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  #1  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2020, 8:31 PM
bobbyv bobbyv is offline
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Seattle's attempt to build condos with minimal parking not working.

From the Seattletimes:

Quote:
Seattleites want to live more like Manhattanites.

Or at least, that was the gamble made by developers of The Emerald, a 40-story luxury condominium near Pike Place Market, when they decided to include fewer parking stalls than any comparable new residential tower in the city.

But it looks like even Teslas on demand and the thrill of sharing an address with the priciest listing on the waterfront aren’t enough to prompt potential buyers of Seattle’s luxury condominiums to give up their cars.

The relative dearth of parking at The Emerald has been jeopardizing sales there, local condo brokers say.
https://www.seattletimes.com/busines...to-be-failing/
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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2020, 9:05 PM
mhays mhays is offline
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Yeah, they overstepped on this one. What works with apartments (>95% of the completed new greater-Downtown inventory in this decade) doesn't work the same with condos. Condo buyers tend to be older and richer, and are more likely to have cars.

They went aggressive with unit count on a pretty small and odd-shaped site of 8,365 square feet. My guesstimate is that a more traditional ratio like 0.7 spaces per unit would have meant going absurdly deep at massive cost PLUS a mechanical system. More realistically the option was a much shorter tower with fewer units. So they went big on units and might have to sell them for a little under what they expected.

Meanwhile I'm glad we we don't mandate this stuff...would hate to live in a city where a condo buyer is REQUIRED to buy a parking space. In fact I had to buy one with mine a decade ago.
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  #3  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2020, 11:01 PM
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I mean, rich people, especially in America, tend to have cars. Manhattan/Brownstone Brooklyn is a really odd exception. And even there, some buildings manage to include a few parking spaces.

So, yeah, I see no reason why luxury condo buildings in Seattle would go car free, or even car-lite. The city has like a 75-80%% car ownership rate, and the rate is undoubtedly higher among wealthy households. Rental buildings for 20-somethings, maybe, but not $2 million condos for families.
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  #4  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2020, 11:06 PM
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^ I’ve always wondered where elite Manhattanites keep their cars that they use when they escape the city for the Hamptons or Catskills. Are they housed in an off-site facility? Or do they just rent cars?
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  #5  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2020, 12:07 AM
jtown,man jtown,man is online now
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Yeah, my rental building here in Chicago just ran out of spots. I know there are two empty apartments just on my floor(16 floor building). So they are probably gonna have a harder time renting the rest of these units with no parking.
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  #6  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2020, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Quixote View Post
^ I’ve always wondered where elite Manhattanites keep their cars that they use when they escape the city for the Hamptons or Catskills. Are they housed in an off-site facility? Or do they just rent cars?
Many keep cars in neighborhood garages. Side streets still have a fair number of garages. There are also some river piers that function as garages.

But parking in residential buildings is pretty rare, and been banned in prime neighborhoods since the 70's. A few buildings get variances for parking, but it's usually just a few spaces. Most wealthy people probably aren't keeping their cars in Manhattan, but in private homes outside the city.
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  #7  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2020, 12:44 AM
bossabreezes bossabreezes is offline
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^^Some newer buildings have parking, but mostly in off site garages. Likely close to their address, but still off premises.
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  #8  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2020, 1:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhays View Post
Yeah, they overstepped on this one. What works with apartments (>95% of the completed new greater-Downtown inventory in this decade) doesn't work the same with condos. Condo buyers tend to be older and richer, and are more likely to have cars.

They went aggressive with unit count on a pretty small and odd-shaped site of 8,365 square feet. My guesstimate is that a more traditional ratio like 0.7 spaces per unit would have meant going absurdly deep at massive cost PLUS a mechanical system. More realistically the option was a much shorter tower with fewer units. So they went big on units and might have to sell them for a little under what they expected.

Meanwhile [b}I'm glad we we don't mandate this stuff...would hate to live in a city where a condo buyer is REQUIRED to buy a parking space[/b]. In fact I had to buy one with mine a decade ago.
I don't know anywhere where the government mandates bundled parking and living space but it used to be the norm, and so far as I know still is except in the greenest of American cities (mostly on the left coast and NY) that developers routinely sell deeded parking with units.

In 2006 San Francisco became among the first cities to ban this practice and to mandate the separate marketing of parking and residential units. At the same time, it set a maximum limit in the downtown area of .75 parking spaces per unit in new residential buildings and eliminated minimums as well.

The result is that for over a decade now if you want to buy a new high rise condo in the city, you will have to lease a parking space IF ONE IS AVAILABLE and your car will likely be parked not by you but by a valet, in some of the newest buildings in mechanical parking stackers like those New York has had for some time:


http://www.solidparking.com

Incidentally, as far back as the 1980s I did a "back of the envelope" calculation, comparing selling prices of my building (which does not have deeded parking but does have more than one space per unit and has CC&Rs that require the owner of each unit to be able to lease a space at a discounted rate--to the local area mean) to a similar one up the street that does have deeded parking. The difference worked out to roughly $100,000 for a one bedroom unit--that is, a unit with deeded parking sold for $100,000 more than one without deeded parking indicating that a parking space was worth $100,000. And that was decades ago although I've recently seen other people asserting the figure is still similar.

