Without a doubt, storage space is a supreme luxury in New York City. With small living spaces selling at high prices abound, unit owners commonly require additional capacity for bikes, out-of-season clothing, suitcases, business files and other cluttering paraphernalia. While some buildings do not offer such space (other than in-unit closets), others do have a limited number of rentable storage units, shelves, and bike racks.
Indeed, Manhattan storage space is a seriously high-priced amenity. Earlier this year, a 35-square-foot space at 18 Gramercy Park. where a $42 million duplex was sold, was reported to sell for $75,000 (or $2,143 per square foot). Yikes! And, the storage spaces at 56 Leonard in Tribeca were selling between $72,000 for a 36-square-foot space and $300,000 for a combination storage unit measuring 211-square-feet; in another report, purchasing a storage unit at Midtown’s luxury One57 building starts at $101,000.
Most Desirable Amenity
“Storage units are more desired than gyms in most buildings,” says Josh Goldman, the president of Bargold Storage Systems in Long Island City, a company that retrofits building basements with steel storage locker facilities. “There are so many gyms in New York City but everyone wants to put their suitcases and alternate season clothing somewhere.”
Goldman claims he’s seen storage units made from mesh and solid steel construction, and some with just shelving and a barebones storage system in which management has simply drawn lines on a floor that delineate a resident’s space. “The residents are told that ‘this is your spot’ …but how long is it before they start to creep into other spots or in the aisles?” he says. “Some buildings have to get dumpsters and have the storage room cleared of stuff that’s not wanted anymore when apartments change hands.”
Frequently, finding additional storage space for residents represents a creative challenge. Paul Purcell, the managing director of William Raveis Real Estate in New York City, says one building on East 77th Street finds a solution by converting old maids’ rooms to storage units and selling them for $100,000 to $195,000. “Maids’ rooms are on separate floors and were typically 8-x-10 rooms with a sink and a toilet,” explains Purcell. “In the old days, people lived in them but today, they are used as offices and storage. One gentleman used it to hold his art collection.”