One South Park: 1-26-07 (
A tipster forwards floor plans and an overview of all 35 condos that will comprise One South Park. Pricing “will start in the low $600,000’s” with condos ranging in size from 681 square feet (junior one-bedroom, one bath) to 2,699 square feet (three-bedroom plus den, three and one-half bath, expansive deck); sales are expected to begin in April (targeting July/August 2007 for “project completion”).
And while all but one condo (#111) will be offered with parking, our tipster notes that twenty (20) of the condos will feature parking via a car “stacker” (the remaining 14 condos will feature a “deeded stall”). Our tipster wonders:

What is the impact of a car stacker on the value of these places? I would love to hear from SocketSite readers who have had an experience with a car stacker. Is it more hassle than it’s worth?

Great questions (for which we have no answers or experience). Readers?
310 Townsend, One South Park, And A Tipster [SocketSite]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Anonymous

    I feel like an idiot and have not had coffee yet, but what is a car stacker? If it is similar to the way they store boats off the water, would this mean that there would have to be a full time operator(s) in the garage? If this device cannot be operated by the person parking the car, I would imagine the extra staff would add to the association fees as there are only 35 units to split the cost.

  2. Posted by Anonymous

    You don’t see stackers too much in SF, but they’re very common on the east coast. Basically its a machine that will take your car from the spot you drive in and will literally stack vehicles vertically. I’m not sure how I would feel about this, but its better than no space at all.

  3. Posted by tipster

    A car stacker is basically a 1 car elevator. I can operate an elevator by myself, so I have no idea why I couldn’t operate a car stacker. It seems like a reasonable thing for a developer to put in. The HOA fees will just be increased for the increase in maintenance for the stackers. Probably not that significant.
    But with all of the creative ways there are around the city’s attempt to limit parking, I wonder why the city even bothers to try. The city exacts its limits, the developers get around it, and the homeowners deal with inflated fees (1 Rincon) or inconvenience (1 south park). It just seems silly to me. In the end, the parking spaces get installed, so what is the city accomplishing?

  4. Posted by Anonymous

    Has someone’s car ever been crushed by someone parking it off center or hitting the wrong button? I am sure the machines have safety devices installed but I am not sure I would be comfortable unless it was both of my cars on the lift.

  5. Posted by Anonymous

    No one ever has. You are comfortable.

  6. Posted by SeeHsee

    I used to work next to a parking lot that had a car-stacking system–on Second between Folsom and Harrison, in front of 77 Dow Place. It may still be in place. I’m sure there are a variety of styles of these systems, but the one in that lot is definitely not designed for amateurs and could damage cars (and people) if not used properly. At the very least, it would mean a bit more time is needed to park or retrieve your vehicle. I think stacked parking is an inventive solution to creating adequate spaces in an older building.

  7. Posted by Anna

    I used to park in a lot that used an industrial-like car stacker and there were definitely downsides to it – took longer for me to get my car because if my car was on top and there was a car below it, they’d have to move the lower car and then bring mine down. I liken it to tandem parking – the only issue is the one See Hsee brings up, which is whether it should be used by amateurs. Perhaps they’ll have something that is fool-proof, but if not, it certainly could be dangerous. Building looks nice, though.

  8. Posted by parkthis is a good example. There are many installations in the East Bay (Berkeley mostly).

  9. Posted by Can't think of cool name

    What happens if the car stacked on top of yours leaks oil, or some other liquid. Does it drip down through the platform onto my car? If so, no thanks to the stacker.
    Although, the name does sound like a new game from the folks who brought us “Twister.”

  10. Posted by Greg

    Car stackers in condo residences are very common in Germany. Many of my German colleagues had them in their apartment complexes– they are kind of like “car rolodexes” (but only two-three entries).

