This is one way to park cars in places like New York City. On one hand, this is purely functional architecture and can stand on its own merits as an aesthetic statement. On the other hand, there is an opportunity here to create a decorative street facade, possibly with a mixed use component.
Personal automobiles will always be a part of cities (hmmm...I'll probably end up eating those words). Their frequency of use lends itself to more creative storage solutions than driveways. Use and ownership patterns will also be subjected to forces that will defy traditional standards. Zipcar may end up owning most of the cars and spaces in dense metropolitan areas. I am worried about their business model. I haven't had to use them for a while.