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Possibilities For Downtown Area

Renovation proposal for Lumber Road

Two perennial issues—residential housing and parking—were on the agenda at a recent Village of Roslyn meeting as representatives with the Oyster Bay-based firm of Bladykas & Panetta continued to make their presentation for possible construction in the downtown area. 

The proposed site is located at 17 Lumber Rd. The board of trustees continued hearing Bladykas & Panetta’s preliminary site plan review, one that will be continued at future hearings.

The firm proposes to renovate the building with the same commercial uses as a hardware store on the first floor, while having the second and third floor used for residential apartments. Mike Rant, a project engineer with the firm, also addressed the parking issue. 

Rant said that up to 63 parking spaces could be constructed, which could be used for retail purposes during the day and for residential parking at night. In all, Bladykas & Panetta proposes 10 apartment units for the Lumber Road site. That is a modest amount, but it was welcomed with positive comments by board members.

Craig Westergard praised Rant for moving the proposal along “in a nice fashion.” Both Westergard and Mayor John Durkin liked the idea that residential units are being proposed for the Lumber Road renovation, with both also noting that there can never be enough affordable housing, not just for Roslyn, but anywhere in Nassau County. Westergard added that the renovation would “generate a nice parking lot for downtown Roslyn,” while Durkin noted the waterfront view that would come with third floor units. 

In all, for Durkin, the proposal so far is “a good idea, a substantial step in the right direction” as it also is all part of the village’s desired restoration of the Lumber Road area. Westergard also said that it might be possible to add 10 or 15 more parking spaces to the proposed 63 spaces. “[This is] the most major project in some time,” he said. 

The proposal will still require more public hearings and needed variances. Roslyn resident John Santos, another engineer working on the project, said that his team is open to any suggestions. In addition to the parking lot, shade trees, evergreen trees and a promenade are among other ideas being floated. 

The issue of development in the downtown area has been with the village for decades. It has now been 20 years since the bid by Stop & Shop to construct a commercial site was debated and then with great controversy, rejected by a new slate of board members. Following that, the board drafted and adopted a Master Plan for downtown construction, one that focused on residential development. That plan resulted in the Sterling Glen senior citizen development, one known today as Atria on Roslyn Harbor. Other residential bids have been sounded out, but Atria remains the showcase of the new zoning requirements for the downtown area.