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What was once the homes of Pan Am Clipper Planes, and Republic Aviation and Grumman, where wings were assembled for World War II airplanes, may soon be transformed into 96 units of cluster homes on the (currently-called) Thypin Steel Property. A proposed development on the 11-acre site located in the Manhasset Isle section of the Village of Manorhaven will be named The Villas on Manhasset Bay. The units will sell "in the $500s" according to Len Axinn, one of the heads of Island Estates Management, the development partnership.

The current 11-acres, waterfront, Thypin Steel property.

The proposed plan calls for three different unit styles, all two story structures. Forty percent will include a master bedroom on the first floor; 60 percent will have all bedrooms on the second floor. The building code only permits two bedrooms, however a loft, or upstairs den, could be used for a third bedroom. Most will have a one car garage. Mr. Axinn told the Port News that they are considering constructing a few units with two car garages, however.

The proposal is for a gated community, with a pool. clubhouse and boardwalk. A traditional, New Englandesque, nautical motif will be used throughout, which includes naming the streets Sail Winds, Neptune's Gate, etc.

The public hearing on the environmental review was closed as of Feb. 28. Other public hearings will be held regarding special use permits.

At a public hearing, community members expressed their concerns. Fears regarding the "overdevelopment" of the town was one. Increased traffic another, especially given the fact that only one entrance/exit to Manhasset Isle currently exists.

Even though the developers claim that only 17 children will be added to the public school enrollment, some residents feel that the number will be much larger, especially with the possibility of using the den/loft for a third bedroom.

Public access to the waterfront, or lack thereof, is a bone of contention for some residents. When asked about this issue, Mr. Axinn told the Port News, "We will try to mesh the desires of the community with the needs of the project."

Several residents who oppose any further industrialization in Manorhaven brought out an ancillary issue. They told the Port News that while they are not thrilled with the prospect of 96 more housing units in the village, they would rather see the 11-acres developed according to the current residential zoning, than see the board rezone the property for an industrial use.


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