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Business owners want to reserve 2-hour parking spots by School Street

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Business leaders and owners have been working for about a year to make sure street level parking spots in the free parking garage on Brewster Street would be made available for clients of School Street businesses and medical practices.

This comes after a deal made in 2017 between RXR Realty and the former City of Glen Cove administration which signed over a minimum of 25 and a maximum of 75 parking spots of the 550 spaces in the Brewster Street Parking Garage for Village Square residents.

Each space, according to Joe Graziose, RXR’s executive vice president of residential development and construction, costs $780 a year. RXR, which will be leasing the minimum of 25 spaces, will have to pay $20,000 a year for those spots. Those spaces will be reserved for Village Square residents that want to park in the downtown area.

Patricia Holman, the executive director of the Glen Cove Downtown BID, John Zozzaro, the owner of The Downtown Café on School Street and a member of the BID’s Board of Directors, and other BID members have been in communications with Glen Cove Councilwoman Danielle Fugazy Scagliola, the liaison between the BID and the City of Glen Cove and a member of the BID Board of Directors, in an effort to secure two rows of street level parking spots on School Street. Business leaders are hoping to make the first two rows two-hour parking.

“It is in the best interest of our businesses to have parking on street level, that way it’s easier for customers to access local businesses,” Holman said. “There’s no elevators in that parking lot at this time and the handicap can not access the street level, so we certainly need the spots there for them too.”

Holman and Zozzaro both noted that if there isn’t enough parking for customers, they are likely to take their business elsewhere. They hope that in designating the first rows for two hour parking, that it will prevent people from taking advantage of the spots and leaving their cars there all day. “We don’t want this to happen,” Holman said. “We want to keep business here.”

“I just want to make sure the parking spots [that RXR acquires] is not the front rows for the customers of the commercial buildings and all the medical offices next door,” Zozzaro said. “We want to put two hour parking there, so that the customers and the patients can have easy access to School Street.”

Graziose said that RXR does not plan on taking any of the spots in the first row by School Street, but rather 10 spots in the second row, 10 spots in the third row and five spots in the last row. He said what is driving RXR to the bottom floor is the fact that the garage does not have an elevator in it. There are 140 spaces total in the bottom floor.

“I’ve lived in Glen Cove for 59 years of my life and I’ve not seen that parking garage ever full,” Graziose said. “Our objective in building this building in the downtown is to bring vibrancy to the downtown. We have 146 units we’re going to be bringing online, which is 146 shoppers, plus 146 mouths to feed.”

This matter of designating School Street parking rows as two-hour parking was brought up at the Glen Cove Pre-Council Meeting on July 21 as a discussion item.

“The city is going to reach out to the Downtown BID because the way this topic came to the City Council yesterday was from a great business man in the downtown, but he’s just one business,” Fugazy Scagliola said. “I think we have to understand collectively how business owners that are going to be impacted by this parking.”

Taking what business owners have to say, the issue at hand should be discussed between the city, the business community and RXR, she said.

“I think that having spots that turnover every two hours is good because if you have someone that just leaves their car there, it’s not helpful and I think what we would like to see is some hustle and bustle in the downtown,” Fugazy Scagliola said. “I think that we’re going to come to a reasonable solution that’s good for our residents, our new residents and good for the businesses.”