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Nematzadeh takes revised plan to board

Great Neck Plaza trustees laud design changes, but express reservations on variances

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Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2012 11:08 am

Great Neck Chamber of Commerce president and newly  appointed Kings Point trustee Hooshang Nematzadeh presented revised plans for his Grace Avenue mixed-used development at Wednesday’s meeting of the Village of Great Neck Plaza board of trustees.

The board sent Nematzadeh and architect Sandor Wiess back to the drawing board in August, taking issue with the 45-apartment building’s sharp-cornered design. 

The plan presented Wednesday drew approval for its smoothed edges, but may be in for further revisions.  

Board members indicated that, though they supported increased residential and commercial development, they were unwilling to allow a fifth floor of penthouse apartments due to village density codes.

“I’m reluctant to stretch the code further than it has to be stretched,” said Trustee Gerald Schneiderman.

The development plan includes ground-level retail space, a two-level underground parking lot and a building height of 52 feet, which matches an adjacent building but is well above that allowed by village code.

Nematzadeh said he was willing to remove the top floor, but that the penthouse apartments were important to defray the cost of building underground parking

“We assumed when we bought [the property] that you’d be amenable to this kind of project,” he said to the board.

Deputy Mayor Ted Rosen said that the village’s efforts to encourage mixed-use development was, in part, designed to appeal to residents who are less dependent on cars for transit.

“This is really a proposed first-rate class building,” he said. “This could attract a different type of tenant who do have cars.”

Nematzadeh agreed to review the plans and possibly remove the top floor of the building. He said that the board should consider the development’s economic benefit to the area, both in terms of the businesses the building could attract as tenants and the residents who could spark growth in local commerce.

“This would be a tremendous boost in that area,” he said.

Village of Great Neck Plaza Mayor Jean Celender opened the meeting with a moment of silence for Peter Schmitt, the presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature who died of a heart attack Wednesday morning.

“Our thoughts are prayers are with his family in this unthinkable situation,” she said.

The board also approved Celender’s motion to have the village sign the Climate Smart Communities pledge, a state-local partnership that encourages municipalities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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