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Readers say Lease the Hudson lot to a developer for 99 years

Hudson garage

VC, listen up. Lease the Hudson lot to a developer for 99 years. Let the developer pay for it completely. Let them charge what they want to make it a profitable. Let them pay the cost of maintenance. Let them cut deals with local merchants, banks and restaurants for validated parking, and take nothing from them except the usual property taxes. Then, see how many developers step up. If the number is ZERO, then you have an indication that the idea is a LOSER. The Village already collects taxes from the CBD property owners, so why LOSE money by going into the garage business?

A land lease is a type of financial arrangement in which the ground under a structure is leased, rather than sold to the builder, meaning that the land and the structure are owned independently.

The Village should enter into a long term land lease with parking garage company who will pay to construct and operate the parking facility.. Since they are an independent business they should be able to charge whatever rates they wish.. Ultimately the market will determine how much people are willing to pay.

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Reader is tired of the lame excuses for photos showing plenty of parking

parking private lot

I am tired of these lame excuses. If you say you saw plenty of parking on any certain day, the garagaholics like you come back with any of the following:

. it was raining
. it was a holiday and people were out of town
. it was a holiday and people were busy with family
. it was a Monday and some restaurants are closed on Mondays
. it was too early in the day to get a fair estimate
. it was too late in the day and people had already gone home
. it was a Saturday noon and no one goes out until later
. it was a Saturday night and people were using UBER
. it was not raining so people were walking to town
. it was snowing so people were home shoveling
. it was snowing but then it stopped so people went skiing

Get it? There are ALWAYS available spots in town, in spite of Jeff Voigt’s declaration that there are 1000 cars looking for parking on the weekends. There are ALWAYS spots, regardless of whatever excuse you come up with.

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Hudson Garage Next Stop for the Village Concil the Walker Feasibility Study

village council

photo by Boyd Loving

Dollars and Cents 

February 25,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The step for the in the Hudson garage process will be the Village Council reviewing the results of the Walker Feasibility Study at the next Public Work Session on Wednesday, February 28. The study will provide a planning-level analysis of net operating income potential for the parking system when the new garage is complete, including rate adjustments that will help maintain a parking utility that is self-supporting. Armed with a thorough financial analysis, we can then move forward with discussing contract negotiations and final selection.

Councilwomen Bernie Walsh told us ,” I was impressed by the professionalism of all who presented. They brought their A game and appeared to be genuine in their desire to provide the best option to Ridgewood for a parking structure.I had to recuse myself from the Haas proposal due to a conflict. I was pleased that the time frame is shorter than expected which would lead less disruption to the Village during construction.”

Deputy Mayor Michael Sedon also gave us some similar feedback , ” I thought all presenters highlighted interesting points and the four-hour meeting gave us a lot to think about. Maintenance was included in a past Walker financial report for the bigger garage of two years ago, so the idea that this cost would eat into the revenue generated by the garage has always been on my radar. The developers presenting did a good job this time around at highlighting those costs, while hammering home the importance of maintaining this critical piece of infrastructure to protect any potential investment in our Village.
The decision the declare the Hudson Street parking lot an area in need of redevelopment was very useful in these ongoing discussions, which has given this council the flexibility to work directly with the developer chosen allowing us to bring a project to fruition which is cost effective, efficient and aesthetically pleasing.
Finally the much awaited financial report from Walker will be discussed this Wednesday. With all this important information converging simultaneously it will provide this council with the most current picture as to how the entire project could work to benefit our Village. I am looking forward to the continued discussion as the complete picture comes into focus.”

