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In lots of condo buildings, valet parking is considered a mark of luxury. But depending on a valet can be annoying when you’re not in the mood for interacting with other people. There’s always the question of how much to tip. And then you get the occasional valet who chooses to drag-race your car through the garage. Anyway, the developers of a luxury high-rise condo building in Philadelphia, called 1706 Rittenhouse Square, are actually bragging that they won’t have valets and will use a robot parking system instead. Here’s an excerpt from a press release I got today from Christa Guidi of Cashman & Associates:
They are putting together an amazing project including a state of the art automated parking system designed by Wöhr, allowing residents to retrieve their vehicles in minutes without the assistance of a valet. This automated, mechanical parking system is underground and utilizes computer-controlled, robotic transport devices with vertical and horizontal movement capability to transport vehicles from the street level to a storage compartment and back without human intervention. To retrieve their vehicle, the patron presents their electronic card on the elevator going to the lobby and the vehicle is automatically delivered to the entry/exit compartment at street level.
My guess is that the Wöhr system is not cheap. Condos in the building start at $4 million and the penthouse is “under agreement” for $12.5 million. Occupancy is planned for next spring.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.