Chaloner, who saw what was happening, took the effort to make sure a hospital worker parked the man's car, but was once again reminded that the parking accommodations around the hospital were problematic and had to be rectified.
Chaloner believes that the new 740-space garage that will be built adjacent to the hospital between Third and Fourth streets on Clinton Street will be the answer to St. Mary's parking nightmare.
The lease signing, which was held on Dec. 21, is a public-private partnership in which the hospital donated the bulk of land to the Hoboken Parking Authority under a 99-year lease arrangement, and in turn the authority will build, own and operate the facility.
Under the terms of the agreement, the hospital will lease 300 of the 740 spaces for the nurses, doctors and staff, and operate the ground floor professional medical office space. The remaining 440 spaces will be set aside for hospital visitors and Hoboken residents.
Funding for the project was approved in a bond measure that was voted on by the City Council on Dec. 20. "The new parking garage is going to help alleviate two of the hospital's major problems," said Chaloner in an interview on Dec. 21. "It will give visitors a place to park and allow us to expand the emergency room in the future."
The current emergency room will expand into the space where a current outdoor parking lot is now.
Chaloner said that another problem the hospital has to contend with is that the emergency room is woefully undersized. According to Chaloner, last year alone St. Mary's had over 31,000 emergency room visits in a facility that was only built for 13,000.
"This is a win-win situation," said Mayor Anthony Russo just before signing the lease along with Hoboken Parking Authority Executive Director Joann Serrano, Authority Chairman Donald Pellicano and Chaloner. "With this partnership, St. Mary Hospital will be able to continue to provide and expand its excellent service to residents." Russo also said that the city will also benefit because the added spaces will free up much needed space on the city's already overly crowed streets.
The new building, which will take between 11 and 12 months to complete, will have five stories and a brick fa