Do You Like the Proposed Ridgewood Parking Plan?

Members of the business community think two parking garages and a large retail space could turn the downtown around.

Some of the heavy hitters in Ridgewood's business community think an could be just what the village needs to spark a new business era in town.

We detailed the particulars last week, but here's a brief reminder:

A developer would come to terms with the village for a land lease on the small parking lot between and . The lot would be ripped up and a two-story 12,000 sq. ft. retail building would be constructed in the hopes it attracts a big-time anchor retailer.

The money from the land lease and property taxes would finance the construction of a grade plus-two story parking garage at the Hudson Street lot, which would contain a 4,000 sq. ft. retail building adjacent to . The revenue would help finance the construction of another parking garage, this one at the Walnut St. lot. The additional parking should total somewhere between 180-230 spaces, organizers said.

The total project should cost in the neighborhood of $8 million and the architects of the plan say it should be fully funded by the revenue from taxes and the land leases. The council will be discussing it for quite some time.

So that's pretty much the plan in a nutshell – what are your thoughts? Great idea that seems plausible? Interesting but a fantasy? Realistic but a poor concept? Something in between? Sound off below.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor James Kleimann at James.Kleimann@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

dara brown August 14, 2012 at 12:22 PM
If it is a financially viable proposal, then let private enterprise do the deal without taxpayer money/financial guarantees. I'm all for a vibrant CBD, but what kind of stores can afford the current rents? Last week I wanted to get a key made and the locksmith isnt there anymore. Apparently the rent for his small shop off the beaten path was close to $6000 month, forcing him to close the retail store, and just do 'house'calls from his van. So I have to go out of town for keys (along with the rest of my shopping)
Christian Walsh August 14, 2012 at 12:47 PM
This plan is just a plot to completely destroy the personality of the CBD. What is an anchor store? A big box store or other national chain. Since the real estate boom of 2006 when every other business in town became a bank the building owners have been so motivated by the idea that national chains will pay high rents that they have raised the rents to levels no small local business can afford. This has caused almost full blocks to be vacant. Some times for years. And now they cry out for the problem of limited parking and an ambitious plan to be financed by the town to further destroy what's left of the personality of the CBD. Once one land owner begins to make the money from renting to national chains it's just a matter of time until the CBD has all the charm of an airport terminal. The CBD had thrived for years in spite of limited parking. The number and variety of businesses coupled with the high rents that no longer allow interesting stores and restaurants to survive is killing the CBD and more money in the pockets of the few will not bring it back.
Mark McCullough August 14, 2012 at 12:54 PM
It might work, but if people are going to get in their cars and drive 10 or 15 minutes to someplace where parking is relatively easy, where there is shopping featuring well-known anchor stores and and smaller shops, and a variety of restaurants.....wouldn't they just go to the mall?
Paul August 14, 2012 at 01:10 PM
I agree with both Dara Brown & Christian Walsh.I may start doing my shopping in Allendale or Ramsey where there is less traffic, hassel, grief,and streesed out shop owners paying sky high rents!
Boyd A. Loving August 14, 2012 at 01:32 PM
I agree. If it's such a great plan with loads of long term revenue potential, let these "heavy hitters" put up their own money to build it. I am opposed to this project if it involves any taxpayer funds.
News Man August 14, 2012 at 01:40 PM
The Plan is Realistic and a Good concept. After all these many years, a plan that is on paper by professionals with lots of possibilties. Don't let the naysayers, looking for their own identification, deteter the Village from following thru on this project please. It's a good start.
Melvin Freedenberg August 14, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Gee, I guess banks are doling out taxpayer's money to those who are wearing rose colored glasses. Businesses have closed in the CBD at a record rate, never before experienced in the life of Ridgewood. I wish to offer a crying towel to those who have the gall to complain about walking twenty more steps because there isn't a parking spot, just reserved for them, right in front of the store they wish to patronize. I am still waiting for the day, in my almost 40 years of living in Ridgewood, that I get "parking spot rage" as so many of those villagers who shed crocodile tears about lack of parking. Sure, go burn 10 dollars of fuel in your SUV or Hummer to go to Allendale to buy a 5 dollar item. With so many stores empty, let a private party build it and will they come? Not one penny of taxpayer's dollar should be spent. Haven't you heard, the economy is in the toilet and there is no justification for village largess at this time. Get real!
