For less than $400 a month, you can get round-the-clock parking at the Boston Common Underground Garage. (I have no idea if that’s the actual name of this garage, but it used to be.) The garage – where I paid for the nights-and-weekend option when I was commuting to the ‘burbs – is clean and well lit. Sure, there is an occasional mugging, but the security is relatively good. And, except for temporary shutdowns to accommodate races, parades, and other events, it’s open 24/7/365, giving you continuous access to your vehicle.
The location – as the name implies, it’s under the Boston Common – is less than a 10 minute walk from most locations on the front side and flats of Beacon Hill. It’s about 2 minutes from where I live, and it’s where I pick up my Zipcars. It’s also where my car-driving guests park. (Yes, in addition to offering monthly parking options, parking under the Common is available on a come and go basis to that great unwashed: the public.)
All told, it could not be more convenient.
The Brimmer Street Garage is probably a 5 minute walk from the Common.
But there’s a world of difference.
Brimmer Street is private. And you don’t rent there (sniff, sniff), you buy.
Garage parking at Beacon Hill’s Brimmer Street Garage represents the most exclusive venue to capture a parking space in the historic Boston neighborhood. The garage was converted into a “condominium” in 1979, making individual parking spaces in the garage deeded pieces of property that can be bought and sold. In 1979, single parking spaces were being sold for $7,500, and now, area residents are paying upwards of $250,000 to lay claim to one of the most exclusive parking spaces in Boston.
“Upwards” is the operative word here. In October, one went for $390K. Then a space at the Brimmer Street Garage was recently listed with an asking price of $650K. Now there’s asking and then there’s bidding, and it’s not clear if anyone’s bidding as of yet. But, if you’re parking a car worth $200K, I guess you don’t want to take the risk that someone might give it a bump and grind while backing out of a space in a public garage. Or take the chance that some green-eyed riff-raff might give in to the temptation to key it.
So perhaps there is someone out there willing to pay $3.8K per square foot to garage their baby. Plus a monthly condo fee ($250), and taxes (roughly another $250).
To put this is real estate perspective, my condo – at least according to Zillow – is worth about $1K per square foot. And while I do have neighbors above me, they’re not quite as openly on top of me as they would be if my I were a car living in a Brimmer Street Garage condo. Plus I have a kitchen, 2 baths, and don’t have to sleep on the back seat of a car.
From a out-of-pocket cost perspective, what with condo fee and property taxes, owning at the Brimmer Street Garage puts you out $500 a month. That’s more than the cost of monthly rental at the Common. And that’s forgetting for a minute that you paid $650K or $390K or some other outlandish amount to begin with.
You also don’t have 24/7 access to your car. Brimmer Street closes at midnight on weekdays, 1 a.m. on the weekends. So if you have the urge to hop in your car at 3 a.m. and cruise around, you’ll just have to grab a Zipcar. You can’t get to your own until 6:30 a.m. And forget about real spur of the moment. You need to give the garage 10-15 minutes notice so that the attendant can get the car for you. Of course, most civilians wouldn’t want to be messing with the sort of up and over parking apparatus that Brimmer provides.
Not to mention that, while in this glam shot the Brimmer Street Garage looks rather staid and Beacon Hill appropriate, trust me when I say that it looks totally out of whack with everything that surround it. (Take it from someone who used to live in a carriage house kitty-corner to the Brimmer Street Garage.)
Anyway, whether the fellow gets $650K for this space, or a mere $390K, there’s something plenty daffy about paying that kind of money for a parking space. Makes spending large on a part of Yeezies seem sensible.
Me, even if I win the lottery and get meself another car, I can pretty much guarantee that it will be parked – not garaged – under the Boston Common.
General info source for this post: The Boston Globe