Parking Clarified by Caruso’s Gazzano
Editor’s note: The Pacific Palisades Community Council received the following letter from a Caruso executive on October 9. It has been edited. The full letter can be found on Pacpalicc.com.)
“We are aware of the [parking] issues you raised, and please be assured that we have been in constant discussions to resolve them.
“As soon as we received reports of tenants’ employees parking on surrounding residential streets, we called our tenants, reminding them of their lease obligation to provide parking in our garage for their employees—free of charge to the employees. We also followed that up last week with formal letters to our tenants.
“Beginning this week, we will enforce that requirement by formally documenting any tenants that are not complying with their leasehold requirement via default notice.
“We’re also aware of the concern that some Palisades Village patrons may not be using the garage, due to our parking program.
“If a customer spends a combined $250 on property, they receive free valet or self-parking for the entire day.
“Beginning today we are extending our courtesy grace period from 30 minutes to one hour. No validation is required for one hour of free parking. We think it’s important to note that no other privately owned or public parking lots, structures or meters in the area provide the amount of free parking we are offering. Validated tickets will continue to receive 50 percent off the non-validated rate. [Editor’s note: public parking structures and the mall in Santa Monica offer 90 minutes of free parking. The Protect Our Village agreement with Caruso extracted a two-hour free parking arrangement.].
“Concerning comments that parking garage machines are not accepting validation cards from Vintage Grocers, we completed a comprehensive test of those validation cards this past weekend and had no problem.
“A clearer explanation of our validation system will be uploaded to our website later this week.
“Thank you for your support and guidance over the years and we look forward to our continued great relationship for years to come.
Vice President, Development
It is still not what he initially promised in his agreement with POV, which was two full hours for free. Why is honoring his prior agreements so difficult?
While not disputing that Caruso agreed to two hour parking in the POV agreement, when thought out, having two hour free parking may work against the nearby residents. The two hour free parking concept is based largely because the City of Beverly Hills offers two hour free parking in its parking structures and lots. But comparing BH with Caruso is comparing apples with oranges. BH offers free parking as a means of getting people to come to BH and shop. The result is that BH reaps in millions in sales taxes. BH does not care where a parker shops, just so the parker shops in BH.
On the other hand, if Caruso offers two hour free parking, many will take advantage of Caruso and shop elsewhere in the Village, like going to Starbucks, getting a haircut, going to the Yogurt shop and shop with competitors to the businesses in the Caruso Mall. If enough people do that, it may mean that Caruso will not have enough parking for Mall customers, who then would look for parking in the nearby neighborhoods, which is what POV does not want.
Half hour free parking is too short. By the time, the customer gets parked, goes to his or her destination and doesn’t find what he or she wants and then returns to their vehicle and drives to the parking attendant, the half hour may expire. So it is wise for Caruso to extend the time to one hour which is long enough to accommodate customers but not long enough for people to do any serious shopping elsewhere.
Why is a validated ticket worth 50% off regular rates rather than being free like most other places. I think Santa Monica has got it perfectly right.