Friday, 23 October 2009 00:00
Westbury Village Mayor Peter Cavallaro announced that the Post Avenue movie theater project has progressed with the signing by the village and developer Lowe Properties of a Memorandum of Agreement related to certain matters of concern and the adoption by the village board of its SEQRA determination.
“I am happy to report that the applicant and the village have come to agreement and have signed a Memorandum of Agreement, that covers some of the important issues that the
According to Westbury Village Clerk Ted Blach, the memorandum covers the developer’s obligation to pay for all expenses to build the proposed parking deck (over the village’s existing Madison Street municipal parking lot), in excess of the $1.5 million federal Community Development funds committed by the village and Nassau County to pay for the deck construction.
Also included are provisions that would require the applicant to post completion bonds to provide the village with assurances that, once started, there will be funds to complete the deck, even if the developer later abandons the plans to renovate the theater. The memorandum also addresses issues such as the need for the developer to lease from the village a portion of the completed parking structure to meet a portion of the theater’s parking needs, as well as to obtain annual permits from the village for employee parking in other village municipal lots. Additionally, the memorandum provides a mechanism to make the village whole in the event that the developer engages in a tax abatement program with the county.
“Overall, the Memorandum of Agreement gives us the ability to move the project to the next steps of the approval process. This is important as we hope to be able to see the commencement of the theater renovation during spring 2010,” Cavallaro stated.
The second important development was the village board’s adoption, at its Oct. 15, meeting, of a Conditional Negative Declaration under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), which essentially finalizes the board of trustee’s environmental impact analysis of the project. The adoption of that resolution triggers a 30-day comment period on the Conditional Negative Declaration. At the end of that time, the Westbury Village Board of Trustees, Zoning Board and Planning Board will be able to advance the approval process on the various approvals that are necessary for the project to be completed.
The resolution adopted by the board makes findings as to the environmental impacts of the project, as well as the need for certain mitigation measures to be undertaken by the applicant. The resolution also contains seven conditions that the applicant must abide by to allow the project to progress.
“The achievement of these two important hurdles allows Lowe Properties and the village to move the ball forward on trying to get the theater property redeveloped,” said Cavallaro. “This project has been a long time in the making and has come a long way since it was originally proposed.”
He continued, “I am grateful to Lowe Properties and its principal Cyrus Hykakian for their persistence and commitment to the project. The redevelopment of the theater site remains a key to Westbury’s continued downtown revitalization, and so it is important that the project keep moving the right direction.”
Blach indicated that while the two steps that have been made are important, there are still a number of considerations that need to be taken up by the various boards and commissions that need to pass on the proposal during the approval process. However, the completion of these two steps allows the process to continue and the involved boards and commissions to start their substantive work and review.