The residents who spoke at the hearing last Wednesday evening urged the village board to approve the application by Polimeni International to build a nine story, 285-unit condominium complex on the north side of Old Country Road between Willis Avenue and Main Street mostly because the complex is expected to have a favorable impact on taxes. In addition, Vincent Polimeni, chairman of Polimeni International, has promised to build a senior housing structure on Front Street and a three-tier parking garage in addition to giving the village a grant of $1 million.
A 3D rendering shows the proposed Winston adjacent to the Benchmark.
The most recent economic impact analysis of the proposed complex, named "The Winston," prepared by consulting economist Dr. Pearl M. Kramer, states that the estimated real estate taxes derived from the complex would be $804,380 toward the town/county tax, $2,848,133 toward the Mineola School District and $251,050 toward the Village of Mineola. Currently, the property that the complex sits on is generating $90,106 for the town/county tax, $331,129 for the school tax and $92,000 for the village tax.
The building adjacent to the proposed Winston, the Benchmark, located at 170 Old Country Road and another of Polimeni's properties generates a total of $788,937.93 in tax revenue including $620,176.95 in school tax revenue, according to information found on the county assessor's website.
Residents who spoke at Wednesday night's hearing appear to be willing to allow a nine-story building into the community in order to expand the tax base. The Winston will be 88-feet high and would stand next to the Benchmark, which is 700-feet high. It was pointed out that that the building directly across Old Country Road from the proposed Winston complex is 90 feet high.
In return for the village board allowing exemptions in the village's code to allow for the construction of the hotel, Polimeni has agreed to build a 36-unit senior housing complex on Front Street.
Although a rendering of the senior housing complex was shown, details of such a complex remain vague. Who should quality for the complex and what is considered affordable would have to be worked out, although Polimeni did say that the units would be under $300,000.
The senior housing proposal would call for 36 units, including 28 one-bedroom and eight two-bedroom ranging from 600 to 800 square feet. Among some of the ideas presented at the hearing was the need for a common area for the residents of that complex.
In order to construct the senior housing complex, a parking lot that houses 45 cars would have to be built. However, Polimeni is proposing to build a three-tier parking garage behind the proposed Winston for 274 cars. The parking garage would be used by the tenants of the Benchmark. However, Polimeni is amenable to allowing the village use of the ground floor of the parking garage.
Mayor Jack Martins, who negotiated the senior housing to be included as part of the project, believes there is a need for such housing, which he would like to see as condominiums reserved for Mineola residents.
While there were residents who spoke in support of the application, there was one resident who said that he would not be applying for the senior housing. "I think seniors would like to stay in their own homes," said Bill Plunkett, who also alluded to the size of the building by saying Mineola may have to change its name to Forest Hills East.
Another resident, Anne Marie Jankay, who has lived in Mineola for 60 years, said she sold her house but still lives an apartment and would be interested in affordable senior housing.
Resident Dottie Campbell believes that although the housing may be slated for those who are 55 or older, it should perhaps be for residents who are 65 or older and retired.
Because of the magnitude of the project, the village board has not rendered a decision and will continue the hearing on Feb. 13 at 7 p.m.