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Reader says This garage is going to be a money loser and the town will be left on the hook for it


file photo by Boyd Loving

This garage is going to be a money loser and the town will be left on the hook for it.

I was in town on Saturday and the main streets had people circling for spots as usual on Chestnut, Oak, etc. But, if you drove a couple of blocks away to near Mt. Carmel (and where the new garage would be), there were TONS of metered spots open.

I don’t think the parking problem is that there aren’t enough spots in the downtown area. The problem is that people don’t want to walk a couple of blocks for a parking spot. Building the garage right near Mt. Carmel is NOT going to solve this problem. Maybe, if the new garage was at the old garage next to Ben and Jerry’s or somewhere more central and visible would it be more utilized. I just don’t see the draw to have to park in a multi-level garage when there is street level parking available at most times across the street.

There is no way Ridgewood should be spending $10m plus on this.

21 thoughts on “Reader says This garage is going to be a money loser and the town will be left on the hook for it

  1. I am still curious. Who is this guy in the middle. He looks very happy, as if he is winning the lottery here.

  2. The garage is simply a NJ political deal. The Mayor has higher political aspirations, and to get there, he needs to grease the wheels of certain power brokers. You, my Ridgewood friends, will be paying for it all.

  3. Lots of “do nothing people here again. Nothing changes. :

  4. This garage is primarily being constructed for commuters and employees who work in town. Visitors who wish to shop and dine in a “quaint suburban downtown” such as ours strongly prefer to park close to their intended destination. As Former Mayor Pat Mancuso said many years ago ” shoppers and diners will gladly walk a mile on their treadmill but refuse to walk a block to their car.” The goal of the parking garage is to open up spaces on the street to better accommodate visitors who are so crucial to the long term success and viability of our downtown..

  5. That’s a great comment by Mancuso….when is he coming back…?

  6. 10:40 am – then why is it not on north walnut street, and why is it not being funded with a Ridgewood issued bond, instead of BCIA issued bond?

  7. 10:40 The location is not on N. Walnut St because:: 1) The site is contaminated and would be very costly to remediate 2) On the north end of the site by Franklin Ave the width is too narrow for a parking garage and therefore would require acquisition of the Town Garage to give it adequate width. The land acquisition would substantially add to the cost of the project. 3) The N. Walnut location is not as convenient for commuters.
    Bottom line: Hudson St represents the best overall combination of value and convenience

  8. Yea, who is the bearded smiler?

  9. He works for the firm that designed the garage.

  10. Villages, by their very definition, don’t have municipal parking garages….cities have parking garages.

  11. 5:35pm, BCIA had made it very clear that they only want to hear financial merits. Why would our village take a guy from the design firm to the financial hearing? They charge 750$ per person per meeting. I guess it’s also a ‘soft cost’, as defined by Albert.

  12. Anon 5:42 pm. Village? What village? Ridgewood is part of suburban New York, the 100th largest municipality out of 450 in New Jersey. We have a population of 25,000 and and annual budget, school and municipal, of $150 million. In your mind we might be a Thomas Kincaid sofa painting. The reality is far different. I suggest you recognize the real world.

  13. Albert loves the soft costs. If we budgeted up to $500,000, then by god he is going to see that his buddies on the design team get the full half-million. Sickening.

  14. Its your world Mr. Halaby.

  15. Rurik, Ridgewood and Lodi have almost the same number of people. Comparing municipalities by population size means little. Unless you think Lodi and Ridgewood are similar.

  16. The answer is simple if we step back and look from a higher level. The garage will be built near the old Cadillac dealership to provide parking for the apartments that will be built there. The village mayor needs the support of those developers to fund his political aspirations and to do so needs to get the garage built as big as possible in that location to show his compliance and ensure donations for his next office run.

    The apartments will be built as soon as the lawsuits begin, COHA judgements line up, and the remaining council fall in place. Makes some sense

  17. Those who are opposed to the garage should make a fact filled and compelling financial study of the project on their own to support the notion that it should not be built. No one has done this so far and hence a level of confusion exists that the people who are against it have not presented any concrete data to support their position that it will be bad for the village and will not sustain itself. Show me that data so all can make a rational and informed decision, My hunch is the data does not exist. In all likelihood the garage will loose some money during the first and possibly the second year of operation and then it will get up to full capacity and from there on will earn far above its projected break-even point. The demand clearly exists, there is not a lot you can do to screw it up so it should make a lot of money for the Village. Clearly if we adopted some of the earlier proposals the garages proposed would now be all paid off and we would be swimming in profits of a huge magnitude. Remember when the cost / space was calculated to be $1500/space. for a 580 car garage over Ken Smith. if only that were build we would be swimming in money today…..and all of our taxes would be far lower due to the huge cash flow thrown off from that project. Do not defame the garage project. It could turn out to be a real winner.!!.

  18. Sounds real good 11:50 but I have one question for you. Have you or anyone on this blog ever seen Nj property taxes go down?

  19. 11:30pm looks like you watch a lot of fiction movies.

  20. 11:30, love an optimist! But, we have gone through the numbers and questioned the council numerous times. Read the Walker Report, which can be found on the Village Website. It says, perhaps on page 2, that the garage will not be self-funding. It will, as has always been the plan, be funded by increased meter rates all throughout downtown. That exact scheme has been asked for by Mr. Sedon and others, but nothing concrete has been said. Walker mentions eventually raising rates to !.00, increased hours until 9pm, increasing enforcement, not allowing meters to carry over, etc The council will be taking away some of their tools by saying they won’t raise rates saturday night (so as not to punish 5:30 Mass at Mt. Carmel) and now with BCIA you can’t charge commuters more than Ridgewood residents.

    Furthermore, the actual bonding through BCIA is more expensive than Ridgewood bonding ourselves, and many in municipal finance question the assumptions used. Also, the building will go over budget as Albert promised himself. Lastly, there is demand for parking but currently you can always – always- find parking on street in that area of town. (in front of NY SPorts, up prospect etc.). The garage is not that much closer and it is a shame businesses were never able to convince their employees to park over there as that is what really takes street parking.

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