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Glen Cove IDA closes on sale of 44 waterfront acres to developer

A condominium building with two 11-story towers is

A condominium building with two 11-story towers is among the structures proposed by Uniondale-based RXR's for its Garvies Point development in Glen Cove. Credit: RXR Realty

A Uniondale-based developer now owns most of the land for a $960 million project along Glen Cove’s waterfront.

The Glen Cove Industrial Development Agency last week closed on its sale of 44 acres to RXR Glen Isle Partners, which plans to build 1,110 condos and apartments, parks, stores, restaurants, offices, an amphitheater, marinas and other amenities.

“Now the hard work of actually getting it built starts,” said Frank Haftel, director of the Garvies Point project for RXR.

Construction is scheduled to begin in mid-December, with a full build-out estimated to take five to seven years, he said. The 28 acres of parks and other land open to the public is to be finished in two years.

The land deal comes after more than 20 years of environmental remediation of the former industrial site where metal processing and disposal took place.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation have yet to give final approval to build on the entire site, but Haftel said the first phase of construction, on the eastern side of the project, will be on land already remediated.

Glen Cove’s 2016 budget relies on $3.5 million — of the total $25 million sale price, including fees — from the sale of the property and more than $1.1 million in building-permit fees. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli had expressed concern that the city was counting on so much uncertain revenue.

Mayor Reginald Spinello said RXR already made the $3.5 million payment and “there’s still plenty of time” for the building-permit revenue to flow in before the end of the year. The 2017 budget also relies on sale-price and building-permit revenue, which, with the closing, will come in on schedule, he said.

“Our budget is good for 2016, and our budget will be good for 2017,” Spinello said.

The closing comes as two lawsuits aiming to stop construction of the project continue. In August, a Supreme Court judge in Nassau County dismissed two lawsuits that aimed to annul city planning board approval for Garvies Point and alleged violations of environmental law. The plaintiffs — the Village of Sea Cliff in one suit, 105 local residents in the other — are appealing.

Michael Zarin, a White Plains-based lawyer for the city on the project, said the lawsuits did not affect the decision to close.

“The objections were rejected by the court pretty soundly and directly,” he said.

The entire development will include more than 56 acres. In addition to the roughly 44 acres sold on Nov. 22, 4 acres are privately owned parcels that RXR is purchasing, about 3 are on land where a new city-owned ferry terminal sits and 4.7 acres that may include a parking garage will stay under IDA ownership while environmental cleanup continues, Haftel said.

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