Leave a bike locked on the street and you might as well consider it a charitable donation — thefts of bikes worth $1,000 or more were up 65 percent in June, and 64 percent in the first two weeks of July, from the same time periods in 2019, according to the New York Police Department.
“The main reason that people don’t bike is because of safety and the second reason that they state is where to actually put their bike,” said Danny Harris, the executive director of Transportation Alternatives, a bike advocacy organization.
But with ridership up, some building owners are looking for ways to accommodate tenants who have been asking for better storage options. Bike rooms, long treated as an afterthought, are receiving newfound attention. This is especially true in full-service buildings where more desirable perks like gyms and children’s playrooms have been shut down indefinitely. Management may not be able to offer a golf simulator for the foreseeable future, but with a modest investment, it could spruce up the bike room.
The interest in bike storage is spreading into the real estate market too, according to brokers who say more clients are inquiring about storage, with some now considering it a must-have amenity. Henry Mullin, a salesman with Douglas Elliman, started giving out Citi Bike memberships as move-in gifts after clients started asking to tour storage rooms.
“The bike storage situation is exploding. Nobody knows what to do,” said Jacky Teplitzky, an associate broker at Douglas Elliman who drove to a Walmart in South Carolina in June to find a bike, waiting outside when the store opened to get a cruiser for herself and bring it back to the city. “Everyone is talking to the managing agent, the building, they are negotiating with the neighbors to hang two bikes with one rack.”