  11. Posted by anon

    Car stackers are coming all over- with very little undeveloped land remaining, stackers are the only real solution to smaller and higher density sites and I have seen several upcoming projects with stackers or elevators…so in an urban city where you have the option of a stacker or no space, I would go with the stacker…

  12. Posted by perhaps

    car stackers are safe and efficient. cost to install is usually around $15K, however you need sufficient ceiling height and foundation strength. designs also vary where with some systems you must remove the lower car, while with others the lower car drops down for access. I think they are great for small spaces where you would really like extra parking…
    one of the big questions though is reliability and how they affect HOAs. often developers with stackers require 24 hr attendants to park the cars. I wonder how the HOAs stack up (sorry about the pun…) here and how easy it will be to actually use the stackers day to day.
    [Editor’s Note: “Projected Monthly HOA Dues” currently range from $323 to $613.]

  13. Posted by etslee

    The idea sounds great, but I think it will be a mess in the maintenance of the thing. We have enough problems with our garage door opener.

  14. Posted by Anonymous

    I just got back from Europe and they have these things called SMART cars by Mercedes. You could park four of them in a normal space. They are so cool. Too bad we don’t have them here.

  15. Posted by tipster

    Has someone’s car ever been crushed by someone parking it off center or hitting the wrong button?
    You can get them with or without safety devices that prevent lowering onto another car. Garage door openers use such devices to prevent crushing kids or dogs. It’s hardly rocket science. And they can have side railings to make sure the car is on straight before raising or lowering it, neither of which can be done with a car underneath of course. You have to pull the car out and then you can raise or lower another car.
    What happens if the car stacked on top of yours leaks oil, or some other liquid. Does it drip down through the platform onto my car? If so, no thanks to the stacker.
    The car stacker can be purchased with a completely solid base on which you drive and then raise the upper car. It’s like a big cookie sheet. Not all of them have them, but you can get them this way. The base catches all the drips because it’s a solid, flat piece of steel.
    These things are really non-issues. The biggest problem would be a power outage or the thing breaks while your car is up. I suspect they have cranks you can use in a pinch and I suspect it’s about as fun as jacking up your car with the jack. Not something grandma is likely to want to do.

  16. Posted by willb

    I lease a building with two Klaus parking stackers (4 parking spaces). The stackers are easy to use. No parking attendant is required, you simply drive on/off. Moving the stacker up or down takes 30 seconds. I have taught several people how to operate them and my experience is that once people get over their initial anxiety they have no complaints. Moreover, one benefit of a parking stacker is that your neighbor can’t accidentally dent your car.

  17. Posted by SF bubble

    The new condos over at 1277 Howard/776 Tehama have car stackers in their parking garage. The “stack” drops below the floor level to enable the upper car to be driven off (so doesn’t require any attendant or the bottom car to be removed first).

  18. Posted by Anon

    It depends on what type of car stacker you are talking about – does it allow independent parking or is it more like a tandem situation? If you have sufficient room in the basement and clear height in the garage, you can put in an elevator type lift which drops one car down to the basement level and allows each car to be accessed independently. However, if it is just a lift like some of those Klaus models that lifts one up while you park another under it (and then have to move the car out from under it to access the top car), well, that’s more like a tandem space. There are a lot of things to consider as far as the impact on value of parking and it is actually very difficult to value a parking spot individually as they rarely sell on the open market, but 10-15% of the unit value is a good starting guestimate as to the value of a parking space in a condo – less if it’s tandem or a second spot for the unit.

  19. Posted by zzzzzzz

    On another note, I’m glad to see this handsome warehouse *finally* get renovated. It’s sat vacant for as long as I can remember (if you don’t count the homeless campers on the loading dock), and even after the first construction signs appeared nothing much happened for at least year. It’ll be a fine addition to the South Park neighborhood.

  20. Posted by Anonymous

    Thank your local planners and the City Council for the delay. It’s like herding cats trying to get a project approved.

  21. Posted by Anonymous

    I agree.
    Try to get a project approved in Berkeley. Not only will it take you ten years but you’ll probably have to run some free medical clinic from the basement as a condition of approval.
    You got to love the bay area! It is like a miniature socialist country.

