If you think parking is bad in Sydney, try living in New York. Whilst your mental image of the big apple might be of skyscrapers, central park and steam pouring out of subway vents, the reality is that New York’s truthful vision is that of bumper to bumper vehicles, yellow cabs and never-ending car horns.
The solution for most apartment buildings is having underground parking. But even that can cause problems when traffic is so bad. So, having easier access via your own driveway can make a real difference to your daily commute. Which is why the latest must-have architectural feature of any respectable apartment building is… a private driveway.
New luxury apartment building, Jardim in Manhattan’s West Chelsea district is the perfect example, thanks to the vision of developer Harlan Berger.
Borrowing from the classic premium hotel approach, the private driveway at Jardim allows residents to more easily drive into their building without struggling in traffic.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Berger explained, “Before we even bought the site, or hired an architect, we conceived of that private lane. It was my secret marketing angle to deliver an amenity that didn’t exist in the neighborhood.”
The private driveway, which runs the length of the building, gives residents a sense of exclusivity. And similar driveways are cropping up in other premium apartment developments setting their sights on attracting the upper echelons of Manhattan society.
Parking spots are a major bargaining chip in any apartment project. In space-poor New York the going rate for a car spot sits at around US$250,000. And Sydney is hardly any better, with a parking spot in the CBD listed earlier this year for a staggering AU$400,000. We think we’d probably consider taking the train.
But if you are lucky enough to have a parking spot in your apartment building, the private driveway adds an added layer of security and safety, particularly when arriving home at night. And of course, there’s an element of bragging about this architectural strategy. With real estate at such a premium, leaving a sizeable ground floor chunk of it empty for a driveway very much says ‘this is an expensive building and the people living in it will be special’. As a marketing benefit, it ranks up there with concierges and luxurious swimming pools.
Ultimately, though, the push for further and better amenities is an increasing necessity for developers, required to match an apartment building’s perceived value with the underlying price increase in the property market.
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