Business & Finance

New Providence-Owned Properties Could Help Alleviate Downtown Parking Shortage

March 4, 2014 at 6:00 AM

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – For more than 35 years, there have been several attempts--none of them successful--to solve the shortage of parking in the downtown commercial district.

However, a recent detailed report issued by the borough’s Economic Development Committee outlines what its members hope will be viewed as a sensible and logical approach involving borough officials, business owners and property owners.

The first step is the development of an actionable downtown master plan with the objective to increase open access parking, pedestrian safety, improve traffic flow and encourage the re-development of the downtown shopping district.

Sign Up for E-News

That recommendation received unanimous Borough Council approval with the appropriation of $20,000 to Heyor, Gruel and Associated to conduct the study.

Councilman Gary Kapner, who along with Dr. Bob Robinson serves as liaison to the EDC, said that during the past few years there have been significant improvements in the downtown area.

“Some property owners have done a good job making their properties look good,” he said. As examples, Kapner cited the Village Shopping Center, Barth’s Market, McGrath’s Hardware and the Prestige Diner.

On the other hand, Kapner said, there are several downtown properties that have remained stagnant for years that have not been renovated or changed hands.

Kapner suggested that one of the reasons is that all of the parking with the exception of on-street and Borough Hall parking is controlled by private property owners.

“There’s a fair amount of property owners in the downtown area that are landlocked and don’t have sufficient parking to attract a tenant or a buyer,” Kapner said.

The councilman suggested that the difficulty the borough has had over the past two years in marketing a liquor consumption license lies more in the lack of adequate parking and not the $400,000 asking price or operating restrictions.

Kapner opined that a prospective restaurant owner was probably more inclined to purchase a property and invest in renovation, refurbishment and new fixtures as supposed to investing in a leased property. But then again, the issue of adequate parking raises its head.

Councilman Robinson said there are two borough-owned properties that hold the promise of some downtown parking relief.

First is a small borough owned property located behind Feathers Salon and Avenue Deli that boarders the shopping center and could yield as many as nine additional parking spaces. That effort could begin as early as this spring, Kapner said.

Robinson said a second opportunity for additional parking is to expand the Municipal Center parking lot located on Elkwood Avenue to accommodate 12 additional spaces. That effort could mesh nicely with current plans to renovate Lincoln Field which is across the street.

Ultimately, the solution to the downtown parking shortage lies with property and business owners and their desire to cooperate and work together for the benefit of all.

The EDC report recommended that the borough, using its impressive credit rating and access to low interest rates, bond several projects that would be re-paid by downtown property owners.

Those projects would include: paving the land behind Feathers and Avenue Deli; reduce the number of dumpsters by creating one or two dumpster enclosures along the South St. property lines; install a shared trash compactor, and cooking grease receptacle; remove the old McGrath’s dumpster enclosure; remove the barriers dividing the shopping center lot and Wells Fargo lot; and, remove the planters behind M&M Liquors. Those efforts would lead to increased parking availability.

In addition to paying the bond, property owners would agree to a shared/open parking agreement; stripe their lots to maximize parking spaces; improve traffic flow and lot connectivity based on recommendations by the borough engineer; agree to a single trash hauler; agree to a single snow removal company and truck the snow off-site; and, agree to fix-up their rear entrances.

Both council members Kapner and Robinson said they had been working closely with downtown business and property owners and expressed early enthusiasm that a pact could prevail.

“We’re very optimistic with the tenor that has been set with downtown property owners. They’re very receptive to new ideas and sharing,” Robinson said.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

New Providence

Christmas, Chanukah, and New Year’s Eve, 2017: All in Sync

December 10, 2016

For the first time that we can remember, both Christmas and Chanukah begin on the twenty-fourth of December this year, with the first of eight Chanukah candle being lit, yes, on Christmas Eve. 

And eight days later, all eight Chanukah candles are lit together on New Year’s Eve, with the holiday ending at sunset on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2017.  And New Year’s is ...

Beckerman’s Theory of Everything

Any armchair theoretical physicist knows that Stephen Hawking has pursued a lifelong quest to come up with a Theory of Everything. This all-encompassing theory would tie together general relativity (large scale and high mass galaxies, stars, etc), quantum theory (quantum mechanics, quarks, atoms, subatomic particles), and Newtonian physics (gravity on small bodies, gas laws, electromagnetism) to ...

