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Tastemaker Extraordinare
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Want Deed to Park Place?
Residents of a new downtown high-rise condo project can buy their own vehicle space -- for $20,000. It's so not L.A., many say.

By Cara Mia DiMassa, Times Staff Writer


When David Kean got home from his shopping spree Sunday, he immediately went online.

"Well, I spent 40K today," wrote Kean, a real estate agent, in a post on the website LoftLA.com. "Expensive weekend."

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Pricey jewelry? Luxury car?

No, parking spaces.

Kean is a future resident of 1100 Wilshire, a swanky high-rise condo development downtown. And for his $40,000, he bought the right to park his Mercedes CLK coupe and Lincoln Aviator in two spaces on the sixth floor of his building.

Not long ago in car-friendly Los Angeles, free parking seemed like a birthright.

But the real estate boom has hit even the parking lot.

1100 Wilshire is selling parking spots for $15,000 to $20,000 a pop, offering new residents, who are paying $400,000 to $1 million for their units, the chance to wrap the cost of their spaces into their mortgages.

Such prices may have been standard in tony sections of New York, Boston and San Francisco, long known for their walk-able downtowns and elaborate public transportation systems. But in Los Angeles — home to some of the world's first parking garages as well as those sprawling postwar shopping mall parking lots — the price tags are raising some eyebrows.

Real estate professionals said the setup seems unusual — even along the canyon of high-rise condos in West Los Angeles. Shel Kirschner, an agent with Coldwell Banker in West Los Angeles, said that he hadn't heard of selling parking spaces separately from condo units.

"If you buy a unit in any of condos on the Westside, 90% of the time, you do have assigned parking" included with the purchase price, he said.

Donald Shoup, a professor of urban planning at UCLA, said the arrangement "is bringing us more into line with what other big cities are doing."

By charging separately for parking, said Shoup, author of "The High Cost of Free Parking," 1100 Wilshire in effect encourages use of public transportation by residents of the building, which is just a few blocks from a Metro subway stop.

"Unbundling the parking gives people a new choice," said Shoup. "Maybe it will deter people who want to own three cars, and encourage people who own only one. This is exactly the direction L.A. ought to be moving: People who use less parking pay less for housing."

In other cities, "it would be unthinkable to have the parking thrown in for free. It would turn it into L.A."

Residents of the 1100 building get two unassigned spaces with their purchase price, said Kevin Ratner, a senior vice president of Forest City Enterprises, which is developing the project.

But the building's design requires drivers to climb a four-story "speed ramp" before parking on the fifth through 16th floors. The unassigned spaces are on the higher floors — and just getting to them could be enough to induce acrophobia.

Hence the premium parking.

"You can buy your way down in the building," said Ratner. "I would do it if I were buying there. When you roll it into the mortgage, the monthly impact is comparable to what you would pay for parking. And for resale, it's great."

While urban planners might hope the high prices will drive some residents to mass transit, early evidence suggests otherwise.

Developer Forest City rolled out the parking program just a few weeks ago, and the response has been positive, Ratner said.

"You can buy more than two spaces … you could have more than two cars. It is a car-centric town," he said. "Maybe your husband has a couple of hot rods."

In downtown Los Angeles, where parking has long been at a premium, some say the 1100 Wilshire prices are just another necessary evil. Many lots downtown charge $100 or more per month for parking. Residents of the Higgins Building at 2nd and Main streets recently voted to charge themselves a condo fee of $65 a month to pay for a valet for themselves and their guests.

Kean, the 1100 Wilshire condo owner who purchased two spaces, said he is guaranteeing himself an easy ride home. "Otherwise, you come home late, and you have to circle up to the 11th floor…. It's a mile up."
 

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its great that they're trying to make us a more car less society but then again they have to understand that you can't get to many places by public transport
 

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Yeah, there are plenty of people who would ditch their cars if it was actually a reasonable decision. There are too many places that are not very easy to get to without a car.
 

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$20,000 for a deeded parking space? $100 parking per month? That's so cheap! Where can I sign up? :)

Here in Chicago: $45,000 for a deeded parking space and $200 for monthly parking.
 

