In any large city, parking is a big deal—it’s often hard to find, and when you do find a spot, it can be very expensive. Parking spaces not only provide urban drivers with freedom and mobility in the crowded cityscape, but they can be a serious revenue generator – so it’s not surprising many co-op and condo buildings have their own parking facilities. Parking garages can be an amenity for residents and a revenue source for the building.
Whether the facility is underneath the building or adjacent to it, there’s more to running a parking garage than simply painting some stripes on the pavement and counting the cash as it rolls in. Management of the facility, allocation of parking spaces, structural maintenance and upkeep all must be weighed when considering operation of a parking facility.
Understanding the administrative/managerial side of it all, and knowing how buildings handle parking facilities, is important for all residents. Since a parking facility owned by an urban residential building is like any outdoor surface-level parking lot for a condo building in the suburbs in that it’s part of the commonly owned property of the building, that means it’s everyone’s concern. As such, board members and all the other residents have a stake in seeing the parking area used to its highest potential.
While it’s not known what percentage of residential buildings in New York City have their own parking facilities, many were built with their own garages. These buildings that do have garages may manage the parking facility in-house through their own management team, or they might outsource it to a company that specializes in the work.
Generally, parking administration doesn’t differ a lot between co-ops and condos. Often, it’s outsourced to a company specializing in management of garages; revenues (minus costs) go to the association or cooperative corporation, says Ellis Dumont, founder and CEO of Advanced Parking Concepts. Sometimes, proceeds from the parking facility go back to the building; it’s really a matter of what the building’s management wants. “In most cases [the parking facility] is rented through an operator or management company who collects the money directly and distributes it on a monthly or yearly basis,” says David Avital, president/CEO of MTP Parking in Manhattan.