PARK SLOPE — Lucky drivers could hit the jackpot with six months of free garage parking in an upcoming lottery.
The lottery is open to car owners who live near New York Methodist Hospital, where construction on the hospital's controversial new Center for Community Health building recently took 10 on-street parking spots out of commission.
To make up for the lost street parking, Methodist is setting aside 10 spots in its garage during the construction, which is expected to take about three years, City Councilman Brad Lander announced Friday.
The spots will be doled in a lottery run by Lander's office. Lottery winners will get to use of a spot for six months, then other winners will get their turn.
"I feel like this may be the most sought-after thing my office has ever been involved with," Lander quipped in an email announcing the lottery.
The lottery is only open to people who live on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh streets from Sixth Avenue to Prospect Park West, or Eighth Avenue from Fourth to Eighth streets. Entrants must show proof of residency and proof they own a car. Applications must be received by Thursday, Dec. 1.
Spots in the hospital's garage usually cost $11 an hour or $42 for 24 hours, with a $10 additional charge for “oversize vehicles like vans and SUVs” according to the hospital’s website. The garage is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Work on the hospital's new six-story Center for Community Health started this past spring with the demolition of five 19th century rowhouses. Excavation and foundation work started last month. Updates on the progress of the new building are available on the hospital's website.
“This grew out of a promise we made at one of the community board meetings [about Methodist’s new building],” said hospital spokeswoman Lyn Hill.
“The promise was that if we had to take space away during construction we would find a way to replace them so the community would not be left with fewer spaces.” Hill said the hospital did the same thing when it built a new building on Seventh Street.
The free parking isn't the only car-related concession the hospital is giving the neighborhood. Under a settlement with neighbors who sued the hospital over the size of the new facility, New York Methodist agreed to pay for a traffic engineer to create a traffic management plan.
Parking is considered a scarce resource in the neighborhood, which is sometimes called No Park Slope. A spot in a local "Garage Condominium" sold for $80,000 in 2013 and an on-demand parking valet app launched earlier this year in the neighborhood.
For more information on the free parking lottery, contact City Councilman Brad Lander's office at (718) 499-1997 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Drivers can apply in person at Lander's district office, 456 Fifth Ave., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.