Thursday, June 2, 2011

Williamsburg Gets New Zip Code: Who Has the Domain?

As Gothamist reports, Williamsburg residents are up in arms about losing their fancy palindrome of a zip code: 11211.   The new one, 11249, is simply not as cool.  This story will be familiar to readers of NNNNNDomains, the post office is often adding new zip codes to deal with increased demand:
A rep for the USPS told us this morning that no, there will be no new post office, and the change was made because "the existing zip code table could not handle all the new deliveries so we had to add an additional zip to accommodate all the new construction, population."
So what does this mean for numeric domain names?  11211.com is a nice domain just based on the numbers, but the fact that it is the domain for a prime zip code like Williamsburg, makes it even more valuable.  It is currently used as a well-designed website for a New York-based media management company

So what about 11249.com?  It's currently a parked page, with ads related to New York.  

And the owner?  No surprise there, Marchex (Nasdaq: MCHX).  Marchex owns nearly 50,000 .com and .net domains related to US zip codes.  It doesn't own all, but probably around 97-98% of US zip code domains are owned by Marchex. 

Marchex used to have a local search network they had developed, but the domains never seemed fully developed, with some local content and directories but not what you would expect for what they were trying to do.  It appears Marchex has, at least temporarily, abandoned their local search content network in favor of parked pages with generic ads.  It remains to be seen what they do with these domains long term: sell them, leave them parked, or come up with a new and possibly better plan for development?  11249.com certainly seems like it could command a nice price now.