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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

Peter Zuckerman is running as the Democratic Party’s incumbent candidate for 2nd District on the Town of North Hempstead Council. The district encompasses the villages in the Mineola area. 

 

“Nine months ago, I was recommended by Supervisor Judi Bosworth and approved with bipartisan support of the Town Board. This has been a dream job for me,” Zuckerman told the

Mineola American, on explaining why he is running for office. “I had the pleasure of serving the residents of the incorporated Village of East Hills for 11 great years, but this job has given me the opportunity to expand the area I represent and, thus, the opportunity to be of service to a greater number of people.”

The Mineola School Board will hold a public hearing on the much-debated New York State veterans exemption on Thursday, Nov. 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the Willis Avenue School. It is expected the board will either approve or disapprove the tax exemption during its regular meeting at 7 p.m.


Sports

Samantha Pastore

Samantha Pastore, senior and third-year varsity player, is also co-captain of the currently undefeated (11-0) Mineola Girls Varsity Volleyball team. She is an outside hitter and is often recognized in games by starting rallies with her quick thinking and nimble feet. She earns 20 percent of the team’s points and averages four aces per match.

The Mineola Mustangs varsity football team fell to the Seaford Vikings last week 27-21, missing their chance to tie the top seeds Locust Valley and Roosevelt’s 6-1 Nassau conference IV record.

 

After tying the game in the second half and having the opportunity to capitalize on Seaford’s failed extra-point kick on their final touchdown, the Viking’s senior wide receiver/defensive back Bobby Buell knocked away a pass from Mineola senior quarterback James Gerstner to senior wide receiver Brian Smith in the end-zone with 57 seconds left


Calendar

International Night - October 30

Halloween Parade - October 31

Cultural Arts Series - November 1 


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