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'Is it paved in gold?' Growing trend of paying tens of thousands for a parking space in Denver

Our Colorado: An expensive metro trend
Posted at 9:12 PM, May 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-23 00:32:05-04

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DENVER -- With Colorado’s rapid growth comes rising housing costs and more congestion from more cars on the road. You can now add parking spaces that cost tens of thousands of dollars to that list of issues.

A single parking garage space recently sold for a record-setting $74,000 downtown. The spot is located in the Spire condos parking garage, right across the street from the Colorado Convention Center. 

“That was on a flat surface pretty close to the entry point,” realtor Mark Trenka, who sells parking spots and real estate downtown, told Denver7.

For the same price as a brand new Mercedes Benz C-Class, a Lexus LS, or a 5 Series BMW, someone bought 137 square feet of concrete.

“They’re real estate transactions. It’s real property,” Trenka said. 

Trenka has sold nearly 70 parking spaces in Denver over the last few years, ranging from $41,000 up to $65,000.

“We’ve seen a trend up in prices just like the condos,” he said. 

Denver is still not at a New York City or Chicago price level for buying parking spots, but the Mile High City’s prices are blazing new territory in Colorado. 

“The average of a parking space in the downtown area is between $25,000 and $35,000,” Trenka said. 

And while it’s a one-time cost to own the asphalt, you’re not out of the woods in terms of paying for it. Owning a parking spaces in condo complex also increases the amount of square footage in the building you own. That could, and in many cases does, raise monthly HOA fees for parking spot and condo owners. 

“Everything is more expensive in this environment, including parking spaces,” John Desmond of the Downtown Denver Partnership told Denver7. “Housing costs are rising, so everything is going to go up simultaneously.”

Desmond says if this trend continues, it could get to the point that people are pushed away from parking and driving altogether.

“Driving a car is not an automatic. It might be that you find another way to get around,” he said.