A Precious Commodity in the Big Apple Giving Your Parking Garage a New Lease on Life

 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.  

 Management Options

 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.  

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