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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 Village of East Williston was recently ruled against in the second round of lawsuits with neighboring Village of Williston Park involving the latter’s water rates—establishing a 13 percent increase from $3.83 per 1,000 gallons of water to $4.33.

 

Village of East Williston Mayor David Tanner said that the lawsuit, “still does not resolve the underlying problem between the villages, which is we feel that we’re being charged too much for water—the cost is excessive.”

 

Tanner said the village is still calculating the financial impact will be, and that the village has been making payments in escrow for every water bill received.

Only once a year a 25-foot movie screen sits in the middle of Wilson Park in Mineola, ready to entertain residents. This year’s Movie Night in the Park feature The LEGO Movie, sponsored by the Village of Mineola and Mineola Chamber of Commerce on Friday, July 18.

 

The event, which was free of charge to all of the moviegoers, was meant to help promote local Mineola businesses, according to president of the Mineola Chamber of Commerce Bill Greene.

 

“Small businesses are the backbone of the American industry, and we feel that this is a great way of giving back to the community with hopes that they’ll remember to shop locally,” said Greene.


Sports

Runners from all over Long Island came to run at the fourth annual Katie Oppo Memorial 5K on Sunday, June 15. The runner first across the finish line was Mineola resident Michael Mariotti, general manager, owner and host of the famous local restaurant Cafe Continental in Manhasset. 

 

The day was glorious as the runners and walkers began their trek through Flower Hill from the starting line at Flower Hill Park. Organizers of this year’s event made the race a USATF Certified 5K race, timed by Long Island Race Timing. 

Hurricanes Fall To Saints

Mineola Hurricanes lost a battle of the bats on Sunday, June 29, at St. Joseph’s Field in Kings Park, falling short in a 9-8 ball game against the St. Joseph’s Saints in the first game of a doubleheader.

The top of the first saw the Hurricanes take an early 2-0 lead. The runs came home for the Hurricanes when T.J. McManus scored on an error and Connor Eakin scored on a fielder’s choice. The Saints never surrendered the lead after the first inning, scoring five runs on two errors and an RBI single by Jonathan.


Calendar

Family Night - July 25

Satisfaction - July 26

Million Dollar Baby - July 29


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