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Old Country Road Apartment Complex Approved

Demolition of old Keyspan building expected in spring, construction to start shortly after

After major redesigns, resets and remodeling, the development of 250 Old Country Road will finally kick off sometime in the spring, Mineola village officials revealed. Mineola Properties (MP) LLC will construct a 315-rental unit complex a stones throw from the Nassau County Legislature.

The rental complex will consist of one, two and three-bedroom units. The proposal indicates 166 one-bedroom apartments, 127 two and 22 three-bedroom apartments would be housed in the new configuration. Thirty-two units will be used for next generation/first responder housing.

The 343,000 square-foot building will replace a developmental rigmarole that has been owned by former power authority LILCO, Keyspan and the MTA. The structure is approximately 5-feet shorter to the top of the proposed penthouse than in a previous proposal. Along Old Country Road, the building height would be 84-feet-9 inches tall, while on Third Street the building would reach 94-feet-2 inches in height.

The first plan was denied on Nov. 21, 2008. According to Village Attorney John Spellman, Mineola building inspectors felt the project was contrary to zoning regulations. MP originally planned to build condominiums on the site.

On July 15, 2009, the board of trustees said the building did not have enough on-site parking, resulting in spillover into local parking. In May 2012, legal council representative Kevin Walsh cited major architectural and occupancy changes to the project, indicating the building would hold 686 residents, an increase of 198 from its previous proposal in 2009 for a “townhouse-like” development. The board was unsatisfied with those changes and asked for additional adjustments.

The plan saw a 108 parking space decrease from the presentation in May. The new allotment calls for 410 parking spaces. There will be 12 indoor visitor parking spaces.

“The project will bring new purchasing power to businesses in Mineola and Garden City; the project could serve as a model for downtown revitalization,” the village said in a written decision.

The village will receive $3.1 million in lieu of further amenities from MP. That represents a $600,000 increase from the previous proposal that both legal councils negotiated, according to documents obtained by the Mineola American. The developers need to pay for the improvements to the streetscape.

“This board conducted numerous hearings concerning this proposal and has negotiated for many months with the applicant in order to bring the application to a point where it could be voted upon,” Mayor Scott Strauss said.

Village Trustee Paul Cusato was going to originally vote against the project, but had a change of heart after the first-responder rental units were being implemented. He does have one concern: building height.

“My concern now is three weeks from now, three months from now, three years from now, another developer comes and wants to build a bigger building and say ‘but this building is only three stories higher than [250 Old Country Road],” he said. “I think down the road, we need to establish a height limitation. We had it a number of years ago.” 

Mineola will receive five installments of $620,000. Developer Ken Lalezarian was asked recently, as he was in May, if he planned to sell development rights as Polimeni International LLC did with the Winston Manor project. Lalezarian reiterated his stance that he wouldn’t.

He did not return calls for comment.

“Our downtown business community needs this injection of people, foot traffic,” Trustee Paul Pereira said. “This will go along way in creating that.”

The developer and Mineola will enter into a Community Host Benefit Agreement, which states Lalezarian will pay the village monies. The agreement runs between 2015 and 2034.

“We have done the best we can do with the charge that we have to promote the best interest of this village and its residents,” Spellman said.

In the decision, Mineola said the project, “shall advance the village’s specific physical, cultural and social policies in accordance with the village’s comprehensive master plan.” 

MP was granted a 20-year PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) from the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) beginning in 2015. The last time Lalezarian attained relief from the IDA, he was granted a 30-year PILOT for Great Neck Plaza; a timeframe he originally sought for Old Country Road.

“Despite my concerns, I support the project,” Trustee Larry Werther said, who questioned the PILOT agreement and school district tax rolls in terms of the project. “I certainly want our responders to be taken care of.”


News

The founders of the popular Facebook group “Massapequa Moms,” a ‘virtual living room with 6,700 people,’ are leveraging their social media power to create a new discount loyalty card good all over Long Island—including, they hope, in Mineola. 

 

With a hugely popular Facebook community, co-founders Dawn Boyle Kostakis and Stephanie Hartman wanted to “figure out a way that we could help the consumer and the business owner at the same time; keeping commerce going, keeping it all local and having the people get a little bang for their buck,” said Kostakis. They wanted to serve more than just Massapequa, too, and the Long Island Loyalty card was born. 

Educating The Underprivileged Girl

As I tried to make my way through the unforgiving monsoon season, rain pouring as far as the eye could see, dodging puddles I rushed inside the school building. The guard yelled in the background for the children to come in quickly before they dragged in even more mud inside. Trying hard not to slip on the wet dirty floor, I pondered to myself what

exactly I was doing here. The words of Mahatma Gandhi resonated inside my head, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

 

Here I was at a school in Mumbai India, 7800 miles from my home in Mineola, volunteering with “Aseema,” a non-governmental organization whose mission is to empower and educate the under privileged children. Children living on the streets or in slums and in inhuman conditions.


Sports

The Mineola Mustangs varsity football team defeated the Roosevelt Roughriders 47-38 on Saturday, Sept. 20.

 

Senior quarterback James Gerstner led the Mustangs (2-0) to victory by rushing 212 yards and securing five touchdowns on 23 carries.  He also completed 11 of 13 passes for 229 yards and one touchdown.

 

“This was a big game—we were ready and pumped up all week,” Gerstner said.  “We came in ranked third but we knew we could beat them.”

Mustangs Shut Out Valley Stream

The Mineola Varsity Football team’s defense dominated Valley Stream South, winning 21-0 on Sept. 13. The Falcons never got further then Mineola’s 30 yard line. The defense was lead by senior linebackers Eric Guardado (8 tackles 6 assist), Ed Hincapie (6 tackles, 5 assist) and safety John Clancy (tackles, 3 assist).

 

Defensive linemen Anthony Sarno, Luigi Athan, Victor Tineo, Matt Lafaye and Chris Brenes controlled the line of scrimmage. Defensive backs Peter McCormack and Chris Lockwood played very well as they combined for eight tackles and only allowed two pass completions. Linebacker Kyle Dunleavy, Ben Carbone, Matt Kosowski and Brian Smith also played very well.


Calendar

Exercise Class - September 24

Silver Sneaker Fitness - September 25

International Night - September 25


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com