A.P.T. Parking Technologies, a developer of automated parking facilies, together with Westfalia Technologies, a manufacturer of automated storage and parking systems, broke ground recently for New York City’s largest automated parking garage project, a 270-car facility to be part of a new nine-story, 226,000 square-foot office building being developed by Baruch Singer at 1504 Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn, NY. At this New York City location, the high water table prevented the developer from excavating down far enough to build a conventional parking garage. The reduced excavation needed for the automated parking system saved the developer money, while allowing a greater density of parking spaces in an area half the size of a traditional parking garage. “In addition to doubling the number of parking spaces in the available space, the automated parking system provides a number of added personal and vehicle safety benefits, since no one actually enters the garage and there is no risk of vehicle damage or theft,” said Mr. Singer. “Additionally, there are significant ‘green’ benefits, since car engines are turned off during the parking process, and users have the convenience of dropping off and picking up their cars at a central location without having to navigate ramps, walk aimlessly through a garage searching for their cars or risk crime associated with dark, deserted garages.” Drivers will enter the automated parking garage, drive down one level, enter one of three transfer cabins, turn off their engines and leave. After a series of safety checks ensure the car or SUV is vacant, the vehicle, parked on a pallet, is moved through the automated garage by a computer-operated system to an available parking space on the two levels below. When returning for their car, clients simply run their ticket through a smart card reader, and their car will automatically be returned to them in one of the transfer cabins. Vehicles will be rotated in the transfer cabins so that clients can drive straight out of the garage. The entire process takes less than two minutes. “We are very excited to provide our state-of-the-art automated parking system as the solution to the parking needs at 1504 Coney Island Avenue,” said Daniel Labell, president of Westfalia Technologies. “We have built more than 350 automated storage facilities, including numerous automatic parking garages, around the globe, and we look forward to bringing these time tested systems to the U.S. market.” The Coney Island automated garage is expected to be completed in mid-2010. The team of A.P.T. Parking Technologies and Westfalia is also building a 300-car automated parking garage at the US$200 million Lovejoy Wharf development on the Boston Harbor waterfront. The team also has proposals pending in NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Miami, Jersey City, Ft. Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Chicago, DC, Tampa, Atlanta, and Portland.