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Very High Tech - Elevator Garages in an NYC Hi-Rise 308

theodp writes "If the hassle of getting groceries from the parking garage to your 12th floor condo has been holding you back from buying a deluxe apartment in the sky, wait no more. Wired reports on the En-Suite Sky Garages at 200 Eleventh Avenue (Flash) in Chelsea, where an 8,000-pound-capacity freight elevator will whisk your Bentley directly into your pad. The convenience doesn't come cheap — a garage-equipped 2BR starts at $4.7M."
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Very High Tech - Elevator Garages in an NYC Hi-Rise

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  • by jihadist ( 1088389 ) on Monday October 22, 2007 @01:33AM (#21068937) Homepage Journal
    New York parking prices are insane and with all the traffic, it's cheaper and faster to bicycle through the freezing snow and angry muggers. Maybe that will eventually make it a "green" city.
    • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Monday October 22, 2007 @01:40AM (#21068973)
      New York... with all the traffic... bicycle through the freezing snow and angry muggers.

      Sounds like a terrific arcade game! :)
      • Sort of... (Score:5, Funny)

        by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Monday October 22, 2007 @01:45AM (#21068995)
        It's like Grand Theft Auto, only you're playing the hooker.
        • by rts008 ( 812749 )
          So Wrong! Sooo Funny!!! Sadly, so true....
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by ultranova ( 717540 )

          It's like Grand Theft Auto, only you're playing the hooker.

          While you propably meant that as a joke, Arcanum has a hooker mission and Fallout 2 lets you pay or get a disocunt with sex on some occasions. Then there's the Kunoichi and Kunoichi 2 modules for Neverwinter Nights, with sex being used as a weapon regularly.

          What's missing is a managerial game - SimBrothel or something.

      • by moosesocks ( 264553 ) on Monday October 22, 2007 @04:57AM (#21069877) Homepage
        Obligatory hair-raising video [] of a helmet-mounted cam of a guy riding from Central Park down to the southern tip of Manhattan. He's got nerves of steel.

        Also, buy a really strong lock [].

        Alternatively, NYC's got arguably one of the cheapest and most extensive mass-transit system on the planet. Owning a car in the city is just plain dumb unless you need to cart around big heavy items all the time.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by hax0r_this ( 1073148 )
      1. Too many cars 2. Don't get a car 3. Less cars 4. Get a car Too many cars isn't going to result in less cars. High gas prices, on the other hand, might.
      • Too many cars isn't going to result in less cars. High gas prices, on the other hand, might

        Perhaps, but only perhaps. Over here in Europe (assuming you're American, sorry) gas prices are already very high. Filling up my car is a good 70€ these days, and I live in one of the "cheaper" countries in Europe.

        Yet, every morning, there is a steel queue in direction of the closest city. All going to work. It's 8:15 now. Would I leave for work now, getting to my workplace, would take about 35 to 40 minutes. Leaving in an hour or so, will cut that back to 15 minutes or less. Parking is no problem for me, my workplace provides those. Others are less lucky and easily pay 15€ or more a day.

        Of course, I'm one of the bad guys in the game too. My workplace is 10km from here, I have a bicycle road practially from my home to my workplace. I used it a few times in the summer. It's fun, but you get at work completely sweaty (it's a hilly country and most of the time I'm going uphill). There are no showers at my workplace, and you see where I'm going. :-(

        Public transportation you say? Takes ~50 minutes. 25 minutes walking to the train station, 10minutes train, waiting for the bus another 5 minutes, the bus standing in traffic 10 minutes. That's of course when I'm lucky and don't miss a train or a bus. Yes, I also did this before.

        So, just jacking up the gas prices won't help much. From my point of view the time saved is worth the price, so unless gas prices become unaffordable for the common man, nothing will change.

        • Though bicycling is preferable, even if it does get you sweaty.
        • by Tom ( 822 ) on Monday October 22, 2007 @04:21AM (#21069725) Homepage Journal

          Public transportation you say?
          Is an option if you live near the station, but only then. Public transport has, unfortunately, been all but demolished in many parts of Europe. The German government, for example, is currently busy selling 50% of the train system - estimated worth: 100 billion Euros. Ask price for half of that: 6 billion Euros. If that isn't a fire-sale, I don't know what is. We'll probably find a good part of that government with lucrative positions in certain corporations once their careers are over.

