Decrepit Old City Parking Garage Gets Second Life


At 37-39 S. 2nd Street in Old City, there’s a rundown parking garage. Poorly-lit and sporting ancient, yellowed signage, it doesn’t look like much of anything except scary. However, a real estate company owner saw potential in the aging structure and scooped it up recently. Unlike most sales of downtrodden real estate in booming Old City, the parking garage is not going to be demolished in lieu of a shining new condo tower, but restored for good reason: so that the residents of a nearby apartment building will have a place to park their cars.

Alex Schwartz, owner of ASI Management, bought the three-story parking garage at 37-39 S. 2nd Street after a drive-by born of curiosity. The garage had been owned by the same family for decades and had seen little to no improvements or maintenance in that time. It certainly wasn’t a prized piece of real estate. But Schwartz saw something that nobody else did – if they had even known to look. Within sight-line of the garage is the Strawberry Court apartments on Bank Street, which are also owned by ASI Management. They are a reasonable three-minute walk to the garage. Strawberry Court residents have long suffered from a lack of parking around their homes. The parking garage, then, is the perfect fit.

Schwartz plans on selling individual spaces to residents of the apartments, so that they will have a dedicated place for their car. There will be only self-parking, no valet. Schwartz acknowledges that the garage needs work, with new lighting being the most urgent need. He has not set a timetable for when refurbishment of the structure will take place, however, noting that it took a long time for the garage to fall into such disrepair, and it will likely take an extended period of time to bring it back to what it once was.