New parking garage weeks from opening


EAST BRUNSWICK — The new Transportation and Commerce Center (TCC) is scheduled to open in early October.

The six-story commuter parking deck has been under construction for about a year at the Golden Triangle site on Route 18. The $32 million facility will have 1,681 parking spaces, replacing a 1,130-space parking lot that the township has operated for many years.

According to Township Finance Director L. Mason Neely, who is in charge of the township’s two park and rides, the canopy that will protect bus users during bad weather was still being completed early this month. Sidewalk and curb work was also being finished in the past two weeks, and a couple punch list items still remained to be done.

Officials had hoped the deck would be ready in September, but the possibility of a later opening prompted the Township Council in July to put off rate increases to October. The rates will be brought in line with prices at the Neilson Plaza, located further north on Route 18.

Rates will go up for both daily and monthly parking permits at TCC. The previous daily rate of $3 will rise to $4. The monthly parking permit for a resident of East Brunswick will increase from $20 to $25, while the rate for a nonresident will go from $40 to $55.

Councilman David Stahl said in late August that he had recently toured the facility with Neely, and all the major con- struction was complete.

Neely said East Brunswick is hoping its relatively low parking rates, compared to other park and rides, will bring in more users, thus helping to pay off the facility’s debt. He could not say when the additional spots would be filled.

“Ask me that in November,” he said, adding he will “do all I can to accommodate the parking need.”

Stahl said the parking demand will not just jump by 565 spots overnight, but high gas prices are working in the township’s favor because more people are using mass transportation.

“The sooner you fill the garage, the more it helps with the debt payment,” Stahl said.

Toll Brothers has served as general contractor for the construction.

Stahl said Neely has met with Suburban Transit, which provides exclusive bus service at the township’s two park and rides, to help make sure there are enough buses to meet any increase in the amount of parkers.

“You will need more buses due to more commuters,” Stahl said.

He said the facility “is beautiful” and arrives at the right time.

There will, however, be an adjustment period for users, who are used to a surface parking lot as opposed to one with multiple stories.

“This is a much a larger facility,” he said.

During construction, TCC users have parked at the Tower Center, where Neilson is located, through a lease agreement arranged between the township and the owner of the complex.