The New York Times has taken a lot of heat, particularly from the blogosphere, for its poor editing, reporting, and fact finding. I figured I should be no different.
In an article this past weekend, the so called "newspaper of record" seemed astounded that surface parking lots were selling at high prices and that high priced condos and office buildings were being built in their place. I did note that although they were happy to quote members of the real estate industry, not one parking pro was asked for comment.
(There was an oblique reference to the "industry associations" being a failure at what the Times thought was their job in tracking these types of trends, however.)
What the NYT might have learned if they spoke to anyone in the industry, is that parking lots have been turning in to high rise buildings for six decades. After WWII entrepreneurial soldiers returned with a few bucks and bought cheap central city land and charged people a dime to park on it. Thus an industry was born. Over they years these lots have been sold to developers and high rises, hospitals, schools, and apartments have been built on them.
Often, the operator who owned the land kept the rights to run the parking for the facility (often the garage under the building). It is a symbiotic relationship between developers and parking lot owners.
One major operator told me a few years ago that he was in the parking business so he could be on the inside of large real estate deals as they came down. He is now a large property owner in New York and runs some parking garages on the side.
As usual the NYT tells part of the story. You have to turn to PT and Parking Blog to get the rest.