          Why do I mention this? Because it's been going on for about 10 years, and all those years train service in Germany has gone down. Remember when the Germans were famous for being punctual? One thing Germany was famous for was how its trains ran on the minute. If it said 8:52 on the time table, it would be there at 8:52 and not 8:53 (or somewhere between 8:45 and 9:00, like almost everywhere else). Those times are over. Train delays have become so common that they're a running gag.
        • This is one of the many things the current government in the UK is getting wrong.

          I don't object at all to high-priced petrol, but you've got to give people the alternatives at the same time. If you live anywhere outside London there are basically no good transport alternatives to the car.

          For example, in my last job there was no real alternative way for me to get to the office other than driving up and down the M1 (Britain's largest, busiest motorway). Trains don't go that route because the train line

          • OMG! You are making sense, and your first name seems to be Richard. You Heretic! How dare you suggest employers do anything to help their employees, especially if it might make them better employees. Next thing you know, they will start feeling good about themselves. Oh, and where does that go? No good I tell you! No good at all. Employees feeling good, being healthy and expecting their employers to do what is right. Gads!



          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Megane ( 129182 )

            One thing which could be done to help you would be to mandate that all employers install showers for their workers.

            That's unlikely to happen in the US. The reason is because it's a liability because someone might sliiiip and faaaaall. And sue the company into oblivion. I remember when a friend of mine who worked for a big games publisher showed me their new penthouse digs. They had installed showers but were waiting for a proper safety inspection and approval before they could open them.

    • ...bicycle through the freezing snow...
      Sounds like some global warming would do you good. :)
    • by flooey ( 695860 ) on Monday October 22, 2007 @10:53AM (#21072227)
      Maybe that will eventually make it a "green" city.

      Actually, in terms of average energy cost per resident, New York City is already one of the greenest cities in the US. Less than half of households own cars, 1 in 3 mass transit trips in the US is made on the NYC subway, and dense apartment buildings mean your excess heat and cooling leaks into your neighbor's residence instead of the air. If you were to take New York City's residents and change the population density to that of Suffolk County (the eastern county on Long Island), you would need an area the size of Maryland to house them.

      In terms of environmental impact per square mile, New York City is certainly terrible, but in terms of environment impact per person (which is generally a better metric), New York City does fabulously.
  • by lucas teh geek ( 714343 ) on Monday October 22, 2007 @01:46AM (#21068999)
    yay, now along with being stuck in traffic every morning, you also get the pleasure of waiting for your turn to use the damn lift every morning before you can even leave home.
    • by kryten250 ( 1177211 ) on Monday October 22, 2007 @02:06AM (#21069145)
      Reminds me of the kids at toy stores who keep pushing the button. I bet 'that' won't be a problem. --If I see a kid push it more than 5 times then I act flustered and say "That's too fast! It's gonna crash!!" and run away. The looks alone are worth it...
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by jawtheshark ( 198669 ) *

        Very funny, but I suspect this thing is going to be controlled with a keycard coded to your aparment. Insert keycard, you and your car go to the parking, you leave car, open door and you're in your hallway. So, no button-pushing pranksters, I fear.

        • by rvw ( 755107 )

          Very funny, but I suspect this thing is going to be controlled with a keycard coded to your aparment. Insert keycard, you and your car go to the parking, you leave car, open door and you're in your hallway. So, no button-pushing pranksters, I fear.
          Nowadays pushing the button is done remotely. Think of using your remote control to change channels at the neighbours. The kids across the street will try to hack it, probably use the closed camera circuit to see how it works out.
    • by Nefarious Wheel ( 628136 ) * on Monday October 22, 2007 @02:57AM (#21069405) Journal
      If you're that rich, are you going to queue up to go to work in the morning? Naah, wait for the rabble to clear first.
  • by GoSmalltalk ( 42449 ) on Monday October 22, 2007 @01:47AM (#21069015)
    This was described fully in Heinlein's "I will Fear No Evil". While the book wasn't exactly great Heinlein, it does describe apartment buildings with elevators for your cars. They are needed because in that worldview, crime was so rampant that your car was an upolstered tank, and your home was a fortress. Happily, that particularly dark vision has yet to come. However, it was written in the years of "burn, baby, burn" and very high crime, so it is certainly fodder for speculative fiction.
  • wow! (Score:5, Funny)

