Almost 300 Additional Parking Spaces Planned for Asbury Park


coaster-news-200-newBy DON STINE

Almost 300 additional parking spaces at Asbury Park’s beachfront and downtown are anticipated to be provided by Memorial Day weekend.

Oceanfront redeveloper iStar Financial is seeking temporary approval to create the asphalt-paved parking lots and a presentation was given at this week’s City Council workshop meeting.

“Let’s get it going,” Mayor John Moor said.

One hundred new parking spaces are proposed for a vacant lot at the intersection of Seventh Avenue and Kingsley Street. The site, with access off Seventh Avenue, is near a proposed beachfront food truck court and some parking will help support that enterprise. Motorists will also be able to drive through the proposed parking site and drop people off at the beach.

Another 93 parking spaces will be provided at the beachfront in a vacant lot behind the Empress Hotel at Kingsley Street and First Avenue.

An additional 91 parking spaces will be provided in downtown Asbury Park on a vacant lot at the intersection of Cookman and Grand Avenues, the site of a former school board building. The eastern section of the same block is scheduled for residential development and has wooden pilings driven-in throughout much of the site.

An iStar representative said this site will serve primarily downtown Asbury Park and that the lot may be used for valet-type parking.

iStar’s Vice President of Land Brian Cheripka said that the lots will be paid parking lots, most likely with pay kiosks similar to those found elsewhere in the city.

“The parking fees will most likely be higher than the surrounding city parking but more information will be provided within the next two weeks,” he said.

All parking lots will also have bicycle racks and handicapped parking spots.

Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn said that the city’s waterfront redevelopment agreement requires the lots to be paved with asphalt rather than covered with a material like crushed stone.

The mayor said the city has been working closely with iStar to get the additional parking, particularly in the downtown area where parking is at a premium.

He said there are still some issues to be worked out, such as how many years the lots will be operating and if the city gets any of the revenue.

“But I give credit where credit is due and they deserve a lot of credit,” he said.

The council now needs to move the proposals on to the Planning Board for approval.

The city also plans to provide additional downtown parking at its municipal parking lot off main Street, especially on nights and weekends.

All current parking lot proposals are expected to be completed by Memorial Day weekend.

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