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Parking Garage Will Cost $6+ Million to Build

The Fly has just learned that it will cost at least $6 million to construct the proposed 300-space municipal parking garage on North Walnut Street. This estimate excludes related property acquisition costs (add at least another $1.245 million) and site remediation costs (unknown at this time).

The projected costs are based on the currently accepted industry standard construction rate of $20K per parking space. However, since there are already 100+ surface parking spaces on North Walnut Street, construction costs will substantially exceed $20K per parking space when viewed on a “net spaces gained” basis.

Furthermore, an Executive Vice President of one of the most prominent commercial real estate development firms in North Jersey recently advised The Fly that estimated annual carrying charges for such a facility could approach $1 million (includes salaries, utilities, debt service, insurance, etc.).

The Fly continues to question the wisdom of constructing a multi-million dollar parking facility, several blocks from Ridgewood’s train station, on a “Field of Dreams” basis. Are Village Council members absolutely certain that when they build it, people will come?

The Fly thinks that this project has all the potential of becoming “Ridgewood Village Hall, The Sequel.” That is, a fully taxpayer funded money pit.

11 thoughts on “Parking Garage Will Cost $6+ Million to Build

  1. >Oh brother. Here we go again. I’m sure there’s a job there somewhere for Jane Reilly.

  2. >Who is going to pay the carrying cost of the parking deck that Valley Hospital is funding at the Ridgewood Park & Ride?

  3. >Most municipal estimates are times 4. Low bidder gets in then “change orders” take over. Take Village Hall for example. $4mil became $16mil right before our eyes. Look at Englewood. They built a parking garage and nobody came. The carrying costs are killing the tax payers over there.

  4. >look at the NJ transit garage @ the NEW ramsey train station on Route17,,, ‘white elephant’=Nobody was using it so they had to lease space cheap to the car dealers on RT 17 to store cars… not sure if it has begun to fill up yet………

  5. >I hope they plan to put some retail space on the ground level to help offset operating overhead.

    They should also put in some type of EasyPass payment system with spaces just for the EasyPass people.

    They should plan to build this structure in stages so as not to screw up the already bad parking in town. Also if no one comes to stage 1 then maybe they should rethink the next stages.
    It will be hard to write the RFP for this, but, it can be done with a good engineering firm on board.


  7. >I’m 8:08.
    I submitted this plan YEARS ago to the brains in town hall—were is it today.

    Here’s the plan:

    Open letter to the Ridgewood Village Council
    Regarding Village parking.

    Dear Council Members

    My name is , I have lived in the Village for 24 years and like you I have seen many changes in the downtown area. These changes seem to be permanent and have created parking problems for both commuters and shoppers. I have pondered this problem and have come up with some ideas that may help solve this dilemma.

    First the Council should try to make more spaces on existing streets in the areas closest to the train station, restaurants and shops while improving pedestrian safety.

    Second the Council should consider using existing Village property for parking garages in an effort to minimize spending and tax burdens to the residents.

    The first item could be accomplished by making Chestnut St. a one-way (south bound) from Franklin to Ridgewood.

    The change would allow Chestnut to have diagonal metered parking on both sides creating more spaces and still allow for emergency vehicles. This change would improve both traffic and pedestrian safety at the intersection of Ridgewood Ave., by allowing pedestrians to cross safely only on the east corner, in front of Town and Country, to go north and south across Ridgewood Ave., requiring that traffic from Chestnut St. turn to the right without interruption from pedestrians. In addition, Ridgewood Ave. traffic would not be able to turn onto Chestnut St. further improving traffic flow and pedestrian safety.

    Next the council would make North Broad St. a one-way (north bound) from Ridgewood to Franklin. This would improve pedestrian safety and improve traffic flow at the Ridgewood Ave. intersection. Additionally this change would safely allow new diagonal parking spaces on both sides of North Broad St. and immediately create about 20 new spaces at the north end, from the taxi stand to the corner, which could be for commuter permit parking during the day.

    These changes have minimal financial impact and certainly not create a large taxpayer burden.

    The second stage will be time consuming but less expensive then condemning prime property and losing tax ratables and in the long run it would benefit the merchant, commuter and shopper alike.

    The Village should build a multi level parking garage in the present parking lot location on Chestnut St. This structure would be mostly hidden from view by the surrounding buildings. The entrance/exit would be located between the cleaners and appliance store and should have two entrance gates one for prepaid scan cards and or EZ Pass and the other, a time stamped take ticket. At the exit lane, one multi purpose manned booth with a gate, this would allow scan cards/EZ Pass to exit quickly while allowing the ticket holders to pay an attendant thus regulating the flow of traffic onto Chestnut street.

    Once this new garage is completed, all of the West side ( closest to the tracks) of N. Broad St. will be converted to daytime commuter permit only parking, creating many additional spaces right next to the tracks, adding additional income to the income created with the new Chestnut St. meters.

    The next phase would create a multi level parking garage in the present parking lot on Walnut St. The location of this structure would only be visible form the corner of Walnut St. and Ridgewood Ave. and would not detract form the historic Village center’s appearance.

    To begin, the Village could buy the adjacent property on Franklin St. and make this the entrance/exit to the new parking garage without taking away spaces nor adding to the congestion on Ridgewood Ave. This new lot should have the same EZ Pass/ticket system as the garage on Chestnut St.

    The new parking structure could be built in stages, to allow for continued parking during construction.

    The first stage could be a small multi level structure at the corner of Walnut and Franklin including the adjacent property. Once the first stage is completed and in operation, the next stage would be built in the center of the present lot, in the area behind Beers Florist, and eventually connect to the first stage lot when its completed, allowing for continued parking. The last stage if needed would include the purchase of the shoe store property on Walnut St. across form the post office making this another entrance/exit just for EZ Pass/scan cards. This phase will eventually connect with the second phase making one completed structure.

    If this structure is designed properly a few retail stores could be built on the Walnut St. side on the lower level, creating additional income for the Village if they lease these stores out.

    Once completed the new Walnut St. parking garage could, at least double the present parking spaces and pay for itself through the generated income.

    The last stage could be that the Village convert the small lot behind Town and Country Pharmacy to merchant/employee parking with a “scan card” gate. Merchants would buy an annual permit to an assigned space (no meters) merchants could be assured that their employees have a safe assigned parking space. This same card system could be used in any of the new parking garages. Time limits could be built into the cards so they don’t get abused.

    Finally the parking lot at the corner of Broad and Ridgewood would be converted to commuter parking by permit from 6AM to 6PM Monday to Friday and metered the rest of the time. This scenario is in place at the train station parking lot and has proven the concept to be reliable. If necessary the first two rows of the public parking lot across from Marra’s could be used for overflow commuter parking by permit from 6AM to 6 PM Monday – Friday. Commuters could access the train station on both sides of the tracks, using the existing tunnel.

    These ideas would certainly maximize the use of Village funds and owned land. They would create supplementary revenues, while allowing for safe, additional parking for merchants, shoppers and commuters alike.

    If you need further clarification please feel free to contact me.

    Very truly yours,

  8. >Why not ask the banks and restaurants (or their landlords) to pay for parking improvements? They are the ones who benefit. I would just as soon not encourage more traffic in the downtown area with expanded parking facilities as it is already congested. If that means that commercial landlords need to lower their rates, so be it.

  9. LOL $11M now and climbing –

  10. We’re going to have two garages and a parking deck now? Please say the Park & Ride will still be open to all.

    1. you commenting on a post from 2007

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