PARK SLOPE — An app that promises to ease the suffering of drivers hunting for parking has launched in notoriously parking-starved Park Slope.
Luxe, an on-demand valet parking service, is now available in the neighborhood that frustrated drivers sometimes refer to as "No-Park" Slope, the company announced this week.
Drivers tell the app where they're looking for parking, and a valet meets them on the street to whisk their car away to a nearby garage, where it's kept safe and sound until the driver needs it. When the driver needs the car back, they alert the app and their vehicle is returned to them anywhere within the app's service area.
The service costs $7 an hour (with a $30 maximum) for a single use, but drivers can also sign up for a monthly subscription for $299. Valets can wash and fuel your car for an extra fee, and they'll even charge your Tesla for an extra $15. There is no extra charge if the valet parks your car in a garage, which Luxe may use through existing relationships.
Luxe's New York general manager Pooja Dhargalkar said the service is well-suited to Park Slope, where "there are a lot of brownstones but not a lot of garages."
"One thing we hear pretty consistently from people who live in that neighborhood is the pain of looking for a space on the street — the extra time, the inconvenience of having to park several blocks from home, then the schlep of the stroller and the bags," Dhargalkar said. "We're excited about giving people their time back."
The San Francisco-based app launched on the West Coast in 2014 and came to New York in 2015, where it was first available on the Upper West Side. The app expanded to Park Slope after "scores" of requests from desperate drivers, a spokeswoman said.
Luxe's Park Slope service area includes a part of Prospect Heights. The borders are 15th Street, Fourth Avenue, Prospect Park West/Vanderbilt Street, and Atlantic Avenue. Luxe parks clients' cars in garages throughout Brooklyn, including ones in downtown and in Brooklyn Heights, Dhargalkar said.
Parking is so elusive in Park Slope that nearly half the traffic in the neighborhood is cars looking for spots, according to a 2007 study by the street safety advocacy group Transportation Alternatives.
A permanent parking spot in a garage at 841 Union St. sold for $80,000 in 2013, and prices have skyrocketed following the closure of a nearby garage that's being turned into condos. A spot at 841 Union St. was recently up for sale for $279,000.