Parking garage horror: 100 ruined cars

Sylvan Parking on Hurricane Sandy in Hoboken, NJ

Leonard Weiss, owner of the Sylvan Parking garage in Hoboken – where many cars suffered an ill-fated demise – offers his commentary about the whole tragic event:

“On this memorable day, the Northeastern cities and ocean front sites were hit by the worst catastrophic weather to ever strike New Jersey and New York.

Although the ocean front communities received the brunt of the damage to homes and businesses, practically no city in Eastern New Jersey was spared.

Our own community of Hoboken probably suffered more damage than any other city in our state.”

“Fortunately, our Governor rolled up his sleeves and showed us why we are lucky as to have him governing NJ. His actions and help in reassuring the residents that he was going to do everything possible to come to the aid of those stricken by Hurricane Sandy, went a long way to calming most people. He has shown all of us that he is capable of dealing with a crisis of this magnitude.

Besides the residents of Hoboken, the business community suffered enormous damages. Very few people in Hoboken were spared.

As the operator of two garages in the city, we along with most of our customers have had to deal with many problems, affecting our business and our customer’s vehicles.

Over 3,000 automobiles, many parked in other garages, and many in streets or parking lots, were severely damaged by flooding, many beyond repair.

The weather forecasts were not too helpful. They forecast how strong Sandy was going to be and how much damage it would cause, but they never, except after we experienced the enormous flooding that hit us, that Hoboken would be so severely clobbered by the storm.”

“I am not sure how much any of us could have done had we been forewarned, but perhaps some steps might have been taken to lessen some of the damage.

As the operator of two garages, one on Marshall Street and one on Jefferson Street, we along with about 100 of our customers were the victims of an Act of God.

On Sunday, the day before we were struck, we were inundated with cars seeking to get off the streets. We took as many cars in as the garages would hold, believing that we were doing a public service; not as some people have implied, with profit as our motive.

We are a company that has been in business for over 50 years and have a sterling reputation. Unlike some gas stations we would never think of gouging anyone. The additional cars have caused us; not to make any money, but have resulted in substantial losses.

In our garage on Marshall Street we had our entire revenue control system destroyed, which will cost us well over $100,000 to replace. We also will require many additional employees to operate the garage as a valet rather then a self-parking operation. That is very costly.

In any event this entire disaster has been a terrible experience for just about every one living or working in Hoboken.
We are coping as best as we can, and with the understanding and cooperation of everyone we will, along with the rest of Hoboken, get back to where we were before Sandy struck.”

Leonard Weiss

Hoboken garage moves cars to known flood zones


Note: The original post has been edited to make corrections.

Oh boy – this sounds like a pretty shady thing to do. One parking garage in town apparently moved cars around before hurricane Sandy – to locations in the structure that are known to flood. WTF is up with that?

Were YOU affected at the Sylvan parking garage at 800 Jefferson Street?

100 cars wrecked at Sylvan Parking in Hoboken, NJ

“We had lost our new car in the storm due to flooding at the Sylvan parking garage on Jefferson. About 100 other cars were destroyed.

I have been a monthly garage tenant for 7 years. The attendants assured me that the car was on the second floor out of harms way. To my understanding another parking attendant had said they were no longer taking daily parking in order position the current amount of cars in the garage upstairs out of harms way. However a neighbor had mentioned from another attendant that when the owner had come by he instructed them to continue to take more daily cars in. So basically cars that were secured upstairs had been shuffled to the basement to accommodate more volume. This is infuriating, I wonder if Hoboken411 can post something about this to see if others affected in that garage want to research going after the garage company for damages? Although the adjuster was as fair as possible with us we will still be out about $10,000.

Any ideas on how I could rally the other monthly holders that read your site?”

