Kings Plaza to pay $620 fine for illegally storing hundreds of cars in parking garage for years

Fire in Kings Plaza parking garage injures 21
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Talk about cheap parking.

Kings Plaza will only have to pay a meagre $620 fine for illegally storing 450 new cars in its parking garage for at least the past two years.

For the record, that fine is less than half what the mall would charge that many shoppers to park their cars for just two hours.

Of course, that’s only if the mall’s owners agree to cop a plea.

The city’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings has offered Brooklyn Kings Plaza LLC a deal to settle out of court for $620. But if the owners decide to go to before a judge on Dec. 31 and are found guilty, then they’ll have to pay the full fine — of $1250.

Under the settlement, the shopping center owners would have until next March to remove the 450 cars from the garage space they leased to local car dealerships, or else they will have to pay the full fine, according to the trials and hearings office.

It is not know how much the mall makes each month from the illegal arrangement.

The Department of Buildings issued violations to the shopping center on Oct. 11 for illegally using its parking garage to store cars for local dealerships, a deal brought to light in the aftermath of a massive fire which destroyed hundreds of those cars on Sept. 17, injuring 26 people.

The local community board’s district manager said that the fine won’t do much to punish the mall, but she still hopes the building owners will address safety concerns raised by the building-code violations.

“I’m hoping that they have the decency to make sure that place is safe, but the fine is meaningless, it’s nothing to them,” said Dottie Turano of Community Board 18.

Turano said she had asked the senior manager of the mall as far back as September 2016 whether the dealerships were allowed to store their cars in there.

Senior property manager Steve DeClara of Macerich Management told Turano and the attendees of CB18’s monthly meeting that the company leases a large part of the garage for new cars from the Brooklyn Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram dealership on Flatbush Avenue between Utica and Fillmore avenues, but insisted that the mall had no issues with lack of parking as a result, according to Turano.

Turano said she believes the shopping center will address the violation order and that the owners just didn’t do their homework.

“I think they’ll be compliant, that’s not a small outfit — it’s a big operation,” she said. “I just think they didn’t research it.”

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.