Finally, because we have the room and we also have a fair number of people in the building (including me) who do not have their own cars there, a number of ZipCars are parked in our garage so that it's just as convenient to rent a ZipCar when a resident occasionally needs a car as it would be to have one's own.

Last edited by Pedestrian; Feb 9, 2020 at 1:28 AM.
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  #9  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2020, 1:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Most wealthy people probably aren't keeping their cars in Manhattan, but in private homes outside the city.
I'm not claiming to be one of these "wealthy" people but that's exactly what I do. I own 2 (older but low mileage) cars, both of which remain in the garage of my second home where one needs a car--there is nothing within walking distance.
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  #10  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2020, 1:16 AM
mhays mhays is offline
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This site has great transit, and it's walkable to most of greater Downtown's jobs as well as an absurd wealth of groceries within a couple blocks (Market, H-Mart, Target...). That plus the expense of additional parking (wild guess, six figures per space to go far beyond the current amount) might have made the bet look good. And maybe they'll still do fine.

One thing about condos...if the developers are well-capitalized, it can be preferable to sell units at completion rather than during construction...you'll get more for them. I don't know what their intent was/is, and neither does the reporter.
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  #11  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2020, 1:31 AM
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I know very little about Seattle's condo market but I ran across this:

Quote:
Nov. 12, 2006
At the Moda condominiums, a development under construction in Seattle, only 43 out of 251 units have assigned parking. Eighty-three units have no parking and the remainder have access to a permit parking system. The building is in the downtown Belltown neighborhood, where the average condo has one and a half parking spaces.
https://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/12/r...te/12nati.html

which suggests the issue is not at all new. I'm betting the Moda is long since fully occupied.

Last edited by Pedestrian; Feb 9, 2020 at 5:44 AM.
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  #12  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2020, 1:35 AM
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As far as I can divine from listings around here, deeded parking goes for about $30k.
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  #13  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2020, 4:46 AM
dave8721 dave8721 is offline
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Miami which generally has more parking per unit than Seattle and has a larger "driving share" has had condos (even 40 story ones) with no parking for a decade now and never had a problem. With those Miami ones, most of the non-car condos get rented out anyway so they serve as defacto rental apartment towers/air bnb's anyway.
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  #14  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2020, 5:07 AM
mhays mhays is offline
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Moda is a woodframe full of 300-sf micro units. No surprise that it has little parking, even before developers started getting a lot more aggressive.
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  #15  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2020, 1:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave8721 View Post
Miami which generally has more parking per unit than Seattle and has a larger "driving share" has had condos (even 40 story ones) with no parking for a decade now and never had a problem.
I find this odd, as Miami is so auto-centric, and almost every large tower sits on a giant parking podium.

Can you provide an example of a Miami highrise with zero parking? How does that even work?
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  #16  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2020, 3:57 PM
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Well this is depressing.

If Seattle can't sell condos without a large amount of parking than who outside of NYC can?
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  #17  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2020, 4:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Can you provide an example of a Miami highrise with zero parking? How does that even work?

Investor condos don't need no parking.
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  #18  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2020, 5:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The North One View Post
Well this is depressing.

If Seattle can't sell condos without a large amount of parking than who outside of NYC can?
American parking ratios continue to blow me away from a Canadian perspective. Toronto’s downtown rates are about 1 space per 10 units typically these days, and even a lot of apartment projects deep in the suburbs are well below 1 per unit. There is one project in Vaughan that is 1 per 3 units.

To hear that Downtown Seattle *averages* 1.5 spaces per unit is mind blowing. That’s higher than most apartment complexes on the edge of the GTA.
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  #19  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2020, 5:08 PM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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If I were choosing to buy a condo in any city on Earth, and everything was equal except one came with a parking space, then that's a pretty big fucking tie-breaker. Not sure why this is surprising to anyone.
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  #20  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2020, 5:12 PM
jtown,man jtown,man is online now
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I mean, we all must understand we are bias here on this site. Let's really think about this. Most people like cars. Period. It's too cold/hot to walk, train and bus can be unpredictable, socially illiterate people ride public transit....a car can seem like such a pleasure when you factor in all those things. Also, whenever I use google for directions, a car is usually always the fastest option. And it is always the most comfortable. You add in the fact that the vast majority of American cities have shitty public transit( not enough routes, headways suck) or public transit with too many issues(bums, spoke system, crime) and it's quite obvious why people at least want the option of a car.

Most of us are living in a fantasy. No, riding the average city train will not give you time to do work on your laptop. You will either be standing up because it is so packed or you probably don't want your laptop out so someone doesn't come and steal it from you. It's just dead time just like if you were driving. There are obvious positives to transit. I am walking more now than ever that I take the train almost every day. I am certainly saving money. But damnit, I love driving. I love that freedom. I love grocery shopping for big things and just pulling into my garage and going to the elevator.

Until American cities drastically improve their systems( in any way, rail expansion, reduced headways, bus lanes, etc) and get rid of the social delinquent problems( just this week in Chicago, someone was stabbed and then the next day someone was shot in the two train stations I use to get to school), Americans will always prefer their cars. Period.

Me and my gf went from two cars to one. I take public transit almost everyday but there is no way in hell we would go without a car. There are too many positives to owning one.
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