Upcoming Events


Sun, December 11, 5:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Give Back & Help a Local Animal Shelter

Giving Back


Sun, December 11, 5:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Merry Fitness – A Program To Get You Through The ...

Health & Wellness


Sun, December 11, 8:15 AM

Providence! Integrated Health and Fitness, New Providence

Sunday Morning Donation Yoga

Health & Wellness Sports


Sun, December 11, 11:00 AM

Providence! Integrated Health and Wellness, New Providence

BollyDaZz Dance with Paolo

Health & Wellness Sports

Sun, December 11, 12:00 PM

Providence! Integrated Health and Fitness, New Providence

Zumba Meets BollyDaZz with Paola

Health & Wellness


Sun, December 11, 12:30 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Mah Jongg

Arts & Entertainment

Seventeen Graduate Local Suicide Intervention Training

December 11, 2016

The graduates of a recent suicide intervention training class held by caring and crisis hotline Caring Contact of Westfield proudly hold their certificates. The Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) class was held Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 at the RWJ Rahway Fitness and Wellness Center in Scotch Plains.

ASIST is an internationally acclaimed interactive training program in suicide ...

Celebrate the Season with a Free Family Concert on Dec. 18 in New Providence

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Intergenerational Orchestra (NJIO) presents its annual Family Holiday concert this year at New Providence High School on Sunday, December 18 at 3 p.m.  The concert is free. 

Concertgoers will enjoy a variety of selections that celebrate traditions of the season, including popular works like Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride” and the ...

Union County College Names New Governor to the Board

CRANFORD – At the Dec. 6, 2016 meeting of the Union County College Board of Trustees and Governors, Tamecka M. Dixon, former WNBA All-Star, was sworn in to serve as a new Governor. Ms. Dixon, of Westfield, is the owner and operator of Avis Car Rentals Services in Westfield, NJ.

Ms. Dixon grew up in Union County. She attended Linden High School, where she was named a High School ...

Sharing is Caring at Westminster Nursery School

During the holiday season Westminster Nursery School emphasizes giving with the children. The children collected items for Operation Gratitude, sending toys and school materials to children all over the world, Mt. Carmel Toy Drive, pajamas for the One Million Good Nights, and collected baby food for the Little Flower Church Food Bank in Berkeley Heights.

These hands on experiences teach the ...

Rotary Club of Berkeley Heights Congratulates Michael Shapiro

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ -  Michael Shapiro, CEO & Publisher of, a network of 60 independently owned and operated online local newspapers in New Jersey and New York, with over 5 million readers, is a recipient of the Toast to Scouting Award by the Patriots’ Path Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The Toast to Scouting recognition was presented to Mr. Shapiro by The ...

Chris Brown Named President at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties is proud to announce the appointment of Chris Brown to President of the 21-office real estate brokerage headquartered in Somerset, New Jersey. Previously serving as Executive Vice President and General Sales Manager, Brown is a member of the company’s ownership team along with Bill Keleher, Seymour and Nancy Litwin, and Steve Janett.

Shannon's six week transformation story

Shannon just finished her 6 Week Transformation, here were her results: 

Dropped 2 Pant sizes
Energy Level went from a 2 to a 9
Confidence level from a 5 to a 9

She was very happy and satisfied with these results, but the best result was taking her focus off the scale! For years Shannon only measured her success for her health by weight loss.

When we sat down in the ...

What's in a Name?

Sign here:   ________________________________


And here and here and here.  Initial these five boxes.  Then sign right here and over here stating that you understand that you are signing something you haven’t read.  And on the last page please sign and date this disclaimer stating that you are fully responsible for signing and dating this document even if you ...

‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales' Captures Old-Fashioned Nostalgia at Shakespeare Theatre

MADISON, NJ – It’s clear the Welsh love to sing as the evening moves on with relatives gathering for Christmas dinner at the Thomas home in Wales.

The play opens with three children and then a chorus singing “In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,” a melancholy tune that conjures visions of Swansea, a village in Wales,  with “fallen snow on ...