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I went to this garage on 9th & Jefferson and was told he’d “take care of my car if you take care of me.” So I parked at the garage down on Harrison/Jackson + 2nd. Fortunately, I found a spot in front of an elevator bank and took my keys with me. Seemed like the only way to keep your car safe was to not give your keys to the attendant bc they were shuffling cars down to the basements + ground floors.


WOW…I thought I have heard it all…these guys are trying to claim they did this for the good of the public?? Common now… are they serious??? They put over 100 cars into a basement that floods after the Mayor declared a mandatory evacuation for all first floor and basement apartments.
First off…for those of you who are new to Hoboken – these guys are and have been the biggest crooks in the parking industry for years. Fact is… the ONLY way your car was getting parked on the top floor was to pay the parking attendant. I know this for a fact. I did it. For all of you who lost your cars I am very sorry. I hope you stick it to these guys anyway you can. At the very least – report them to every bureau and news program in the area that tries to put crooks like this out of business.


Have been a monthly customer at the 1st St Sylvan garage for years unfortunately.

I understand the frustration of Sylvan customers. As a general statement, this is the greediest garage operation in existence. The amount of spots they pack in to the 1st Street deck is absurd and certainly a hazard to getting dents all over your car. The amount of cars in the 1st St lot during Sandy was equally absurd.

The public service argument is quite laughable given on Hoboken St. Paddy’s day they pull the same tricks by filling the lots to the point where cars are almost on top of each other.

Furthermore, does the garage owner mention that the day after the storm they sent out “urgent” notices to monthly residents telling them to pay their monthly bill via money order or check because their credit card machine was down due to the storm. Sure, let me just swim through the sewage lagoon on first street to obtain a money order (plenty of stores open…) and then mail out a money order for Sylvan to receive their monthly payment on time (b/c they can’t wait a week to bill people’s credit cards ). Clearly they are oblivious to what was going on in hoboken during and the week following the hurricane.

Unfortunately, the garage behaved as everyone expected them to behave in a difficult time.

I have to say I pay monthly and I did not get a notice to pay by money order or any other method. I paid on the 9th by credit card. They always give to the 10th to pay. After that it is 25 dollar surcharge. Just saying because they are in the wrong about a lot of things but this was not one. or at least they did not send it to all. I do feel for the manager and Roberto the rest of the crew can rot as far as i am concerned. One of the employees drives the cars like a maniac. I actually saw him one night back the car down jefferson and around to go the back way on Madison with no lights on. He almost hit my car and the guy driving behind me. If i had another option I would take it but all the garages are full and I have been on the waiting list for what seems like years.[quote comment=”218207″]Have been a monthly customer at the 1st St Sylvan garage for years unfortunately.I understand the frustration of Sylvan customers. As a general statement, this is the greediest garage operation in existence. The amount of spots they pack in to the 1st Street deck is absurd and certainly a hazard to getting dents all over your car. The amount of cars in the 1st St lot during Sandy was equally absurd.The public service argument is quite laughable given on Hoboken St. Paddy’s… Read more »
I am also a monthly permit holder at this garage and my car was totaled. I was heartbroken and beyond pissed off when I wet looking for my car on the Wednesday after the hurricane to learn it had been out in the basement. I am familiar with the flooding in this area and witnessed the streets surrounding the garage after Irene. I spoke to two attendants on Saturday night when I was picking up my car and I was assured my car would be kept on the upper level. I asked them what steps they were taking in preparation of the storm and if my car would be safe. They said there is an area of the garage that tends to flood, but they would be keeping the SUVs in that area. Since I have a car, I’d be left on the upper level. After leaving the garage, I turned to my boyfriend who witnessed the conversation and said, “glad I don’t have an SUV.” Never expecting the storm to be what it was, I still expected the flooding to be enough to damage any vehicle. I brought my car back to the garage at 5pm on Sunday. The place already had a sign outside that said “monthly only”, yet people were pulling in, asking if there was room or saying they had called ahead and were told they can bring the car in. I left my car with the attendant that was one of the two on duty… Read more »