Fanwood's municipal parking lot, which is located behind the stores on Martine Avenue which services shoppers, merchants and commuters, is about to undergo major reconstruction as the next phase of the overall downtown redevelopment plan moves forward.
Beginning in mid-August, the lot will be completely redesigned with construction taking place in several phases, each of which will close a specific portion of the lot at a time.
Phase 1 will consist of closing the the west entrance on LaGrande Avenue (across from McDermott Place) and that immediate parking area to allow for demolition and site improvements such as drainage and new curbing. This is the area that is currently referred to as the commuter overflow lot 2. The east entrance on LaGrande Avenue (closest to the light on Martine Ave and behind Frank's Auto) will remain open during this phase.
Approximately 40 - 50 commuters who currently use this portion of the municipal lot will be relocated during construction. They will be contacted by and working directly with, Fanwood Police Chief Richard Trigo to park on surrounding streets during this time. Any accommodations that are made on the surrounding streets will only be for those vehicles displaying their Borough issued commuter permits.
Commuters who have been issued permits to park in the main train station lot off South Avenue and North Avenue will not be affected. Patrons of the businesses on Martine and South Avenues can continue to park in the lot during construction but should be prepared for some inconvenience.
Visitors to area shops should be reminded that free parking is allowed after 3 p.m., Monday through Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday, in the South and North sides of the Fanwood Train Station.
The build-out of the shared parking lot will then lead into the next construction project called Fanwood Crossing II, which will be a mixed use building that will also have a large pedestrian plaza adjacent to it. The building and plaza will be housed on what was the former Commerce Bank and Livingston-Wilbor Company sites. Groundbreaking for this is expected in the fall.
"We understand that the upcoming construction projects will cause some confusion and inconvenience," said Mayor Colleen Mahr. "But when it's all finished, there will be a new and enlarged parking lot for those living, working and shopping downtown, a new unique outdoor space for all to use as well as additional retail stores to shop in. I am confident that when all is said and done, our downtown will be more beautiful and user-friendly than ever before."