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Wednesday, May 25, 2022
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Petition to Stop Parking Garage

Dear Source:
As I commented previously, St. John needs a master plan and a complete redevelopment of its prime downtown commercial space.
Living on another island with similar concerns and parking problems I am all too aware of the perils involved with parking garages. They often have many negative aspects associated with them, the foremost being a magnet for crime.
The proposed location is likely the most valuable parcel in the downtown area and would be put to a much better use for a multitude of economic and esthetic public or private purposes.
Combining commercial spaces with a parking garage will not solve anything and will likely increase the demand for new parking spaces. In addition, why would a municipality want to subsidize commercial spaces and become a public landlord with the additional significant burdens and costs that this would entail?
I suggest that for much, much less than $3.2 million a practical solution may be for the short-term to lease or purchase one or two flat-deck barges that could be conveniently tied up near the Park Service dock which would provide many economical spaces immediately. In conjunction, a master plan could be drafted and all possible alternative locations could be explored. Later the barges could be used for other purposes, sold or, if leased, returned. In any case they would provide invaluable extra instant parking spaces during the construction phase of any new permanent parking facility.
I submit that there are many developers, including my company that would be pleased to explore a privately developed parking facility that would negate the local government having to take on this substantial endeavor and without spending valuable tax revenues. In fact, a properly structured project would generate new taxes and provide another revenue stream for local public uses.
Rob Pfriender
Allied International Development, Ltd.
Long Island, New York
Editors note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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