A 12-story building that would dwarf nearly every other structure in North Hempstead Town may be coming to Roslyn.
A developer wants to construct a 150-foot-tall building for high-end condos at 45 Lumber Rd. If approved, it would be only 4 feet shorter than the North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, the tallest building in the town.
The proposal, which was presented to the village board Tuesday night for a preliminary site review, was met with mixed reactions from the board, with one trustee questioning the building's compatibility with the village’s character.
“I don’t know how else I can say it. It’s just out of place,” trustee Craig Westergard said, noting such a tall building could be expected in places like Brooklyn or Long Island City, but not Roslyn. “It’s an urban scene in a suburban setting.”
Under village zoning code, the maximum allowable height is 35 feet, or 2.5 stories for the project, according to John Winberry, the project’s architect .
“Listen, the building is tall. [We are not]... trying to hide that,” Winberry said. “But we do think there’s a uniqueness to this project that allows it to . . . really stand out as a forward-thinking way to redevelop this particular parcel.”
The plan calls for the construction of a 72,876-square-foot building to replace the current one-story structure on a 1.37-acre property. The building once functioned as a Verizon facility.
The applicant, NH 45 Lumber Road LLC, also proposed building a 250-foot-long waterfront promenade, which would be dedicated to the village, and revegetate 83 percent of the property for green space, according to Thomas Pantelis, a Mineola-based attorney representing the applicant. The company's principals include Ian Zwerdling, a Roslyn real estate developer.
The new building would have 27 two-bedroom apartments, each spanning 2,000 square feet with a view of Roslyn Creek.
“We are really hoping to bring a premier condo to the village,” said Winberry, of Long Island City-based DHMurray Architecture, who also designed the Lumber Road Apartments next to the proposed location.
The Roslyn Lumber Yard project converted a once dilapidated property into a three-story building containing ground-level retail stores and luxury rental apartments.
Frances Radman, an attorney with Hauppauge-based Ingerman Smith LLP who was representing the Roslyn Union Free School District, said the district has “significant concern” over the project’s impact.
“Additional owners in the property, additional students [and] additional traffic affects the school,” she said. "And that is our primary concern."
With a price tag of about $2 million for each unit, Pantelis said in an interview Wednesday that the project’s clientele would not bring a significant number of school-age children.
“With upper rental and sales price, the number of children is much [fewer] than what you would get with lower market projects,” he said.
After the applicant’s presentation Tuesday, three people spoke during a public hearing, including Michael Kosinski, who lives in the neighboring village of East Hills.
“This is an example of ‘I want.’ I want this giant building,” said Kosinski, who went on to request that the board deny the proposal in a fashion that would deter similar applications in the future. “It’s totally insensitive to the community at large. It doesn’t belong here at all.”
The board voted Tuesday to continue the public hearing at the next village meeting scheduled for Oct. 15.