MCIA will be in charge of parking facilities at North Brunswick Train Station

Rebecca Nowalski

The Middlesex County Improvement Authority (MCIA) has expanded to include a parking division.

Consistent with the continued evolution of the MCIA to serve as the financial arm of the county, the parking division will generate a new revenue stream that will fund and enable ongoing and future economic development initiatives in the county, Middlesex County Commissioners Director Ronald G. Rios said after the June 3 meeting where the announcement was made.

This regional approach to parking management will create significant efficiencies including reducing the cost of maintenance and operation, according to the statement.

The MCIA parking division will begin with the construction of parking facilities to serve both the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Cancer Pavilion and the North Brunswick Train Station.

Plans are also in place to purchase the newly built parking facility in Carteret, which will serve the Carteret Performing Arts & Events Center, along with the soon-to-be developed residential community and ferry port.

“The MCIA’s journey as the financial powerhouse of the county started more than two years ago, and today it continues to streamline and hone its focus on areas that will bring greater prosperity to our residents and businesses,” Rios said in the statement. “The new parking division is in keeping with the board’s vision for the MCIA, and it is now manifesting in sustainable ways that will help the county grow financially, while providing critical services to our community.”

First announced in 2019 by then-Freeholder Director Rios and the Board of Chosen Freeholders, the MCIA has successfully pivoted its focus from general county services to primarily economic development, leveraging its unique ability to bond and finance projects, according to the statement.

With Middlesex County’s strong AAA bond rating, secured for the past 21 consecutive years, the MCIA obtains financing at very low-interest rates allowing major capital ventures to be undertaken, according to the statement.

Additionally, the MCIA is in the process of developing a professional staff that consists of both in-house and outside professional services – with deep and collective experience with redevelopment projects to ensure quality, timeliness, and cost-efficiency in its execution, according to the statement.

Also in 2019, the MCIA announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with NJ Transit to serve as the project manager for the North Brunswick Train Station. Recognizing the unique financial capability of the MCIA, NJ Transit allowed a county for the first time to manage the construction of this crucial infrastructure project, which also includes a $20 million investment from Middlesex County to develop a modern parking facility, according to the statement.

Under its management, the train station is moving ahead swiftly and reaching key development milestones including the recent appointment of a design and engineering firm, according to the statement.

MCIA’s progression as a financial engine embodies the overall vision of Destination 2040, the county’s strategic economic plan, and its goal of making Middlesex County a thriving, attractive destination to live, work, and play for generations while attracting new residents, businesses, and visitors to sustain its future, according to the statement.