March 10 2018
the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, Councilmen Ramon Hache gets us up to date on the Hudson garage. Hache says that , ” In addition to the interviews with developers for the Hudson Street Parking Garage on February 21, the Village Council reviewed and discussed the results of the Walker Feasibility Study at the Public Work Session on Wednesday, February 28.”
Walker Consultants were hired to perform a feasibility study which includes both the financial analysis and the parking allocation plan for the Hudson Street Garage. The study provides 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.
According to the councilmen , “Walker makes several assumptions, including a cost of $12 million and financing at 3%. At this time, even before negotiating, we are already seeing several viable options in the range of approximately $9.5 million to $11 million. Also, given our AAA credit rating, we should be able to finance at a rate lower than 3%.”
These are the highlights of Walker’s recommendations to pay for the garage:
Increase hourly meter rates from currently $0.50 to $0.75 in the second half of 2018; increase to $1.25 in 2020; increase to $1.50 in 2025.
Extend meter hours from currently 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Allocate 60% of the garage spaces to commuters and employees (monthly) and 40% to shoppers and diners (hourly).
Then the councilmen went on to discuss financing options, “I think we should explore short-term (3 years) interest-only financing in order to allow us to build a substantial cushion before bonding for 25 years. It would also help us smooth out future parking meter rate increases. I also suggest we allocate 75% (top three floors) to monthly passes and 25% (the first floor) to shoppers and diners. This will ensure that by early January each year, we would have locked in at least 75% of the projected garage revenue.”
Hache says, “The Hudson Garage would be part of the Parking Utility, which means it would be funded directly by revenues received through meter rates. That is why the Walker Feasibility Study only contemplates rate adjustments and extended meter hours, and not special assessments or tax increases.”
Hache concludes , “The Village Council will now begin negotiations with the garage developers with the goal of selecting a final proposal that balances the best fit, value, functionality, and design. Designating the existing Hudson Street lot as an area in need of redevelopment in 2017, has allowed us the opportunity to negotiate directly with the construction companies, instead of simply accepting or rejecting the bids. One company already reduced their original bid by over $1.37 million.”