    by j-stroy ( 640921 ) on Monday October 22, 2007 @01:51AM (#21069045)
    That means I could make out in a car and an elevator at the same time! If I had a girlfriend, and 4.7 million.. But just think of it! A girlfriend!
    • by Tom ( 822 )
      Actually, you can do that already, for a few Euros, but only if you're quick (the journey takes about two minutes or so): []

      That's a tunnel from 1911, and it has car lifts on both sides of it.
    • by Dunbal ( 464142 )
      That means I could make out in a car and an elevator at the same time! If I had a girlfriend, and 4.7 million.. But just think of it! A girlfriend!

            If you had 5 million dollars, the girlfriend would NOT be a problem believe me. Women are attracted to money.
  • Groceries (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 22, 2007 @02:01AM (#21069093)
    I used to live on the 23rd floor of a high-rise in Chicago. Groceries were never a problem. The 1st floor of the building was a grocery store and they delivered with purchases of $20 or more (excluding alcohol and cigarettes). Likewise all the local grocery stores would deliver to your apartment free of charge with a minimum purchase. You could phone or fax your grocery order in and pay for it on delivery (even pay with a check) or you could go down and select your items, pay for them, and one of the box boys would lug the stuff up for you.

    It would've been possible for a hermit to never leave the building. The local laundry picked up and delivered for free. The drug store would deliver prescriptions for free. And we had a full gym with half-Olympic pool on the 5th floor. There was even a dog-walk service available for a small fee. That's how things work in inner cities.

    • "half-Olympic pool on the 5th floor."

      And some very very jittery residents on the 4th floor...

  • by timmarhy ( 659436 ) on Monday October 22, 2007 @02:03AM (#21069113)
    Security for both you and your car. no bitch can key your $250k car and no homeless bum can jump you in the car park.

    I would totally pay for one if i had the cash.

    • And - and secure underground parking would not solve this issue?

      Besides - now you don't just have a gas guzzling car, but you can waste loads of energy just getting it up to your floor.
      (Unless, of course, you'd want the house to make Al Gore's home electricity consumption look "moderate")

      The whole sounds pretty braindead to me (plus - I don't want to see what happens when the first depressed rich guy commits suicide by driving his car out through the wall on the 10th or so floor -- structural damage to the
      • by jimicus ( 737525 )
        Oh - and if I have USD4.7m to spend on a flat - what makes you think I have a one-car household; or will I get my own personal parking deck holding 3 or 4 cars)?

        You don't have a one car household. You have an enormous house way out in the countryside with lots of cars - but you want the convenience of an apartment right near the centre of the city.

        'Course, you didn't get that rich by buying property right at the time when it looked like house prices were going to collapse.
        • by Dunbal ( 464142 )
          'Course, you didn't get that rich by buying property right at the time when it looked like house prices were going to collapse.

          If you're worried about a few $100,000 here or there, you're obviously not rich enough. Property prices have been "on the verge of collapse" for years now. But if you need the property, you need the property. So what if it loses 30% of its value. You can always justify it by saying "well I needed it for X/Y/Z so we'll just call the difference "rent". And if you
    • $4.7mil apartment! With that kind of money I probably have a Merc SLK65 for short trips, a CLK65 for the wife, an S500 for taking the whole family on day trips, an SUV for multi day trips or shopping. Also need some space to work on my Ferrari as it requires some maintenance, oh and I need 3 minis for pulling bank jobs to keep me in the money.

      Now how many garages do I get? 1 oh....bummer

    • It's silly. The current standard of having a parking-garage in the basement and a private elevator up to your apartments is better in several ways:

      Space high up is worth more than space in the basement, because people prefer living on the 10th floor instead of in the basement.

