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Developer showcases ‘Village Square’ plans for downtown Glen Cove

RXR Realty unveiled its plans for the Village

RXR Realty unveiled its plans for the Village Square residential and retail project, which city officials view as key to the revitalization of downtown Glen Cove on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. Credit: RXR Realty

RXR Realty Tuesday night unveiled its plans for the Village Square residential and retail project, which city officials view as key to the revitalization of downtown Glen Cove.

The plans call for 146 apartments in a single four-to-five-story building, with more than 17,500 square feet of retail space on the bottom and a public plaza that would be deeded to the city and used for concerts, holiday celebrations and other events.

Lambertville, N.J.-based lead architect David Minno touted the different colors and shapes of the building, which includes a rounded corner at one edge of the plaza, flat facades elsewhere and different designs for each section of rooftop.

The inspiration was in European plazas, Minno said as he showed photographs of plazas in Prague and Siena and Lucca, Italy.

Planning board Chairman Thomas Scott said the project “is nice, but it’s not wowing.”

Frank Haftel, first vice president of Uniondale-based RXR, said on Wednesday that the company will work to “see if we can add any features that will add to any wow factor the chairman wants.”

One idea, he said, could be to change the materials that would be used on parts of the building.

RXR plans to seek a number of variances for the project, including one to a provision that limits the number of one-bedroom and studio units in a project, said Anthony Guardino, a Hauppauge-based attorney for RXR.

RXR wants to construct 118 one-bedroom and studio units and 28 two-bedroom units, he said.

“Who’s going to live in those studios and one-bedrooms?” Scott asked.

Young, childless millennials and empty-nesters who want to live in a lively, pedestrian-friendly area are the target audience, Minno said. Residents would be able to go to restaurants, cafes and stores either in the plaza or nearby, he said.

They’d also have a short walk to Garvies Point, the huge waterfront development that RXR is starting to build nearby, he said. A lighted passageway would go under the building from the plaza toward Brewster Street.

Most of the parking would be in a garage underneath the residences at the same level as the stores, Haftel said. The rest would be in a surface lot and in 64 spaces in a nearby parking garage. RXR is proposing to lease those spaces from the city, Haftel said.

RXR owns most of the 2.8-acre property, which now is mostly vacant buildings. But the company has failed to reach an agreement to buy a parcel from All Island Real Estate Holdings LLC, whose principal, Dr. Joseph Onorato, has a dermatology office on the site.

Haftel and Saul Fenchel, a Garden City attorney for Onorato, said discussions are continuing to reach an agreement.

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