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Reader says EVERY parking study done over the past 50+ years by objective professional consultants has indicated the need for a parking garage in Ridgewood

Hudson garage

EVERY parking study done over the past 50+ years by objective professional consultants has indicated the need for a parking garage in Ridgewood. It appears the current Village Council is doing something to remedy the longstanding parking deficit. The garage will primarily serve commuters during the day and local businesses afterwards. It will be a boost to all of Ridgewood and despite the naysayers it will not destroy or diminish the character and desirability of the Village. Other higher end towns (particularly Summit and Princeton) have garages and residential property values in these towns have continued to rise. There is not one shred of evidence that the garage will negatively impact residential property values in Ridgewood. To the contrary, it will likely enhance values because prospective homeowners who commute to NY will benefit from the availability of convenient parking. This is a big benefit when you are rushing to catch your regular morning train to the city.

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Reader says as to the Hudson Garage ,the net increase in spaces,should be used to calculate the cost per space

hudson Garage meeting

During public comments at the end of the meeting, 2 residents reminded VC members that there are already 76 spaces on the ground there. Thus, the construction cost per space is much higher than what was presented by the developers last night. That is, you must subtract the current number of spaces from the total being built to obtain the net increase in spaces, which should then be used to calculate the cost per space.

Also, last night was the first time the public was made aware of the perpetual maintenance costs associated with the operation of precast parking structures. Several of the presenters indicated that unless the structure is properly maintained, its life expectancy decreases dramatically.

It was said that the use of ice/snow melting agents and HARD WATER are particularly problematic. And the only way to clean the ice/snow melting agents away is by using water on a regular basis. And what type of water do we have in Ridgewood? HARD WATER, of course!

This is going to be the biggest financial boondoggle ever. Way beyond the boondoggle of post Tropical Storm Floyd renovation costs at Village Hall. Way beyond. Way, way beyond.

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Councilman Hache Gives Update on the Hudson Street Garage

Ramon M

photo by Boyd Loving

February 22,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, There was a Special Public Meeting last night, Wednesday, February 21, from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. The Village Council interviewed the four companies that bid on the construction of the Hudson Street Parking Garage. Each company gave a full presentation. The Village Council and the public had the opportunity to listen to proposals and to see a broad range of design options. Names were drawn from a hat to determine the order of presentations as follows:

Terminal Construction Corporation
Prismatic Development Corporation
Epic Management Inc
The Pike Company

Councilman Ramon M. Hache said that , “Overall, I was very pleased with the presentations. The presenters were very thorough and professional. The information provided by them is a crucial component of the extensive due diligence process necessary for a project like this. Generally, much of the focus has been on the dimensions, capacity and construction costs. But the analysis must also take into consideration the annual maintenance costs and the durability and quality of the materials used in its construction. We also have to consider the various approaches to construction methods as they relate to safety, as well as the logistics and timelines associated with the different phases of construction. Last night what had the opportunity to discuss those factors.”

Hache went on , “The due diligence process can be painstaking but it is the same cautious and prudent approach one would take before allocating capital to any significant investment project. Although this has been a long process, in hindsight, I am happy to not have rushed the project along given the valuable lessons learned. For one, declaring the existing Hudson Street lot to be an area in need of redevelopment has given us a tremendous amount of leverage. I think we are already seeing the benefits over the traditional design/bid/build process. Simply put, we are now in a position to negotiate better terms for the Village. We are now looking at potential construction costs that are 20%-30% lower than any previous estimates, and without having to pay for additional designs. The designs discussed last night were absolutely at no cost to the Village.

It was a long meeting but definitely worth it. I am thankful for the residents who attended and sat through the presentations to the end. We only lost a couple of people which was very impressive.”

Updated Bids:
One of the original bids was reduced by 11%. Epic Management reduced their bid after reviewing the numbers with the company that supplies their pre-cast concrete. Here are the updated bids received, listed from lowest to highest overall:

$9,464,666: Pike Company Inc
$10,100,000: Terminal Construction Corp (Version 3)
$10,900,000: Terminal Construction Corp (Version 2)
$10,983,193: Epic Management Inc (Low Version)
$11,190,627: Epic Management Inc (High Version)
$11,480,000: Terminal Construction Corp (Version 1)
$14,399,000: Prismatic Development Corp

Next Step is that the Village Council will  be reviewing the results of the Walker Feasibility Study at the next Public Work Session on Wednesday, February 28. The study will provide a planning-level analysis of net operating income potential for the parking system when the new garage is complete, including rate adjustments that will help maintain a parking utility that is self-supporting. Armed with a thorough financial analysis, we can then move forward with discussing contract negotiations and final selection.

