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Great Neck Plaza considers a mixed-use downtown development

Artist's rendering of mixed-use building pitched for 16

Artist's rendering of mixed-use building pitched for 16 Maple Drive, Great Neck. Credit: Mojo Stumer Associates

A Jericho-based real estate developer wants to build a four-floor, mixed-use building in Great Neck Plaza that would add to an already long list of apartment complexes planned for the village.

Jeffrey Wilks of Spiegel Associates and Christopher Prior, a Great Neck-based attorney representing Wilks, last week told village trustees that the ground floor of the building at the corner of Maple Drive and Middle Neck Road would consist of retail and the top three floors would house 11 apartments. Great Neck Board of Trustees members, including Mayor Jean Celender, said they liked the project.

“This fits in beautifully with existing development,” Celender said. “It’s not too big. It’s not too bulky. It’s a very boutiquey, SoHo building.”

Prior said 16 Maple currently is a one-story building that’s “primarily unoccupied” with Castle Barber Shop as the only tenant. Under the Spiegel Associates plan, three top floors would be added and feature studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments.

The owner of Castle Barber Shop couldn’t be reached for comment.

Wilks has not officially applied for permits to begin construction. However, once the paperwork is filed and all other steps are approved, Wilks said the building could be completed in 16 to 18 months.

“Ideally we’d be bringing it in faster than that,” Wilks said.

Wilks and Prior said they’re looking for space for the village-mandated 18 parking spaces needed to accommodate new residents of 16 Maple.

“As this project goes forward, that’s going to be one of the issues for us,” Prior said, adding that nine of those spaces are already at 16 Maple. “We have a nine-space deficit.”

Prior said there may be sharing of parking slots in a garage used by the apartment complex at 12 Bond St. However, those plans aren’t final, Prior told trustees.

Board trustees told Wilks and Prior to move quickly with filing paperwork.

Celender said she’s excited about the new development because it repurposes 16 Maple in a way that other communities on Long Island are trending toward. In places such as Farmingdale, Westbury, Patchogue and Mineola, developers are opening residential-and-retail buildings that bring new residents closer to existing small businesses and public transportation.

“It’s through adding these kind of mixed-use projects that we’re going to get downtowns back to having a vigorous situation where stores are thriving,” Celender said.

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