June 27, 2016 By Michael Florio
Plans to construct a multi-story parking complex with thousands of parking spaces on Ditmars Boulevard outraged residents at a Community Board 3 meeting this month.
The Parking Spot, a private company that offers parking spaces near airports for travelers, was seeking the Board’s blessing in its application for special land use permits that would allow it to build a parking complex next to the LaGuardia Marriott hotel at 102-05 Ditmars Blvd. The Board’s vote is advisory; the project will ultimately be approved or denied by City officials.
The complex would offer 1,775 long-term public parking spaces intended for those traveling at LaGuardia Airport, plus 420 spots for LaGuardia Marriott hotel patrons, according to the application. Approximately 400 existing hotel parking spots would be replaced.
There would also be an approximately 500-square-foot retail space. The structure would not be taller than the 10-story hotel building next door, according to the application.
The complex would operate in a similar manner to another Parking Spot lot at JFK, located at 130-24 South Conduit Ave. This lot charges travelers $17.95-plus per day to park.
The average stay at this new lot would be 3.5 days, according to The Parking Spot representative Evan Stavisky.
Stavisky asserted that there is a community need for this lot due to the volume of travelers using the airport.
The company projects that 90 vehicles would enter and 15 would leave each morning, while 35 would enter and 85 would leave each evening. This includes shuttle buses to and from the airport, which will run six in and six out every hour.
“It will not add to the traffic in the neighborhood,” another representative with The Parking Spot said.
That representative also argued that, because many people take cabs or Uber to the airport, their lot will offer an alternative option and alleviate the number of black cars in the community.
At least one local official is skeptical of this claim.
“This is too intrusive on the local community,” Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry wrote in a letter that was read at the CB 3 meeting. “It works counter to the NYC police, Vision Zero, which attempts to decrease car traffic.”
“The speculation about the reduction of black cars is only a mirage,” he additionally wrote.
Many residents agreed with Aubry.
“This will lead to an addition of traffic, which I’m completely against, and not take away any black cars,” Edmund Rosenbaum, co-chair of CB 3’s Business/Economic Development committee, said. “If you are going to use a black car, you are still going to use it.”
He was not alone, as resident after resident spoke out against this proposal.
“We don’t want to look out our window and see a garage,” one man said. “We do not need this in the community. Take it elsewhere.”
However, not everyone in attendance opposed this proposal.
“This will help residents and those who use the airport,” one Board member said.
A company representative also added that The Parking Spot plans to hire up to 60 people at this complex.
Ultimately, the Board strongly voted against this proposal and will make a recommendation to the City to deny this application.
The Parking Spot did not respond to request for comment on their plans moving forward.