LOWER EAST SIDE — It's be the best parking price in Manhattan — free.
The Lower East Side Business Improvement District's parking lot on Broome Street between Suffolk and Norfolk streets is offering up to two hours of free parking for more than 300 cars at a time, as part of a push to get more shoppers into the area.
"People who visit the Lower East Side by car can spend the extra money that they would have spent on parking on our great restaurants and shops instead," said Bob Zuckerman, executive director of the BID.
To cash in on the deal, diners, shoppers and gallery-goers need to validate their parking ticket at the BID's office and neighborhood visitor center at 54 Orchard St.
The free parking is available from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, but paid parking is available 24 hours a day, Zuckerman said.
"If shoppers stay longer than two hours, they can still get the first two hours free by validating their ticket, and then paying by the hour at our extremely competitive and affordable rate," Zuckerman said.
The third hour costs $7, with a maximum charge of $15 for the first 12 hours. The lot charges $26 for overnight parking.
The parking area is a short walk from the shopping area on the blocks surrounding Broome and Orchard streets. Local stores include Old Hollywood, which offers well-priced trendy clothing and jewelry, and Moo Shoes, a vegan shoe shop that has drawn an international following.
Those visiting the Lower East Side can also stop at the neighborhood’s dozens of art galleries as well as the Tenement Museum at Orchard and Delancey streets or the New Museum on the Bowery.
The parking area and surrounding vacant lots will eventually be demolished to make way for the overhauled Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, a mixed-use development of apartments, shops, offices and public space that will add 1.65 million square feet of real estate to the Lower East Side.
The development's requests for proposals leaves the potential for up to 500 car parking spaces when SPURA is eventually built.
The parking lot became part of the LES BID's jurisdiction when it formed in 1993.