Greenpoint Gazette

Tires Screech for Brooklyn Local Car Rental Company

BY Lizette Borreli

New York based parking garage puts the brakes on Brooklyn car rental company and its consumers

The company that gives the consumer “the freedom of a car only when you need it” was asked to steer clear of 215 Jay Street.

Carpingo, a Brooklyn-based carshare company, signed a four month lease, in September, with Car Park Systems of New York, a Tri-State area parking company, to station some of its cars at their garage at a rate of $250 per month. On December 17th, that lease was terminated and no explanation given.

The sudden cancellation of the lease was a shock to the locally owned car rental company. “All transactions were done with the garage personnel who were great,” said Gladstone McFarlane, Business Development Manager of Carpingo.

Gil Cygler, founder of Carpingo, said, “We had been with Car Park a few months when they asked us to leave, even offering to pay us back if we left early.” Carpingo had observed the parameters of their tenancy but were asked to leave on no concrete grounds, according to Cygler.

Where larger corporations are given a go, independently-owned Carpingo was given a stop, raising questions about anti-competitive practices against small businesses. Car Park’s DUMBO garage currently leases to larger car rental corporations such as Zipcar, Enterprise and Hertz, among others, which have thousands of cars in their fleet whereas Carpingo has fewer than 100.

According to McFarlane, Jennifer Ull, vice president of Car Park Systems told him that her company’s business interests precluded them from having Carpingo at their garage. Ull was unavailable for comment.

The “Proud and Born in Brooklyn USA” car rental company sought the DUMBO garage because the general area had many consumers already familiar with carsharing,” said McFarlane.

This is not the first time Carpingo has been turned down. When the company approached New York-based Central Parking to lease space, they were denied by senior management. “They stated they had an exclusive agreement with Zipcar and based on their volume throughout the Tri-State, they had enough clout to dictate this policy of exclusion,” said McFarlane.

When questioned about Central Parking’s leasing policy to rental companies, The company’s customer service unit on 127 E. 46th Street replied “Only a select few companies can lease a space but [we] cannot disclose them.” As of press time, senior management had declined to comment.

The car rental company hit the road and drove to Park-Kwik in downtown Brooklyn. The parking garage currently services Carpingo in four of their eight locations in New York City.

“We don’t show favoritism. The company is in support of local businesses” said Park-Kwik General Manager Ariel Azria. Park-Kwik, a subsidiary of Two Trees, sees this business transaction as an addition to the amenities they offer their tenants in the building owned by the parent company.

MTP Parking garages on Long Island City and Williamsburg have also welcomed Carpingo’s business. “We will provide parking services for any rental car company,” said MTP Owner Robert Sudy.


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