Robot Parking Lots Are Now a Thing in NYC—and One Spot Costs $300,000

Trying to find parking in New York City is like a trip to the dentist: completely necessary but utterly painful. Now, with the help of your friendly neighborhood robot, you can skirt the issue altogether—without the assistance of an attendant or a valet.

In some ultra-expensive NYC buildings, robotic parking systems are the next great amenity. The spaces, available only to residents, will set you back $300,000 to $595,000, according to a recent article from CNBC. And that’s on top of your hefty monthly condo payment.

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“As crazy as it may sound, $300,000 for a residential parking spot is considered a reasonable price in New York City,” the real-estate broker Senada Adzem told CNBC. “The overall lack of parking in the city, an ongoing problem with no end in sight, will only escalate such pricing.”

Here’s how it works: You pull your car up to a kiosk where a radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag gives you access to the parking garage. Next, you position your ride on a robo-operated pallet that shoots up to meet you and then whisks the vehicle away to the basement, where it’s slotted into an empty space by the mechanical parking system. To retrieve your car, you show the RFID card again and the process is reversed in just over two minutes.

The system allows for more options in areas where parking would otherwise be limited. Since you don’t need ramps or driving lanes, like in a regular old-fashioned garage (remember those?), all the area’s available room can be occupied by parked cars. And the residents who are willing to pay extra for the amenity absolutely love it—especially high-profile tenants who can park in comfort without worrying about privacy around valets or people pulling in behind them. Plus, the system makes pulling out of a tight squeeze a total breeze.

“The car is turned for you by the robot,” Lori Alf, the owner of one such parking spot in Manhattan, told CNBC. “Who doesn’t live for a robot that sets you in the right direction in NYC?”

In Alf’s building, located at 121 East 22nd Street near Gramercy Park, she paid $300,000 for the garage spot as part of a $9.45 million deal including the residence’s most expensive unit. An EV space could set you back $350,000 at some locations, and every spot owner is likely to pay $150 a month in maintenance fees. Elsewhere, spots are going for $450,000—and even upwards of $595,000.

Avoiding the migraine that’s street parking in the Big Apple, however, may be priceless.

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