Parking at the Millennium Tower

Ah, the Millennium Tower. I’ve written a fair amount about it before, but I wanted to take a moment to dedicate a post to dissecting the parking situation at this venerable and desirable San Francisco luxury destination.

Millennium Pit by Transbay via Flickr

For our fair readers who aren’t from San Francisco, or just choose to not keep up with the crazy that sometimes passes for our local governance (I knock it, but I also can’t think of any place else in America that I would like to live as much as I enjoy life here), SF has a “transit first” policy that was first adopted, as I understand it, in 1973 and has been updated over the years. Item #7 on the policy is the one that we are concerned with as it reads:

7. Parking policies for areas well served by public transit shall be designed to encourage travel by public transit and alternative transportation.

The Millennium Tower is considered to be in an area that is well served by public transit (it could be argued that given the proximity to the now-under-construction transbay transit center it will someday be the most transit friendly location in all of San Francisco), so the way that the city decided to”encourage travel by public transit and alternative transportation” was to only permit 340 parking spaces for the 419 residences in the building. The logic being if you can’t easily park your car in the building you won’t drive a car at all and therefore will use public transit or alternative transportation (on the back of a supervisor clown perhaps?).

For those of you who are even remotely good at math, by now you’ve realized that with 419 residences and only 340 parking spaces, there just aren’t enough parking spots in the building… So what does this mean if you are contemplating a condo purchase at the Millennium Tower?

All parking at the Millennium Tower is valet parking. Even if your residence is guaranteed valet parking, there is a monthly valet fee (currently $155/month) that is in addition to the monthly HOA dues.

The grandest residences at the Millennium Tower have two parking spots. Some residences have one parking spot, and like the little piggy that went to market, some residences get none.

It is unclear to me if residences with parking are actually getting a deeded parking spot that you are guaranteed access to via valet parking service, or if it comes with a license to valet park a vehicle(s) in the building in perpetuity. My guess would be the perpetual license, but I’ll see if I can get that clarified.

What is currently being offered with the residences for sale that aren’t guaranteed parking is a license to valet park for a period of two years. What happens in two years?

Worst case scenario? No more room in the garage and you have to sell that car or pay for parking in a nearby parking garage.

Best case scenario? Enough people don’t have a car so the HOA is able to continue to offer you a valet parking license for an additional period of time.

Which scenario is most likely? Depends on if you are an optimist or a pessimist. The pessimistic parking perspective is that the building will quickly sell out and that everyone who buys in the building will be a full time resident with a car, in which case the laws of math dictate that there just isn’t enough room for all those cars and that valet licenses for many residences won’t be extended past two  years. The optimistic parking perspective is that the building will take a long time to sell out, and that even when it does many owners will be using it as a second, third, or fourth residence and will have either less cars than they are entitled to, or no car at all, allowing an extension of the valet license to those without a guaranteed right to park in the building.

Leave a Reply