PARK SLOPE — What's the going rate for 119 square feet of Park Slope real estate these days? Try $80,000.
That's what one buyer recently plunked down for a piece of property the size of a closet. While small in stature, the pocket-sized chunk of land offers enormous peace of mind for the lucky owner. It's a permanent parking spot in the heart of Park Slope.
The $80,000 transaction was the latest sale at Park Slope's Garage Condominium, where prices have been climbing recently and are expected to keep rising, said Howard Pronsky of Berman Realty, who created the Garage Condominium about 25 years ago.
Pronsky said the price hike started after news broke that the 300-spot parking garage directly across the street from the Garage Condominium is going to be shut down in the near future so the building can be converted into apartments.
The development will bring 28 new apartments to Park Slope, but the loss of parking is a blow in a neighborhood some call "no Park Slope." A 2007 study found that drivers spend an average of half an hour hunting for a parking space in the neighborhood.
Now clients at the Central Parking rental garage, at 800 Union St., are beating a path across Union Street to the Garage Condominium, Pronsky said.
"People come to inquire [from across the street] but we have no room," Pronsky said. "We have great demand and no supply, so the prices are going up."
The 145-spot Garage Condominium made national headlines when it was founded in the mid 1980s — paying $29,000 for a parking spot then seemed preposterous. Owners pay a lump sum for their spot, then pony up monthly maintenance fees — now $240 — and yearly real estate taxes, just like at a residential condo building. Like a traditional condo, there is a board of directors.
Last year four spots at the Garage Condo, which is conveniently located on the same block as the Park Slope Food Co-op, sold for an average of $53,000.
This year there have been three sales: one for $50,000 in April, the next for $62,500 in June and the latest, in July, for $80,000.
The man who acquired the $62,500 spot said he considers himself lucky. He had been parking his car at the Central Parking garage, where slots rent for $350 a month.
"It's a seller's market," said the parking spot purchaser, who declined to be named.
The buyer of the $80,000 spot, who works in finance, declined to comment for this story. The spot he bought last sold in 2003 for $32,000.
Pronsky said the $80,000 sale is high, but not as steep as the six-figure deals in the pre-recession days. Prices could approach that level again soon.
"I've got people who want to buy, but I don't have spots for sale," Pronsky said.