The West New York Board of Commissioners has adopted an ordinance furthering its plans to increase parking in town in part by converting municipal surface parking lots into multi-leveled parking garages.
The board voted unanimously (3-0) to adopt the ordinance at its February meeting. The ordinance sells the parking lot next to Memorial High School’s Freshmen Academy to the Board of Education for $1.
The partnership with the Board of Education aims to turn the 55 space parking lot into a multi-story parking deck. After the renovations are complete the deck will hold 110 parking spaces, Special Project Manager Jonathon Castaneda explained at the previous Board of Commissioners meeting in January.
Plans are still in the early phases for this parking deck, and town engineers and architects are working on a full mock-up. Construction is estimated to be complete by the summer of 2023.
Prior to voting in favor of the ordinance, each member of the Board of Commissioners expressed their support for the new parking deck.
“I just want to thank the administration for clarifying some of the concerns that were brought up,” said Commissioner Cosmo Cirillo said. “Ultimately, I think it’s in the best interest of our community and our residents.”
“This is going to increase the parking for the residents,” said Commissioner Margarita Guzman. “This is going to be a very positive move from us with the Board of Education.”
“This is overdue for the community of West New York and for the residents and for the teachers,” said Commissioner Victor Barrera. “For years I heard teachers come in late because they have to look for parking. There’s seniors and other residents around the corner from that parking lot. This is way overdue and I’m really it happened under our watch.”
Commissioners abstain, but excited
Commissioner Yoleisy Yanez, who abstained alongside Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez due to being an employee of the Board of Education, voiced her enthusiasm for the project.
“This is great for the town,” Yanez said. “This will help teachers in the morning and residents when they come back from work. This is going to be positive for everyone.”
Rodriguez said that he was also ecstatic about the project.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to have this project on the way as we also prepare for our other lots that will be increased in terms of adding levels,” Rodriguez said. “As we can see in 54th Street, and obviously the project on 51st Street that is moving very well, this is just another step in the right direction of creating more spaces for this municipality, and at the same time remedying the situation with creating more spaces for staff in that area.
“As we all know, that part of town has four Board of Education buildings which means a lot of staff. In one project, we’ll be taking care of hopefully two issues that are pending, obviously related to the lack of parking. So while I have to abstain, I’m very excited about this project.”
Two other new parking decks will be built on the surface parking lots at 51st Street and 57th Street. The 51st Street Parking Lot holds 185 spaces, and after renovations, the deck will total 485. That project is expected to be completed in December of 2022. The 57th Street lot behind Modell’s parking lot of 78 spaces will upgrade to a 210 space deck. The project has entered the construction phase, and officials expect the project to be completed by March of 2023.
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