News Man August 14, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Thanks Mel, I guess my 65 years in Ridgewood and being over 90 years of age, should qualify me with a little Ridgewood life experience. Suggest you participate and not just sit on the side lines and criticize. It's a negative contribution of little value. Ridgewood was the major shopping center for many years and can become that again.
Anne LaGrange Loving August 14, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Hey Dom "News Man" - You are quick to chastize people for being critical of a proposal, and to characterize people as "naysayers." But when it comes to Graydon Pool, you are the Number One Non-Stop Naysayer. Everyone is entitled to an opinion on this, just as you are entitled to your opinion on Graydon. You like this parking proposal - great! Some people have questions and concerns - let them be voiced! The presentation the other night was terrific and clearly a lot of work went into it. However, many of us have (or will have) legitimate questions that should be asked and will be answered before it goes forward. Relax, have a cup of coffee, I happen to know you have an especially nice coffee mug!
News Man August 14, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Relax Anne, the coffee is great! If the same kind of planning, design and financial alternatives were made for a "Modernization of Graydon" as was done here, I'd be more tolerant of those naysayers. Thanks for bringing up Graydon again, residents are still leaving that facility.
JP August 15, 2012 at 06:01 AM
The single most effective thing Ridgewood could do to encourage more shopping, is to make parking FREE!
Melvin Freedenberg August 15, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Sorry, JP, but if parking were free, the CBD would be overrun with all day parkers, using the train, and everybody would go out of business. Dom: Reports are that Graydon attendance is up. Which brings me to a question: Is an accounting done with regard to the cost of meter men, riding around in their Ford Escape vehicles, versus parking fines collected? Is there a tally in the over two hour parking ticket area in remote areas of the Village? Is it cost effective? If not, there is an argument for the meter men to do their jobs on bicycles and give up the luxury of Ford Escapes. They won't need them if ticketing in remote areas doesn't pay. In New York, meter maids walk. I think our meter men have two feet, don't they? If ticketing were confined to the CBD, the Village would save a whole bunch of $$$$ with a $500 bicycle versus a $25,000 carbon spewing Escape hybrid. This Village finds it so easy to spend taxpayer's money and in most instances, they don't give it a second thought.
News Man August 15, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Graydon attendance is NOT up! The INCOME is up by increased membership fees to Day Camps where campers are required to be members. Those lost 4,500 regular members have still not returned. Some members have children in the (baby sitting) day camp for convenience and maintain their membership to supervise the children when they are not at a camp function. And that's the way it is.
Melvin Freedenberg August 15, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Swami Dom, O.K., so I was wrong about Graydon. But let me quote you from your previous post, "Ridgewood was the major shopping center for many years and can become that again." And Amazon and the rest of the Internet will go bye, bye? May I borrow your rose colored glasses? There has to be a major reduction in rentals before that will happen and by demographics, the baby boomers were the shoppers of the past and there is nobody following in their footsteps to take up the slack. Ridgewood will recover, but not in our lifetime.
Ridgewooder August 15, 2012 at 07:33 PM
We need more mall type stores and parking.
Paul August 15, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Melvin, You are right not in our lifetime. But 500$ for a bicycle? Is it made of gold? Maybe the police could give them one of the 300$ bicycles that the lovely children of our town steal, then ditch in the Hohokus brook every year! The kids do that cause if they brought home a brand new bike they would get in trouble with their parents! Any comment Police, Council, Ect.
jp1 August 15, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Parking would not be such a major problem if people were not so lazy. Why not have a local town bus as the village had many years ago.


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