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Off-road rage: Locals irate over parking-price increases at Kings Plaza

Pricey parking: Local residents and civic leaders were outraged by Kings Plaza’s new hourly parking fees, saying that shoppers will either leave their cars at nearby lots free of charge, or patronize other businesses instead.
Brooklyn Paper
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They’ve got a lot of anger!

Locals are fuming over new parking-fee hikes at Kings Plaza Shopping Center that mall bigwigs implemented earlier this month.

The new parking rates effective Feb. 1 — which cost $3 for two hours, $4 for three hours, $5 for four hours, and $10 for between four and 24 hours — are an attempt to replace revenue the Avenue U mall will lose by stopping its illegal scheme to rent out hundreds of spaces as storage for local car dealerships, claimed a local civic leader.

“Now that we recently caused the removal of the storage of more than 400 illegally parked cars from neighboring dealerships from their parking lot, they raised the parking fees for the shoppers,” said Dottie Turano, the district manager of local Community Board 18.

Last year, the city ordered the mall’s current owners, Brooklyn Kings Plaza LLC, to remove hundreds of cars without license plates illegally stored on the Kings Plaza lot following a disastrous September arson attack that injured 21 and destroyed hundreds of vehicles.

Officials issued the company a $1250 fine in October — and a second violation last Friday, when Department of Buildings inspectors returned to discover 500 cars without license plates still stored the garage, some 50 more vehicles than they found in an inspection shortly after the fire.

The new parking rates — which also include a $10 charge for lost tickets — will also hurt Kings Plaza’s business, because they will force customers to patron other retailers with cheaper or free spots, according to another local leader.

“They’re shooting themselves in the foot,” said Sal Calise, the president of Bergen Beach Civic Association. “Locals are seeking out other options, such as Gateway Center Mall, Macy’s Backstage on Emmons Avenue, or Century 21 on 86th Street.”

When the mall first opened its doors in 1970, shoppers could park in the garage for free. But over the years, its different owners added a flat fee to park, starting at 50 cents and increasing incrementally to $3, the price before the new rates kicked in.

Turano admitted there is nothing legally stopping Kings Plaza bigwigs from jacking up the parking prices, but said mall operators should think twice about nickel-and-diming the community where she said it already put many mom-and-pop shops out of business since it opened.

“It’s not even the fee, they’re not being good neighbors, they’re putting mom and pop stores out of business,” the civic leader said.

And she agreed that customers will likely take their business elsewhere as a result of the latest hikes, claiming parking lots at stores next door to Kings Plaza — including Lowe’s and Walgreens, which charge no fees to patrons arriving in cars — filled up with vehicles in the days since the mall upped its prices.

“You can go to Gateway [Center] or any other mall and not pay for parking,” Turano said. “We drove past last weekend and Lowe’s parking was packed.”

The change in fees is also driving more Kings Plaza customers to walk to the mall after stowing their rides in the parking lot outside the old Toys “R” Us on Flatbush Avenue, which is growing more crowded by the day since the hikes took place, according to Turano.

“They’re even parking by Toys “R” Us, which has been happening before but now it’s getting progressively worse,” she said. “And I don’t blame them.”

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@schnepsmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.
Updated 6:17 pm, February 12, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Jack from Brooklyn says:
Henry Ford speaks the truth!
Feb. 12, 7:46 pm
James from Dyker Heights says:
Ban people!
Feb. 12, 8:25 pm
James from Dyker Heights says:
Really tragic. Stores are closing and losing business left and right. Shoppers should be given a discount for parking. In addition, the city has a lot of nerve fining this business with one hand and providing corporate subsidies for AMAZON with its other hand. Tisk, tisk.
Feb. 12, 8:27 pm
Cindy from Williamsburg says:
They should get bikes !
Feb. 13, 5:32 am
ty from pps says:
i balanced the airconditoner i bought at sears on my handlebars - you can too
Feb. 13, 8:14 am
Trina from Park Slope says:
This is insane! If a million people park here for more than 24 hours, then that's TEN MILLION DOLLARS - tax free ! Right in the pockets of these big wigs! It's like they only have the shopping to make the money from Parking!
Feb. 13, 8:53 am
Park here now from Brooklyn says:
Parking is a human right! No car is illegal.
Feb. 13, 12:36 pm
Feminist from Pissed Off! says:
This is especially hard on women, who only earn 75¢ for every $1.00 a MAN does !!!!
Feb. 13, 12:48 pm
Gerard from Rockaway says:
I still travel to Staten Island where you have a much nicer and a newly expanded mall. It’s worth the toll for a much better shopping experience, with a better selection too.
Feb. 13, 3:49 pm
Janet from Park Slope says:
The bus stops right outside.
Feb. 13, 5:05 pm
Kon from Marine park says:
Despite the price hikes and people being upset. KP will always have business. Its a huge facility and has over 200 stores. With macys and several other huge stores that are very popular.
Feb. 14, 7:47 pm
James from Mill Basin says:
What is it, are they jacking up the rate, or nickle and diming? Not very consistent with the slant.
Feb. 19, 12:31 pm
Bunny from Mill Basin says:
I want to publicly thank Lowes for being so nice for allowing free parking. And during the holiday extended hours at the mall, I saw that the Lowes' security guy stayed late as well. I'm sure it's an insurance thing but a mensch move nonetheless.
March 2, 3:48 pm

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