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Chi_Coruscant said:
$20,000 for a deeded parking space? $100 parking per month? That's so cheap! Where can I sign up? :)

Here in Chicago: $45,000 for a deeded parking space and $200 for monthly parking.
wow :eek2: as it says in the article.. i thought parking space was a birth right
 

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...::HK.:.:.:.LA::...
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read it and I think it's done backwards... b4 they start charging parking separately they've gotta build up a solid public trans first... the bus system in my opinion is a giant entangled mess, and the subway seldom gets you to where you wanna be :-/ until then, as much as I hate the driver, I'm staying in my accord
 

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What does this have to do with NY? LA is just begining to build urbanized settings. It will take a long time before it will even come close to san francisco. However, LA will never compare to Chicago or NY or Boston, because it is a sprawling "Western City", such as Dallas,Houston,San diego,and Denver, except San Fran.
 

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Chicagostyle said:
What does this have to do with NY? LA is just begining to build urbanized settings. It will take a long time before it will even come close to san francisco. However, LA will never compare to Chicago or NY or Boston, because it is a sprawling "Western City", such as Dallas,Houston,San diego,and Denver, except San Fran.
Just budge right in here and tear at our dreams why dont you!!!
 

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Chicagostyle said:
What does this have to do with NY? LA is just begining to build urbanized settings. It will take a long time before it will even come close to san francisco. However, LA will never compare to Chicago or NY or Boston, because it is a sprawling "Western City", such as Dallas,Houston,San diego,and Denver, except San Fran.
Honestly, SF have sprawl so that most spreading to South SF and West SF with almost no transit mass.
 

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The City
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Chicagostyle said:
What does this have to do with NY? LA is just begining to build urbanized settings. It will take a long time before it will even come close to san francisco. However, LA will never compare to Chicago or NY or Boston, because it is a sprawling "Western City", such as Dallas,Houston,San diego,and Denver, except San Fran.
^Yeah. It's all just a pipe dream
 

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Chicagostyle said:
What does this have to do with NY? LA is just begining to build urbanized settings. It will take a long time before it will even come close to san francisco. However, LA will never compare to Chicago or NY or Boston, because it is a sprawling "Western City", such as Dallas,Houston,San diego,and Denver, except San Fran.

I dont agree with this, I lived in LA for four years and I really miss it there.
LA and NY are the two best cities in america, and yes I can see how some people see the rest of the country as flyover.
However I grew up in chicago so I like the top three immensely and wouldnt want to live in a smaller city than the top three for good.

The top three in culture are also the top three in population.
LA will increase with their density over time, it has the overwhelming culture and diversity of newyork, just spread out, and it sure has the traffic.

LA is similar to newyork and will become MORESO as condo prices in LA catch to Newyork and are already compareable in many areas.

I used to slam LA, but I trully believe YOU CANT SLAM an area unless you have lived there. LA is very urban, its just more spread out urban, but you have to check it out yourself, LA is not an obvious city that you get right away, I would hardly call it sprawled in the modern sense. The density will continue to increase. NOpe its easy and ignorant to slam LA, and I am saying this as a chicagoan. Its wrong to slam LA, its a freakin awesome place.
Are californians too overboard with their love fot their city? Yes, sometimes, I was too when I was there, and I really miss it there and hope to have a place there some day. :(

LA is a city that takes years to get. I used to go there alot when I was a teenager for vacation and I didnt dig it that much, but in my early and mid twenties I grew to love it. LA is a city that grows on you. I feel sorry for people that prejudge it and who will never see it for what it truly is.

I would take LA over NY however as its weather is much better.
 

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LA Lover said:
Honestly, SF have sprawl so that most spreading to South SF and West SF with almost no transit mass.

Thats totally true, the sprawl is fucking disgusting around the bay area, and this is where people are supposedly earth friendly and shit.
It doesnt matter where you go, there will always be sprawl,
Its so sad to realize this, :(


Im with LA lover, LA is much better than SF IMHO,
but they are both great cities, but LA has much more to offer.
 
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