Cars Towed In Shopping Center Renovation
With the renovation of the Far Rockaway Shopping Center has come a new problem for local residents. After using the parking lot as an unofficial municipal lot for years, drivers are finding that the signs indicating that cars will be towed if the vehicles’ owners are not using stores in the lot, mean business.
At the end of last year one reader told The Wave, “I don’t think the signage at the Thriftway parking area is sufficient.
Many people do not realize they will be towed if they are not patronizing the stores or if they leave the cars in the lot after store closing hours.
People are so accustomed to parking ‘freely’ for so many years, I don’t believe they notice the signs.
Yet Joe Speranza, a representative for the developer Shopco, said the towing – which began several months ago – is important to the renovation.
“We are doing it to clean up the shopping center,” said Speranza. “It is being remodeled.
We can’t have people parked overnight or abandoning cars.
It [the lot] is for customers, not for overnight parking.”
While some may say they don’t notice the signs, there are several signs at the entrance of the lot that clearly indicate that the lot is only for store patrons while they are in stores in the shopping center and that overnight parking is allowed by permit only. As the shopping center fell into disrepair over the years, car owners began to use the parking lot as a place to keep their vehicles while shopping or running errands in Far Rockaway, or as a place to park while traveling back and forth into the city as they took the ‘A’ train from the Mott Avenue subway station.
After decades of decline, renovation of the shopping center began after a meeting last year between Councilman James Sanders Jr. and the owner, Rita Stark.