Owners of New York City co-ops or condos with parking garages in or adjacent to their building are blessed in so many ways. The ability to drive right into your building without the aggravation of hunting down a parking spot provides a level of satisfaction only a New Yorker can fully appreciate.
But apartment owners who don’t have cars are a lucky bunch as well. “Typically the garage is the biggest revenue generator in the co-op,” says Kristen Sokich, executive vice president of ProPark America. And the more efficiently that garage is run, more revenue it generates.
With the long-term contracts they signed with parking garage management companies in the conversion boom of the ‘80s and early ‘90s expiring today, a great number of buildings in New York City have a chance at a new lease on the life of their parking garage.
There are two ways to run a parking garage. The building can keep tight control of the facility by simply contracting a management company to run the operation while they hold on to the business. The building carries all the expenses and collects all the revenue.
This approach allows the board of directors and management to dictate every aspect of the garage on an ongoing basis—to determine, say, how much preference to give residents in terms of guaranteed allotted parking spaces and discounts for parking in the facility. And it lets them choose the types of services it will offer, like valet parking, jump-starting dead batteries, inflating tires and car washing. But it also leaves them in charge of a very complicated business for which none of them is likely very well-equipped.