Residents expressed skepticism and concern after three developers for the first time publicly discussed their visions for the property of a shuttered school in Lindenhurst.
The developers made their pitches at a board of education meeting on Tuesday, allowing several dozen residents to hear possible options for the Edward W. Bower Elementary School on Montauk Highway. The school was closed in 2011 due to the building's age and declining enrollment but still costs the district more than $100,000 a year to maintain.
Jan Burman, president of The Engel Burman Group of Garden City, presented his proposal to build 99 units of senior housing. Units would be sold for about $400,000, each, Burman said. The company is offering $5.5 million, but the price could be increased or reduced by $55,556 per unit depending on the number of units approved by the village.
Burman said the buildings would be two-story with a clubhouse and outdoor pool. The units would be one-bedroom with a den.
Jamie Stover, vice president of development for Mill Creek Residential, based in Dallas, Texas, proposed three-story buildings with a minimum of 150 multifamily rental units with a clubhouse and outdoor pool. The company is offering $6 million. The village would have to rezone the property, Stover said.
Blumenfeld Development Group of Syosset is proposing a one-story facility that would house a child care and day care center serving children 6 weeks to 12 years old. There also would be before and after-school care and Saturday tutoring services. The offer is $6 million.
The group is working in partnership with Children's Learning Adventure of Arizona, which is looking to expand into New York, said Mike Clements, vice president of real estate for the company that has centers in 11 states. About 300 students per day would be using the facility, he said.
Residents, especially those who live near the property, called much of the plans "unrealistic," bringing up questions of parking and traffic.
Jenna Prada, 32, who lives near the school, presented the board with a petition signed by more than 180 residents which asks that the site be used for a children-related purpose.
"The community wants to see this be a place that's nice for young families," she said, adding that the day care center is her preferred choice.
The board must pick a developer and then hold a public referendum on the sale. Board president Donna Hochman said the board will be looking into some of the questions raised at the meeting and will hold another public meeting. In the interim, she said, Plainview real estate agents Greiner-Maltz will continue to market the property.