Garages Yield to Human-Oriented Development

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The Sun reported recently that Midtown parking garage owners are finding there are more valuable uses for their property than auto storage.

Later this month, the final bids are due for the sales of six prime Midtown Manhattan parking garages comprising a portion of the Central Parking New York City portfolio. Located between 37th and 50th streets, the six would provide a developer up to 643,889 buildable square feet. The seller is offering a prospective purchaser immediate possession, presenting the opportunity to build a hotel, office, or residential building.

"While lenders take a breather, regroup, and gear up for the final quarter of 2007, there has been no slowdown of interest in parking lots for development, which continues to be in the form of some type of hotel and/or mixed-use development, with retail as the key component in the project," the senior broker at Besen Associates, Laurence Ross, said.

In Manhattan, the interest in redeveloping parking sites isn’t confined to Midtown. At Broadway and Sherman Ave./197th St. in Inwood, a neighborhood of low-rises, the parking deck shown above has been targeted to make way for a 400,000 square foot tower, featuring residential, retail and office space.

Not that this particular site will shed itself completely of the automobile, as the building replacing the garage — which has presumably housed vehicles since its original incarnation as a Packard dealership — will include requisite "attached parking."

Photo: Brad Aaron

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