BID to work on downtown parking this year

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WILDWOOD- This year, the Business Improvement District plans to start working on a center city parking lot, which officials are calling the heart of the island’s “Vision 2015” plan.

Patrick Rosenello, executive director of the BID, said Monday that the district, which is supported by a tax levy on businesses in the city’s downtown, plans to begin the $75,000 project this year. This lot, he said, will be a transportation destination that will connect foot traffic from the boardwalk to the city’s downtown businesses on Pacific Avenue.

The lot will also provide additional parking, and ideally provide a destination for visitors to hop on the tram car or trolley. 

The Vision 2015 plan was organized in 2010 as a five-year plan supported by numerous organizations throughout Wildwood to help improve the city’s economy. Besides the “Destination Station” parking center, it includes almost 50 other potential projects, many of which officials believe would benefit Pacific Avenue and revive the downtown.

“Center city parking is at the heart of the 2015 plan,” Rosenello said. “It will be a central transportation hub for downtown, boardwalk and the beach, but what that ultimately ends up looking like…remains to be seen.”

Rosenello said that the BID is still working on negotiations with the city in regards to the parking lot, but wanted the project to be represented in the district’s budget so it would be prepared to start the lot this year if the administration and district came to an agreement.

“Ideally it will provide an increase in business on Pacific Avenue,” Rosenello said.

The lot will also provide much needed additional parking for the city, he said. Rosenello cited a study done by the Local Transportation Planning Assistance program which did flyovers of shore towns to analyze their parking situations and make recommendations. According to Rosenello, that study found that Wildwood was at 100 percent parking capacity near the boardwalk and downtown on the summer weekends.

“It’s occupied to the point that you can’t readily find a parking spot,” he said.

The total BID budget is $337,500, and is supported by a $295,000 tax levy on businesses on Pacific, Atlantic, and Ocean avenues. The district’s revenue is also from the $7,500 fund balance from 2012 and a projected $35,000 in projected income from the parking lot.

However, Rosenello said that the $35,000 garnered from the lot will be returned to city coffers as parking revenue.

In 2012, the tax levy on downtown businesses was $187,500, which is $107,500 less than the revenue expected from the 2013 levy. Rosenello said that $40,000 of that increase is from the addition of businesses on the west side of Ocean Avenue to the BID. The rest is from an increase in the tax levy.

He added that the tax levy has fluctuated significantly since the BID was created in 2004. At its lowest, the levy has been about $125,000, he said. This year, the levy looks more like it did when the BID first started.

He explained that there are 300 businesses in the BID, and the average increase in the levy is about $200 per business. The average tax on a business is $875, but the median tax is $395 under this budget. The median is the middle value of a set of values, while an average is found by taking the total number of all the values and dividing the total by that number. The levy is based on assessed value of a property, so it ranges from $58 to $9,600, Rosenello said.

The $40,000 in revenue from the added businesses on the west side of Ocean Avenue will be used to pay for street improvements on Ocean Avenue, such as benches and streetlamps, Rosenello said.

Other projects include decorative lighting for Pacific Avenue, operating Dolly the Trolley, and marketing the downtown.

The BID budget was tabled at the last Wildwood commissioners’ meeting, but was expected to be introduced at the meeting Feb. 27, too late for the Leader’s presstime.

Christie Rotondo can be emailed at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can comment on this story at www.wildwood.shorenewstoday.com.


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