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According to a recent letter to all Manorhaven residents from Mayor Nicholas Capozzi, the Manorhaven Board of Trustees has made a decision to sell an 8-9,000-square-foot piece of property owned by the Village at the corner of Ashwood Road and Manorhaven Boulevard (usually referred to as the "Ashwood property." Mayor Capozzi wrote, "The Board intends to use substantially most [sic] of the proceeds from this sale to finance the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Village Hall and Garage, facilities which are in desperate need of expansion and upgrade." Preparatory to the sale, a resolution of the Manorhaven trustees declared the property (Section 4, Block 74, and parts of Lots 6-10) to be 'surplus' and "not required by the Village for any governmental or other public purpose."

The letter stated that the property would be sold to the highest bidder "capable of complying" with what Capozzi describes as "a few simple procedural rules." Apart from the typical requirements for submission of an offer, is a stipulation that the title closing be held in cash within 30 days with no financing contingency or condition. It has been suggested that this requirement may have limited the number and type of entities able to submit a bid to purchase the property.

The site, then and now zoned for commercial use, was acquired about 10 years ago by a previous Manorhaven administration to preserve a bit of open space next to Village Hall. Spearheaded by Trustee Pat Valente, ably assisted by volunteers Fran Meineke and Jennifer Wilson Pines (now Manorhaven's Deputy Mayor), the site was converted into a community garden. Concerned Citizens of Manorhaven donated and planted rose of Sharon bushes, and assisted with other plantings as well. Maria Carpanelli of Concerned Citizens, who was involved in the planting, said, "I think it is terrible that they are selling this. Why would you want to sell open space when we have so little of it? Why would we want to increase density?"

On the site is a booth for the Nassau County police who patrol the area. According to Gerard Terry, attorney and spokesperson for the Village, the substation lies on a piece of land about 20 feet long on Manorhaven Boulevard that is not part of the parcel that is being sold. According to the March issue of the Manorhaven Village News, confirmed at the final bid opening on May 6, the booth will be moved to town property on Manorhaven Boulevard near the town park.

There is an easement granting the telephone company access to the property to maintain and, if necessary, replace service lines that runs until the year 2022. Presumably, the easement would continue to apply after the sale of the property.

The closing date for offers was originally April 16. After the bids were opened, the closing was extended until April 23. Terry said that the first submission resulted in three offers, two of which were "good, solid" offers that were "above the assessment, but below what we anticipated." Terry was not willing to divulge the assessment amount, but said that it would be revealed at a future time. By April 23, five offers were received, all, according to Terry, "well above the appraised value." He added that the three original bidders were required to resubmit, and at least one did. On April 28, the Port News saw a notice on the community bulletin board stating that the deadline had been extended again - this time until May 5. We were not able to determine the reason for the second extension.

The final offers were opened at a Village trustee meeting on May 6. The highest offer was $711,000 from Daniel Zarabi, whose address was given as Firwood Road in Manorhaven. According to the trustees, the next highest offer in the third round of bidding was $655,000. They declined to identify that bidder. Assuming that the developer can meet the cash requirements and other requirements, the village will enter into a contract with Zarabi.

The sale offering, according to Terry, was advertised twice in Newsday and posted on community bulletin boards.

As stated, the property is currently zoned for commercial use. Terry was not willing to speculate as to whether a rezoning would be requested. However, the referenced village newsletter, as well as comments made during the meeting, indicate that the builder intends to construct two two-family houses.


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