A new 598-space commuter parking garage was celebrated last week at Metro-North’s Harrison train station.
The garage increases parking availability at the station by more than 80 percent, with 475 parking spots dedicated to Metro-North customers. The garage is equipped with two elevators and two staircases making it fully accessible in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and easy to reach the ground level and proceed towards the station platforms.
“This is a shining example of what the MTA can do when it works with community leaders and developers to deliver innovative, transit-oriented projects to help revitalize downtown areas,” said Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Acting Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “With the new garage also comes retail space and apartments that helps advance equity, creates more diversity, all making the community more attractive. It also incentivizes people who live in Harrison and the surrounding areas use mass transit to get to New York City or Connecticut, whether it is to pursue work opportunities or for leisure travel.”
The garage will be owned and operated by Metro-North and is also the railroad’s first transit-oriented development (TOD) project. The first phase of the two-phase project included the construction of the garage and 83 apartments that wrap around the garage, as well as retail space and one of the two planned public plazas. The second phase of the project will include the construction of an additional 60 residential units, public open space, retail and commercial space, with additional surface parking to support prospective tenants.
“Improving the customer experience is always at the forefront of our minds. Once completed the Harrison station TOD, our first TOD project, will be emblematic of Metro-North’s commitment to help transform the areas around our stations into vibrant destinations,” said Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi. “This is exactly what we need as we look to attract riders back to the system. With over 400 dedicated parking spaces for Metro-North riders, this brand new garage provides easier access to a station that serves our busiest line and will welcome new riders in the near future.”
Westchester County Executive George Latimer and Harrison Mayor Ron Belmont were among those in attendance for the unveiling.
“This completed project is another example of the work being done in Westchester to meet the needs of our growing and thriving population,” Latimer said. “As the latest census numbers show, we are home to over one million residents with a multitude of diverse needs. Many of our residents commute into the city each day and this project with the MTA will allow easier access to the expansive MTA train system in our county.”
“Demand for transit-oriented communities has been on the rise with a steady flow of millennials and empty nesters moving to our region. This has been instrumental in strengthening local economies,” Belmont said. “It’s great to see that Harrison is experiencing an increase in new and repurposed construction projects that will bring new jobs and new residents to our town.”
The full TOD project will come at no capital cost to the MTA. MTA leveraged its ownership of the property to work with the Town of Harrison to develop a TOD that included enhanced parking, housing and retail spaces. AvalonBay Communities, Inc was selected as the developer for the project after a competitive RFP process in 2011. Negotiations between the MTA, Avalon, and the Town of Harrison led to a Joint Development Agreement that was executed in 2015 and a Land Disposition and Development Agreement executed in 2019 after approvals by the Town of Harrison and the MTA Board.
Designs for the project were vetted by the MTA and Town of Harrison and completed in 2018. Developers broke ground on the site on April 15, 2019, building on existing MTA property. The entire TOD project is scheduled to be completed by 2023.
Rick has more than 40 years’ experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, running the gamut from politics and crime to sports and human interest. He has been an editor at Examiner Media since 2012. Read more from Rick’s editor-author bio here. Read Rick’s work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/pezzullo_rick-writer/