobody’s going to want to look out the window into someone else’s garage.

  • jmc

    This thing is so silly. What’s wrong with in-building underground parking (not from an urbanistic/environmental standpoint, but for the sake of practicality)? Cars are dirty, noisy and smelly… why would you carry them up to your expensive apartment? I can’t imagine anyone so reclusive that they’d live in the middle of the largest city in the country but would be afraid to take an elevator up with the other people who can afford multimillion dollar apartments.

    If I had paid all that money to live in an expensive neighborhood, I’d want to sit outside on a patio!

  • anonymous

    Might not this violate zoning. I believe new parking construction below 96th St requires a Special Permit from the City Planning.

    But I suppose their lawyers thought of that.

    Any zoning lawyers care to weigh in?

  • The logistics of multiple tenants trying to use this car elevator at rush hour in the morning has me confused – does every tenant get their own elevator? When you are in the elevator, will you have to kill your engine or risk asphyxiation, or what?

    If someone wants to live this way, let them. This seems like an ideal setup for a drug dealer or a paranoid television personality.

    These are ideal for people who plan on dying and having nobody know they are missing, until the neighbors call in a strange smell.

  • @alex

    I believe that the developers have gotten all sorts of variances that were required for this. The Fire Department objected to this absurdity (see the excellent article in Chelsea Now on the CB4 review linked by “rejected the car elevator”) but only the DOB has the ability to reject or approve, and they did the latter.

    To me, the unanswered question is whether you will you be able to fit your Hummer into the car elevator?

    I’d also point out that this isn’t an entirely new idea. Back at the turn of the century, Martha Stewart was planning to drive her Range Rover into her office space at the Starrett-Lehigh building just a few blocks north ( http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CEED6143CF935A3575BC0A9669C8B63 ) – in her case, she may not have been permitted to do this for reasons of ventilation, since this was an indoor space. There are also more than a few people – I even know one personally – in the neighborhood who take their motorcycles or Vespas up in the frieght elevators to their work/live spaces, with or without official permission to do so.

  • Lee Watkins

    “the unanswered question is whether you will you be able to fit your Hummer into the car elevator?” – Hey I was thinking the same thing, and that brings out another concept.

    Increasingly people are buying huge SUVs and thinking of them as as a home away from home. People spend so much time driving that they want to think of the car as a room in their house. So, this is the next step – a Condo Apt. that utilizes the SUV as an extra room.

    Assume that you are someone who is sold on the idea of how much space America dedicates to cars & parking, and sold on the vehicle as a room on wheels, and suppose you see cities from a suburban perspective – a detached node, linked to other nodes only by cars – then this all starts to make sense.

    What scares me is that despite the increasing vogue with bicycles as transportation in the city, there is also an increasing vogue with buidling more extensive auto parking inside buildings. Chase the car of the streets, and it ends up in your living room. Because for many, it actually has become the living room.

  • Spud Spudly

    So then if you have guests over, they can sleep in the back seat and still get up in the middle of the night and use the bathroom?

    Brilliant!

  • Hilary

    Teenagers will love it!

  • Graham

    This will suck the life out of the street and hurt the long-term viability of the neighborhood…not a very smart investment. Do we really want to bring the anti-social qualities of suburbia into the city?

  • Julie

    I thought that one of the joys of living in Manhattan was not needing a car at all, much less one living in your apartment.

  • This suitable-for-Mars dwelling is opening in the fall. There’s one apartment left, for anyone who wants to go over to the dark side. I read about it on the Infrastructurist blog.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Disney’s Highway to Hell

|
This scarifying nine-minute peek into an auto-enslaved Disney world of the future, as seen from 1958, is as amazing for what it gets right (like urban sprawl) as much as what is laughably off the mark (like urban sprawl = Utopia). Notice how skinny everyone is, though no one ever walks (except dad, from his […]

The 5 O’Clock Shutdown: What If Your Building Limits Bike Access?

|
Image: NYCDOT Since the Bikes in Buildings Law went into effect last month, landlords and building managers have gone about complying (or not) in different ways. Some, like real estate mogul Larry Silverstein, are embracing bikes in the workplace. Others are dragging their feet and putting up obstacles for bike commuters who want to bring […]

The 96th Street Sidewalk Nibblers

|
Enjoy the new Clarence Eckerson film, "The Sidewalk Nibblers." "Erosion of cities by automobiles entails so familiar a series of events that they hardly need describing. The erosion proceeds as a kind of nibbling."  –Jane Jacobs The New York City Department of Transportation and MTA recently announced plans for a big, new subway station with elevators in […]

Three Bills Enhancing Bike Access to Buildings Get Council Approval

|
This afternoon the City Council voted in favor of a package of bills aimed to improve bike access to commercial and residential buildings. The bills augment the 2009 Bicycle Access to Buildings Law, which required office building owners and managers to create bicycle access plans when tenants request them. That law had a number of limitations. For one, it only required access to freight […]