Seaford voters OK school property sale

The vacant Seaford Avenue School on Sept. 30,

The vacant Seaford Avenue School on Sept. 30, 2012. Board members voted 6-0 Tuesday, May 20, 2014, to approve a request from BK at Seaford LLC, a subsidiary of The Engel Burman Group in Garden City, to change the zoning from residential to senior citizen housing. Photo Credit: Steven Sunshine

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Seaford school district voters approved a plan Wednesday night to sell the vacant Seaford Avenue School property to a private developer for $5.2 million.

The measure passed 972-769, district clerk Carmen Ouellette said. The approval allows the district to sell the 5.66-acre school property to BK at Seaford Llc, a subsidiary of The Engel Burman Group.

"I'm pleased that the voters had the opportunity to have their voices heard concerning the future of the property because it now gives us a direction in which to proceed," Superintendent Brian L. Conboy said.

The Garden City-based developer plans to build 100 to 113 condominium units for residents 55 and older without children younger than 18. The units will be owner-occupied and for purchase only for $350,000 to $400,000.

The sale is expected to save the district about $100,000 in annual maintenance costs and create $500,000 in additional annual tax revenue, district officials have said. The building has been vacant since 2010.

Some residents had opposed the plan because of the density of the housing complex and possible traffic and parking issues. Others cited a need for tax revenue and senior housing.

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"The project was just a little too large," said Phil Franco, president of the Seaford Harbor Civic Association, adding he would favor 75 units. "Now the community has to go the next extra step: Go to the zoning board and express their concerns."

The developer has two years to obtain zoning approvals from Hempstead Town, with an optional six-month extension. Any reduction in the 113 units would reduce the district's take by $49,500 per unit, but its total sale revenue cannot fall below $4.95 million, district officials have said.

- with Deon J. Hampton

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