Just in the time for the holiday season, shop owners in downtown Kings Park will be helped by a new parking lot.
The new municipal lot, located on Pulaski Road just south of the stores on Main Street, contains 23 spaces, an electric vehicle charging station with two spaces for EV vehicles, and cost-efficient LED lighting.
The lot was largely funded by $500,000 from Suffolk County’s Jumpstart Program. Construction began in March.
“A little over one year ago, we gathered together, just up the block for the signing of a bill, awarding Smithtown $500,000 in Jumpstart funds,” Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim said in a town statement. “And here we are today in what can only be described as record breaking results for the community, because of great team work and talent. This comes at a crucial time when many restaurants have used portions of their parking lots to expand outdoor dining. This project also creates a more pedestrian friendly downtown that supports walkability, increases foot traffic to local businesses and decreases traffic congestion.”
In 2016, the Kings Park Chamber of Commerce and Civic Association commissioned Vision Long Island to conduct a series of public scoping meetings to create a Revitalization Action Plan for the community. Shortly after, a Downtown Market Analysis and Action Plan was completed by Larisa Ortiz Associates in 2017. The data determined that the businesses along Kings Park’s “Restaurant Row” were suffering due to a lack of sufficient parking. The new lot will also assist in the leasing of previously vacant shops, as the lack of parking has prevented small business owners from choosing Kings Park as its future home.
“Everyone here worked together to get this done and this is the right way to do it,” said Eric Alexander, director of Vision Long Island. “During our vision process two years ago, everyone said we need this. And it got done because you had multiple levels of government that listened and worked together with the community. This is a great example for all of Long Island and it will help towards revitalization once this pandemic is long gone.”