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Centennial Hall options include apartments, small businesses

Four optins for the future of Floral Park's

Four optins for the future of Floral Park's iconic Centennial Hall, seen here on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, were unveiled Tuesday during a community meeting in the village. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Floral Park’s iconic Centennial Hall, once home to gatherings of Masons, could one day house 26 small businesses or residents of an apartment complex with high-end penthouse suites if the village decides to sell the property.

Those are two of the four options unveiled Tuesday during a community meeting attended by about 50 residents. Village officials said four developers have plans to revitalize Centennial Hall, which was built in 1925. Mayor Dominick Longobardi said village leaders haven’t chosen an option, but wanted to update the public on the potential sale.

Officials did not reveal the names of each suitor and instead labeled the plans as Developer A, B, C and D. Floral Park Administrator Gerry Bambrick said the village is still negotiating specifics with the companies, so officials cannot release names or asking prices.

Bambrick said village officials asked residents in 2015 what should be done with Centennial Hall. The responses ran the gamut, he said.

“It ran from tear it down and make it a parking lot, tear it down and make it a park, to completely renovate the building and put it to a public use,” he said. “And others thought ‘sell the property off.’ ”

According to village documents, Developer A wants to split Centennial Hall into 26 offices for small business professionals. Developer B plans to create 18 to 20 apartments and make the basement a community space. Developer C would convert the building into 18 to 20 condos, with two penthouse suites. Developer D wants to make the basement a community space, open a medical office on the first floor and put five lofts on the second floor.

Bambrick said the options come from “established” companies with “a very serious track record” of restoring historic buildings.

“They’ve all handled projects much larger than this,” he said. “One developer has a rather extensive experience in historic building renovation and has renovated several well-known buildings on Long Island.”

In 2004, Floral Park Lodge No. 1016 Free and Accepted Masons sold the 8,500-square-foot building on Tulip Avenue to the village for $1.5 million. The village began seriously discussing Centennial Hall’s future in fall 2014 when officials noticed it was starting to deteriorate.

Residents at Tuesday’s meeting asked for more specifics about the construction timeline and the village approval process. The developers said construction would last from six months to just over a year, Bambrick said.

Floral Park resident Jerry McGowan asked whether any of the options could be stonewalled once a finalist goes before the Architectural Review Board. Longobardi said that was not likely.

“But what I do see as a possibility is that we do have parking issues,” he said, referring to the challenge of how to accommodate extra parking for apartment residents or employees of the small businesses.

Pick and pay

A cost breakdown of various options for Centennial Hall, according to data from Floral Park:

$300,000 — Tear building down

$320,000 — Tear building down, create a parking lot

$430,000 — Keep building secure and safe, also known as “mothballing”

$1.3 million — Partial renovation so that first floor is usable

$2 million — Renovate entire building

Almost $3 million — Tear Centennial Hall down and build a new building

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