There’s nothing quite like having your own parking space when you live in a big city. Except perhaps having two of your own parking spaces, which is what one Bostonian has after bidding $560,000 at an auction for the pricey pieces of pavement.
The Internal Revenue Service put the spaces in the Back Bay area on the auction block Thursday after seizing the property from a tax-delinquent owner. It didn’t take long for the opening bid of $42,000 to be left in the dust as 22 people vying for the gray rectangles set off by white lines began upping the price.
“Two of the prettiest parking spaces I’ve ever seen!” auctioneer Tim Smith said as the sale began in a light drizzle on Public Alley 431, off Commonwealth Avenue.
“350, looking for 360!” Smith barked as bids for the adjacent spaces, officially known as spaces 3 and 6, soared into the six-figures. “550 looking for 560!” Smith brayed as he and the bidders stood on the sidewalk near the prized spaces.
Smith identified the purchaser as Bidder 9, but local media said she was Lisa Blumenthal, who lives next door to her new acquisitions. She outbid another neighbor and the others, paying more for the parking spots than most people in Massachusetts pay for a house.
The parking slips are now worth more than the vehicles that will occupy them, but people familiar with the perils of trying to park in Boston said they were a smart buy. “I work in the area, and being able to have access from a back alley seems a good investment," Sophia Lingos-Papaliodis told Boston’s WCVB tv.
Despite the astronomical price, this does not appear to be a record for parking space prices in Boston. In 2009, a single space also in Back Bay sold for $600,000, the Boston Globe reported.
And Boston is not the only city where parking spaces fetch more money than the average vehicle. A single enclosed spot near San Francisco’s AT&T; Park recently sold for $82,000, a steal compared to prices on the East Coast.