At the Glen Cove Planning Board meeting of Tuesday, Oct. 21, Matt Frank of RexCorp Glen Isle Partners, LLC presented a concise and informative PowerPoint presentation of the developer's conceptual site plan for Glen Cove's waterfront, recently approved by the Glen Cove IDA/CDA.
Mr. Frank said he was pleased to have the opportunity to make this first presentation to the planning board, and he thanked the members of the IDA/CDA for their many months of "close and productive work" with the redevelopers.
According to Mr. Frank, the current proposal will serve to encourage local residents to return to the exceptional waterfront that is a part of their city, offering increased public accessibility and amenities while working to maintain a connection, not competition, with the Glen Cove downtown. Mr. Frank said the developers traveled around the city and worked to design the waterfront "in keeping with the character of Glen Cove," altering what he called an urban-style development to a more suburban development.
Following a brief history of the long road to the waterfront, Mr. Frank offered a synopsis of where that road is currently and where it will ultimately lead.
The plan remains a mix of residential, retail, cultural, recreational and entertainment uses, new marinas, and a luxury hotel, linked by a continuous public esplanade of parks and walks, and pedestrian-oriented open space along the water's edge, but the new plan provides a maximization of open spaces; a full 35 percent, or more than 19 acres of the site, will be public parks and walks. Public amenities will also include restored wetlands, an outdoor amphitheater and playground and walking and biking paths with retail, recreational and cultural facilities at the gateway, to complement the downtown.
The residential component contractually will remain at 860 units; RexCorp Glen Isle is reserving 180 rental apartments and a portion of workforce housing in an effort to encourage young people, as well as empty nesters, to remain in, or move to, Glen Cove. Mr. Frank was not able to provide a cost of either purchase or rental, saying it would be "market driven."
The developers have worked toward reducing building mass and height. Originally proposed 16-story buildings have been replaced by 10- and 12-story ones on the west end of the project, and proposed 13-story buildings on the east end are now planned at seven or under. The nearer the water, said Mr. Frank, the lower the buildings. Buildings will be designed more "vertically" and spaced to provide expanded and improved view corridors. Mr. Frank noted that as RexCorp Glen Isle is just a piece of the entire Glen Cove waterfront, the developers have "planned with consideration to the redevelopment of the entire 214-acre Creek Revitalization Area."
On-street parking will be provided along the stretch of Garvies Point Road, and parking for residents and employees at the waterfront site will mostly be "internal."
While the proposed Glen Cove ferry is a city project and does not involve RexCorp Glen Isle, the developers have anticipated placing the 250-suite hotel adjacent to the ferry terminal. The hotel is seen as a destination spot and will include a spa, meeting rooms and a conference center.
Specific areas of wetlands and marshlands will remain along the esplanade, and a beachfront boardwalk is planned along the tip of the creek. Mr. Frank spoke of plans to move the Glen Cove Anglers' Club away from the ferry area to a space near the largest part of waterfront parkland.
When asked by planning board Chairman Tom Scott, "So how much are you investing in our fair city?" Mr. Frank said the RexCorp Glen Isle development was approximately a $1 billion project.
A public scoping meeting is planned for November, and by January 2009 the developers expect to submit a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and a schematic site plan.
Spring 2009 will bring the beginning of public hearings and comments, and the adoption of a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) is scheduled for summer. By fall of 2009, the developers expect to have approval of a special use permit for a Planned Unit Development (PUD) in accordance with the approved conceptual site plan.
RexCorp Glen Isle has announced a grand reopening of its downtown information office on Glen Street for Nov. 17, but the office currently remains open to welcome members of the community. Updated project display materials as well as a new model of the revised project are on display. Information can also be found at www.glenisle.com.