The NoLita, Baxter Street parking project in the SoHo South district of New
York provides a new fully automated parking solution for a luxury block of
condominium apartments. The district is known for parking problems and
residents of the new apartments will most likely own luxury cars and will
expect secured parking. An automated parking system seems to fit the bill.

The project area, purchased by a group of investors and co-developed by
American Development Group LLC and Langsam Property Services Corp., consisted
of a 100 car park lot on Baxter and Hester Streets. Because of the compact
design of the Automotion Parking System, the developers were able to transform
the 100 car lot into a 67 car automated garage, a 24 unit apartment building
(modest apartments here are going for US$1.25m), and ground floor retail

This parking system has provided the building with a unique and valuable
amenity assisting in compliance with zoning requirements for specific
residential unit to parking ratios, all while maximising the saleable square
footage. The project was opened in January 2007.


The automated parking garages increase parking space by up to 100% by
sliding cars closer together, both side-to-side and bumper-to-bumper. The
parking platform allows parking two levels deep with independent access to any
car. This method maximises the space normally lost in access ramps and lanes
and behind columns. The turntable also allows convenient access in narrow and
limited spaces.

“The district is known for parking problems and residents of the new apartments will most likely own luxury cars and will expect secured parking.”


The driver enters through a traditional overhead garage door, parks the
vehicle on a pallet inside an ‘entry and exit room’, swipes his credit card or
magnetic ID key, takes a receipt, and then leaves to go about his/her business.
Sensors then scan the entry/exit room and make sure the driver has left and
there is no one inside.

A laser system analyses the dimensions of the vehicle to determine if it
will fit in the parking system and where to place the car. Once the sensors
determine everything is ok to proceed, the pallet with the car upon it, which
sits on a lift, lowers or raises the vehicle into the system.

The main component of the system, the Storage and Retrieval Unit (SRU),
takes over. Using the ‘quick exchange’ system, the pallet with the car is
rolled from the lift onto the SRU and the empty pallet from the SRU replaces
the occupied one on the lift. The lift returns to the entry/exit room with an
empty pallet and is ready to receive the next vehicle.

The SRU, which is essentially an elevator on tracks, begins the process of
storing the vehicle in one of the vacant spots. When the SRU reaches the spot
where the car is being placed the ‘quick exchange’ process is repeated and the
empty pallet from the rack is replaced with the occupied pallet. The SRU
returns, with the empty pallet, back to the lift to accept the next car.

When the driver returns to pick up the car they swipe a credit card or
magnetic ID key again. This initiates the retrieval process, which takes just
2½ minutes. The system, using the credit card or magnetic key FOB
information to identify the appropriate vehicle (or more accurately the
appropriate pallet) begins the retrieval process. The SRU travels back to the
spot where the car was stored and the process is reversed. No one touches the
vehicle at anytime.


The AutoMotion parking system uses technology developed by the German
industrial manufacturer Stolzer Parkhaus, which has already built 28 similar
automated facilities. MJS Garage Management will operate the first system in
New York. As an added benefit, the German automotive manufacturer, BMW, in
partnership with AutoMotion, will pick-up, service and deliver any make or
brand of car parked within an AutoMotion system garage.

AutoMotion maintains a team of specially trained mechanics, available
24-hours, seven days a week to help with the system in case of difficulties.
Every parking cardholder is given an emergency telephone number to summon
expert assistance.

Current AutoMotion systems are designed to accommodate nearly all passenger
vehicle sizes, excluding the largest of sports utility vehicles; however an
automated system can be customised to fit any vehicle size specification.

Currently AutoMotion research and development is formulating equipment for
government agencies to incorporate within high technology safety and security
detection parking operations.