Written by Wendy Kreitzman Wednesday, 15 May 2013 00:00
An environmental clean-up and brand new apartment buildings for East Shore Road might have seemed like a far-off dream at one point, but today the Village of Great Neck is considering a proposal from AvalonBay Communities to clean up the polluted property at 240 East Shore Road and build a brand new residential luxury apartment complex.
The initial proposal was presented by AvalonBay at the village’s May 9 meeting. There is much yet to be discussed, but, initially, the mayor and the board are interested. “Their proposal sounds like a fabulous opportunity for the village,” Mayor Ralph Kreitzman told the Great Neck Record. “It will clean up a polluted property, eliminate an eyesore, restore the bulkhead and shoreline, produce an attractive building, provide apartments for new residents, downsizing residents and our workforce, and increase our tax base.”
But first, there is a lot of work to be done. The mayor said that they “must get into the details … to be sure the final product has minimal, if any, adverse impact upon our residents and is in keeping with the aesthetics and needs of the village. “
For the presentation, contamination was a top priority, as residential property must be cleaned to a high standard and there is much to be considered. The contaminated waterfront and the “debris laden” property and shoreline must be restored, along with the deteriorated bulkhead. AvalonBay is already working with the DEC.
Members of the AvalonBay team also noted that the property is not only a “public eyesore,” but the use (old petroleum tanks) is “not compatible with the village’s vision” and the tanks are no longer useful.
AvalonBay has already built 273 such communities, with 10 on Long Island, including Rockville Centre (formerly a brownfield site), Garden City (which had legacy soil contamination) and Glen Cove.
For the East Shore Road property, AvalonBay said that they would do the environmental cleanup in Great Neck at no cost to taxpayers, while they addressed revitalizing the waterfront and adding a “beautification of the streetscape.” In addition, the development would enhance the village tax base, as well as increase the property values of neighboring properties.
The initial plan is for rental apartments with one, two and three bedrooms, with a building no taller than the existing tallest tank. They envision less than 200 units. Six stories would accommodate four residential floors, with parking both below and at grade. Many amenities will be included, such as a health club and a swimming pool.
Chris Capece, senior development director of AvalonBay, told the Record that even though they began discussions with the property owner last year, “the formal purchase is contingent on certain milestones,” with village approval and DEC approval prime.
There was no discussion at the meeting, no questions.
The next step is for AvalonBay to submit details and an application for development to the village. The SEQRA (State Environmental Quality Review Act) process begins once the application is submitted.