      A private elevator that opens directly at your apartment is *less* risky than this, did you look at the floorplans ? Sure there's a garage on your floor-level, you do however need to exit that garage, and go trough the stairwell to ent
    • no bitch can key your $250k car and no homeless bum can jump you in the car park.

            They can always get you at the supermarket/gas station/mall. People who drive Bentleys usually live where there are security guards. I doubt very much they were getting their cars "keyed" at HOME.
  • Consider (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fishbowl ( 7759 ) on Monday October 22, 2007 @02:10AM (#21069161)
    The kind of people who "live" in the really expensive NYC real estate tend to not spend much time there themselves. These apartments are status symbols. Places to send your clients who want something better than a Times Square hotel room. Places to have an occasional party. That sort of thing. The person who has a Bentley and a $5 million apartment in NYC also has a "ranch" outside Denver, a mansion on the Big Island of Hawaii, and an island in the Caribbean... and somebody on the payroll to deal with the Bentley, and drive it, and park it. Not for the owner. For the people the owner is trying to impress...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      You've clearly never looked at real estate prices in NYC, lived/worked in NYC, and might very well be delusional.

      I'm an IT intern just starting, and looking for an apartment in NYC that I can afford on my reasonably decent intern salary. It's pretty much suicide, but I'd do anything at this point to skip the 2 hour+ commute to and from Staten Island (one of the other boroughs, except we have virtually no mass transit. 2 hours for 20 fucking miles...) I mostly look at the lower income housing, but 5 milli
  • How long these have been in use in Europe? Thirty years? Twenty five? Even in Russia nobody looks at car elevators as something unusual...
    • by G Fab ( 1142219 )
      You are talking about multi level parking spaces, right? where the car is placed on top of another car in a ground level garage? They've had those in the states for a while too.

      I have never seen anything like what the articles describes in Europe or Russia, and I think I would have noticed. This is about bringing a car up thirty stories to your personal apartment.

      Plenty of fodder to attack america with is you are really keen on doing so, but we are still the home of many inventions. We ain't Japan, but w
  • It's been done (Score:4, Informative)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Monday October 22, 2007 @02:28AM (#21069265) Homepage

    This isn't the first. There's at least one apartment building in Dubai with a similar setup. There's CarLoft [] in Germany. There's one on Charlotte, NC. It's even been done in New York before; there was a writeup in Elevator World.

    • by not-quite-rite ( 232445 ) on Monday October 22, 2007 @02:44AM (#21069343) Homepage Journal
      You subscribe to Elevator World?


      You have opened my eyes to a whole new world - Elevator Geeks!

      I can picture it now....

      "How to overclock your elevator in 5 easy steps..."

      "Escalators - Are they the campers of the Elevator market?"

      "Pictures of the top 10 elevators, and their designers - Sealed Section" (very naughty!)

      Etc :P
    • by heytal ( 173090 )
      India has had more sophisticated parking solutions than this. There are multi-level parking buildings, where one has to drive in a car into an elevator, lock it, and then the elevator would put the car in an available slot. Once you are back, the car can be retrieved from that slot, and ready for you to depart. All this for less than 50 cents an hour.

      There are buildings which have car parks and motor cycle parking lots on the terrace, and use elevators to transfer the vehicles to the terrace.

      Multiple news r
  • So, does this mean that if I get one of these Chelsea pads, the elevator comes with a Bentley? Sweet! w00t! even.

    I've always wanted a Bentley, now if I can scrape up 4.7 mil for an apartment that comes with a Bentley filled elevator, I can finally have one!
  • Forgive me... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Xeth ( 614132 ) on Monday October 22, 2007 @03:04AM (#21069439) Journal

    ...but how is a high-capacity elevator high tech? I always assumed that being "high tech" involved overcoming some sort of engineering or scientific hurdle. A wrist computer, flying car, video cell phone, etc.

    Is there any reason this thing couldn't've been built with 1950s elevator technology?
    • Where do elevators go?

