A single parking space in a San Francisco garage at 88 Townsend is up for sale, asking a cool $100,000.
If that sounds unreasonable—well, that’s a relatable response. However, this is by no means an unusual listing, and it would by no means be an anomaly if it sold for that jaw-dropping price.
Spaces inside the same building have commanded similar prices in the recent years, which is a predictable response to the state of city parking, especially in high-demand neighborhoods like South Beach.
The listing by realtor Bill Williams advises would-be buyers that the garage spot is a great place to “park your money” thanks to its prime South Beach location one block away from Oracle Park.
In 2013, Curbed SF reported an $80,000 parking sale in this exact garage—in fact, that space was two spots away from this one. And over a decade ago, a spot inside the same 88 Townsend garage ran $65,000.
But that was a time when the median census-estimated home value in San Francisco was $768,000. These days it’s more than $1.19 million—and we can’t very well expect that one commodity will greatly increase in value without also driving up the price of related assets.
In 2010, the city boasted 280,000 street parking spaces, per a count ordered by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom. Seven years later, SFMTA estimated that the number of street parking spaces had declined, dropping to roughly 275,000.
During the same period, the number of spaces in SF garages jumped a little—from about 441,500 previously to around 442,000 in 2017. Meanwhile, San Francisco’s population increased by nearly 80,000 people over the same period.
Given those numbers, shock at the six-figure sticker on this one garage space is naive. Despite the city’s best efforts—like making Market Street a private car-free zone—more people drive in San Francisco, and those many, many vehicles need somewhere to go.