Posh Parking

In some upscale residential buildings in major cities, the parking garages are almost as luxurious as the apartments.

Private parking spots are no longer necessarily just spaces to put your cars; some now feature almost enough designer amenities to make them viable venues for formal dinner parties. Think wrought-iron entry gates, vaulted ceilings, chandeliers, and period tiles. Summon your car using an app-based valet service, or travel from the garage lobby to your apartment in a private elevator. 

In Miami’s 60-story Porsche Design Tower, you can even step straight out of your vehicle into your apartment, because each residence has its own drive-in glass elevator. And, at Seattle’s 41-story Spire building, which is under construction, you’ll be able to let robots do the work. It will have the city’s first fully automated garage—you’ll pull into an auto port, get out of your car, and watch as it disappears underground. 

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Robot technology, a demand for residential space, and shrinking municipally mandated parking requirements are driving the transformation of private parking in major cities. San Francisco recently removed the minimum parking requirement for new buildings, and parts of Manhattan implemented a cap on parking spaces in new developments. 

So when upscale residential buildings are able to include parking, designers are making it count. Ximena Rodriguez is director of interior design at CetraRuddy, the team behind 443 Greenwich, an exclusive residence in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood. The building has 53 units but only 15 parking spaces. 

“In New York, the question is ‘how can you maximize?’ because space is hard to get,” says Rodriguez. “If you can include parking in your building, making the most of it is something you will strive for.”

A typical single space in 443 Greenwich is 170 square feet, and a double space is 350 square feet. The double spots were available to residents for up to about $1 million. With such a price tag, designers worked to make the parking as luxurious as the rest of the building. 

“Finishing this garage as if it were another very important space and not an afterthought is something that distinguishes it,” Rodriguez says. “We created a small lobby, a place of arrival, a place where you’re coming home. We paid special attention to lighting because we wanted this space to feel thought through. We have sconces, we have pendants. Every spot here has an electric charger.”

The attention to detail and privacy has not been lost on the building’s high-profile residents, who have reportedly included Justin Timberlake and Meg Ryan. “They love it,” says Rodriguez. “It’s so convenient. You can drive through, be so close to your elevator, get to your unit. It’s a level of luxury to have the parking.”