      Up... High...'s a pun.
      • by Xeth ( 614132 )

        Yes, but the crux of a pun is the double meaning. Upon seeing a flying car, the joke could be "It's high tech alright. Very high tech." But I really doubt that most people would associate an ordinary elevator with "technology". They've been around for over a century.

        Perhaps we could be discussing the latest developments in steam locomotives, as well?

  • by Mikey-San ( 582838 ) on Monday October 22, 2007 @03:09AM (#21069459) Homepage Journal
    If you're dumb enough to drive in Manhattan, you probably need a machine to park your car for you.
  • by dacut ( 243842 ) on Monday October 22, 2007 @03:13AM (#21069481)
    ... you're stuck with your Bentley in your flat, 23 stories up. All dressed up and nowhere to go.
  • Is it just me or did that video in the flash page not show where your neighbours managed to park?

    It's all well and good having a lift to your door on a higher floor (although they could have made it a bit taller and a bit more worth it than those few stories) but what if you live in the area of the building that was blacked out? There only seemed to be the one car lift, so you're stuck walking up the stairs while you get to hear your neighbour revving their car in and out of their garage and car lift every
  • 8000 lbs? (Score:4, Funny)

    by joetheappleguy ( 865543 ) on Monday October 22, 2007 @04:36AM (#21069793) Homepage
    Some of these new porker SUV's like the Hummer H2 already have a curb weight of close to 7000 lbs. Add 4 or 5 passengers and their crap and you can easily exceed that 8000lb limit. Anyone who would buy a useless contraption like an H2 is exactly in the same demographic as someone who would want an elevator for their whip.
    • Some of these new porker SUV's like the Hummer H2 already have a curb weight of close to 7000 lbs. Add 4 or 5 passengers and their crap and you can easily exceed that 8000lb limit. Anyone who would buy a useless contraption like an H2 is exactly in the same demographic as someone who would want an elevator for their whip.

      What's the problem? H2s? In NYC? On overloaded high-altitude elevators? Sounds like natural selection at work!
  • Energy Efficiencies (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Monday October 22, 2007 @06:21AM (#21070139) Homepage Journal
    Raising and lowering all those cars probably would consume a lot of energy. While the address uses Con Edison, one of the most expensive utilities in the country.

    However, if the elevators used regenerative braking, they wouldn't consume much energy at all. Lowering the cars could charge a battery that raises the next car. Such efficient tech could be applied to all NYC's many elevators, even at lower loads per trip, if it became cheap, reliable and maintainable. Overall the energy saved could be very large.

    In the meantime, Americans will proceed to evolve to a point where we never leave our cars. We'll need the wheels just to drive around the batteries for all our mobile devices. Especially as we'll need to stay inside a generated mediasphere all the time, rather than face the ugly reality of a world we've twisted around that growing consumer lifestyle. We'll probably average a kilowatt or two consumption, undocking our personal carts from our larger cars to redock into our office cubicles.
  • by ohgood ( 1144715 ) on Monday October 22, 2007 @08:57AM (#21070991)
    I previously lived in a small hick town [] that had a similar 'elevator garage'. The numbskulls in charge of city spending were sold (or bought) on the idea that three parking garages with elevator only access (for cars) was a way to eliminate parking problems downtown. Now, imagine Aunt Bee with half the soccer team going for pizza. They arrive in their typical deep south suburban, hand the car jockey the keys and walk three blocks for pizza. After filling themselves and sludging three blocks back IN THE RAIN, they find there is a line (queue) of folks waiting on THEIR suburban. Now, the estimated time of top to bottom service (oh hush) of the elevator was 6 minutes, including putting a vehicle on at either end. That means there is at the very least a 6 minute, or 12 minute wait depending on where the elevator is, and your position in line for your car. Oh, and if you forgot something (ever done that) and want to retrieve it before departing the 'garage', you STILL have to wait all that time again. Needless to say the garages were abandoned (paid for mind you) for about 15 years. Someone decided they could be retrofitted (enclosed) to store medical records and now they are gov't white elephants again. Just with the added expense of the retrofit. Note, there is no reference to the old parking garages found in their articles search. Odd, isn't it ?

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