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Reader asks How will that garage benefit any of the residents?

Hudson garage

It seems that very few people can even think of a realistic reason to build the garage. Add to Ridgewood taxes so people in other towns can park near the station? Provide extra parking for the builders who refuse to supply what is legally required? (How are they getting by with that, anyway? Did they change the town rules about how much parking is required for any construction? Or do they think their building permits do not require adequate parking? Council, the doctor on Broad Street has plenty of parking and has been struggling for several years to be able to use the 210 building which she owns. Why do outsiders get by with every single thing they want?) This building on Hudson doesn’t do anything for Ridgewood residents, except taking away a large part of the parking for Mt. Carmel’s activities. Two decks might help in separate parts of town but no-one is going to walk from Hudson to Oak, much less further. The only beneficiaries will be the commuters and the apartment dwellers, and for that Ridgewood must have higher and later parking fees as well as an astronomical increase in our taxes? At least the schools benefit OUR children. How will that garage benefit any of the residents?

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Reader says We are in a situation now where we can choose the least worst alternative

Ridgewood 3 amigos

yeah it is the natural outcome. We are in a situation now where we can choose the least worst alternative. If this can gets kicked down the road yet again, the next steps would be the BIG main street proposals that are now taking place in towns like Bogota and Closter… that result would be more mixed use, fewer stores, more restaurants, banks, Gyms and apartments, putting more pressure on parking and schools which would require a bigger parking solution. While the choices now are not great, the building of a garage soon makes sense to curtail further expansion of mixed use stock a la other communities..

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Reader asks let’s all assume they build this thing, how does that change anything in terms of the parking landscape in this town?

Hudson garage

Wait, so the argument now is… because a previous council approved the building of condos, in order to “save” the Village we need to appease the developers and build a garage for them given that they will obviously not have the needed parking spaces for their new tenants….and if we don’t build this thing, this town will become a glorified Rt 17 strip filled with gyms, banks and more condos? Come on people…..let’s all assume they build this thing, how does that change anything in terms of the parking landscape in this town? Yes, commuters will use it, yes shoppers will use it, but lets be realistic, probably only those looking to shop on Broad St or very close to it. We all know that everyone in this town or those that come here want to park right across the street from where they’re going, as stated in many of the posts before, if you look for parking you will find it, but you may have to walk a bit. So the taxpayers of this town should spend millions of dollars to alleviate a problem that may or may not exist for two to three hours on Friday and Saturday nights?? Do the math, it doesn’t add up and with Uber that problem is going away. Let’s spend money on updating the current run down parking lots we have or reconfigure current parking lanes and see how that goes….what’s the downside? We need to stop looking backward and look forward….Uber and Amazon to name a few are changing how we live our lives….less brick and mortar, less cars being driven for nights out….that’s the future, not building a garage that maybe in 1990 there was a solid argument for.

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Reader says A garage is needed, As to the size of the proposed housing developments there is room for good debate

Sealfons-rendering

A garage is needed. I’m willing to accept that the size of such a facility is up to debate but in my opinion, as unpopular as it may be in this echo chamber, it is needed. It’s presence will not destroy the character of the town but will improve the quality our visits to downtown and the health of our businesses.There are plenty of other wealthier towns that have such a facility and their characters and/or home values have not be eviscerated.
As to the size of the proposed housing developments. I think there is room for good debate there as to whether the scope of the developments is appropriate for the downtown or whether they should have been allowed in the first place. I will say however that the empty lots that exist now are eyesores.