Montclair’s Midtown deck opens in February
By JAIMIE JULIA WINTERS
The long anticipated reopening of Montclair’s Midtown parking deck is expected to happen mid-February, officials say.
Closed for construction in January of last year, the facility at the intersection of Glenridge Avenue and North Willow Street will hold almost four times as many vehicles as before, with 314 public parking spots, up from its 83 original spaces.
And for the first time, the township has set aside parking on the rooftop level at a 20% discount for downtown employees and business owners.
On Jan. 18, the Township Council approved a resolution allowing for the special discount for downtown employees, setting fees at $70 per month for daytime parking, $60 per month for night parking and $130 per month for 24 passes. Visitors will also have access for $2 per hour.
Municipal surface lots and the Fullerton decks run $50 to $60 for monthly permits. Other garages run from $100 monthly at the Bay Street deck to $130 a month at the Crescent deck and, now, at the Midtown facility.
The expansion of the Midtown deck is part of the $135 million Seymour Street development — an apartment units, office space, retail and arts plaza project near the Wellmont Theater on Bloomfield Avenue. That two-building project also includes 434 parking spots in two other garages to accommodate the residents, retail and public permit parking, and is owned by project developers Ironstate and Brookfield.
In January 2018, the Township Council approved an agreement allowing for the mixed-use Seymour Street project, but with the condition that the developers create a public parking facility to replace the loss of the two municipal lots at South Willow Street and South Fullerton Avenue to make way for the project. The developers agreed to expand the Midtown garage, and upon completion, turn it over to the township, which would pocket the parking revenues.
Most of the $8 million to $9 million construction cost to build the garage was paid by the developers. The construction costs for the town were capped at $1.2 million.
Jason Gleason, executive director of the Montclair Center Business Improvement District, said business owners and their employees, who struggle finding affordable parking when coming to work in Montclair, will benefit from the first offering of discounted parking permits. He said he hopes that the township will offer employee parking discounts at other decks in the future.
Councilman Peter Yacobellis said the council’s Economic Development Committee members will be looking into having the township offer free 15-minute parking at all municipal decks to incentivize shoppers to choose deck parking over street spots. He said it didn’t make sense to include the 15-minute incentive for just the Midtown deck.
Mayor Sean Spiller agreed that the township should move forward with “dynamic pricing” ideas for decks. The Crescent deck is priced the same as the Midtown deck at $2 an hour, while parking at the Fullerton decks is 75 cents an hour. Street meter parking is 25 cents per 15 minutes.