The Glen Cove Industrial Development Agency is discussing whether to pursue eminent domain on a downtown site upon which a Great Neck developer has been planning to build 110 apartments.
Mayor Reginald Spinello, who chairs the IDA, said he’s frustrated by how the site has remained “blighted” for months, with chain-link fences surrounding mostly vacant buildings that are slated for demolition.
“I’m hoping this gentleman completes the development project,” Spinello said, referring to Michael Puntillo, president of developer Jobco Realty and Construction. “It’s critical to Glen Cove.”
But, the mayor added, “I can’t keep waiting for another year, another year, another week, another month. . . . I’m running a parallel plan that if he’s not able to do what he needs to do, which is perform and begin this project, then the city will take other steps to ensure that the area is developed.”
Spinello said that, in an April 26 meeting, members of the boards of the IDA and the Community Development Agency — both quasi-municipal agencies — unanimously supported exploring the possibility of eminent domain.
Jobco is proposing to build the apartments and more than 25,000 square feet of commercial space around a European-style public plaza.
The city planning board approved the project in 2011. But Village Square, the office and retail complex that Jobco plans to demolish to make way for Piazza, has sat nearly empty for months.
Puntillo said in an email Thursday that he is “moving ahead with the development. My staff has been meeting with demolition contractors on site this week to solicit final bids. My staff has been in contact with the building department to complete our demolition permit application. The building plans are out to bid as well. Further, I have been meeting recently with prospective retail tenants and the response has been very positive. I’m excited to get started in the near future.”
He declined to comment on the potential for eminent domain.
Puntillo has bought most of the Village Square property but hasn’t reached an agreement with Dr. Joseph Onorato, a dermatologist who owns space housing his office and an art studio.
Companies associated with Puntillo and Onorato sued each other over attempts by Puntillo to shut off utilities to Onorato’s office.