  22. Posted by newreader

    Pardon, but the post says a tipster forwarded floor plans. Is the link somewhere in the post and I missed it? I’m interested in seeing how they compare. Thanks.

  23. Posted by Anonymous
    [Editor’s Note: The link above is to floor plans in 310 Townsend. We’re bring you One South Park ASAP.]

  24. Posted by johnnyawe

    Get a life, people. If you are really this concerned about your beloved car being too close to someone else’s car, move to the suburbs. My car has been stolen or broken into three times in the past 2 years. I can’t comprehend how a “stacker” parking spot could cause so much consternation to people accustomed to living in a city.

  25. Posted by Anonymous

    Ahem. No need to be rude to those of us that when spending well over 700,000 for a small unit are curious about parking. The last comment reminds me of the cloud of “smug self satisfaction” that blankets over our city on the recent South Park episode about San Francisco, and if you see it you will know what I mean. (hint….If you don’t have a Prius, you will not be allowed in the condo garage)

  26. Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

    Um, it’s not the city’s fault that this project has taken forever. The developer changed strategies twice. First it was live-work lofts. Then, it was plain offices. Now, it’s condos.

  27. Posted by Jmcna

    Do you folks think that existing parking spaces in the 1 to 2 block radius will appreciate in price? I hear that they are getting close to 125,000 for extra parking at the Brannan.

  28. Posted by jenn

    Anyone know what the square footage is for the townhomes? Are they 2 bedrooms, 3 bedrooms?

  29. Posted by observer

    Anybody owning parking in the area is going to make out. I would think that anything in the $75,000 range for an inside 24/7 space would be a steal.

  30. Posted by Snark

    This condo at 15th and Mission is also being sold with stackers for most of the parking.
    [Editor’s Note: The development.]

  31. Posted by Anonymous

    I wonder how the space is deeded since there are two or three cars within the dimensions of one car stall???

  32. Posted by Anonymous

    Parking is almost never deeded, it is assingned to the unit.

  33. Posted by anon

    does anyone know if they plan on renting any of these?

  34. Posted by Brad

    Santa Fe Partners sent me the breakdown of 1 south park after I visited 310 Townsend. 9 units will be 1 bed/ 1 bath (some with decks) and 1 Jr. 1 bed/ 1 bath. The remaining 26 units will be 2-3 bedrooms, some with decks, and some with dens with sizes from 998 to 2700 sq. ft. It looks like most parking is listed as “stacker.” Too bad they had no stackers at 310 Townsend, as I just can’t spend 600k on a 655 sq. ft. condo and not get a parking space! Please fell free to e-mail me if you want the floor plans for One South Park.

  35. Posted by Jess

    Brad, would love to get my hands on those floor plans for 1 south park – can’t figure out how to send you an email though!
    [Editor’s Note: We’ll have them online soon…]

  36. Posted by Mark Choey

    speaking about parking stackers, BLU (631 Folsom) by Malcom Properties and Lennar Urban will have an even crazier parking stacker system. As it was described to me, you literally drive your car inside the garage, get out of the car, and it disappears to some underground, parking stacking system. To get your car, you just dial a number up on a keypad, and voila, your car gets delivered…

  37. Posted by Anonymous

    I’d probabably hesitate to get my car at all with this type of parking situation. Wonder what it’s like when several people are unstacking. Is it loud? What happens if the electricity goes out? Thanks.

  38. Posted by south park resident

    Our lofts have Klaus car stackers or car lifts as we call them. No big deal, no affect on the HOA costs, hasnt given anyone problems, no need for parking attendents, no noise. works for us just make sure there is enough electricity to work them. Ours got stuck due to low electricity.

  39. Posted by Jessica

    The biggest downside I see to the stacker situation is that it limits the type of car you can own. Most SUV’s will not fit on the top stacker spots ( at least in the One South Park parking lot). Other than that, I think that stackers provide an effecient parking solution. My guess is that stacker parking is worth about $50k less per spot than a non-stacker spot in the South Beach area.

  40. Posted by tipster

    And now, from Japan, comes the automated bike stacker.

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