July 13, 2007 — -- For $225,000 you can buy a Maserati Victory, a purebred Arabian racing horse and in many parts of the country, a nice home.
In Orlando, Fla., you could get "a beautiful two- or three-bedroom house in a gated community with a two-car garage and a front yard," said Bonnie Lindenbaum, a real estate broker.
But in New York City $225,000 will get you an 18' by 9' parking space in the basement of a new condo building going up in the Chelsea neighborhood.
"Is there a couch and a kitchen and a stove down there too?" joked one Manhattan resident.
Over the past 50 years the number of cars in the United States has more than tripled, but construction of parking garages hasn't kept pace.
And in space-starved Manhattan, a parking space is considered prime real estate. There's actually a waiting list for the $225,000 spot.
Paul Vinci is an insurance salesman who bought bought his parking space for $90,000 two years ago.
People thought he was nuts, until he was offered $150,000 for it three months later. He considered selling the space, but now he's glad he didn't
"So to hear today, that it's gone up another $100,000, I'm very happy," Vinci said.
Some people who don't even own cars are buying parking spaces in New York as an investment and renting them out.
But the parking madness isn't just a New York thing. In Boston, parking spaces can go for as much as $175,000, and in Chicago, people pay up to $75,000.