Developers planning to build projects in the village of Great Neck will have to adjust to what village officials said will be a new normal that includes providing shuttle service to the Long Island Rail Road station in Great Neck Plaza.
Freeport-based Northshore Millbrook, the owners of Millbrook Court apartments, a collection of five rental buildings at 240-250 Middle Neck Rd., is the first developer subject to the stipulation regarding the LIRR shuttle. The company plans to eliminate 34 units at the complex by demolishing one of the buildings and portions of two others. Northshore Millbrook would construct two four-story buildings and one three-story building to go with the remaining four buildings.
Trustees approved Northshore’s plans on Aug. 7, but said the company must offer the shuttle service from Millbrook Court to the station and pay $354,698 to the village’s community benefit fund.
Northshore must offer the shuttle to new residents for at least three years. After that, if ridership is less than 35 people a day, Northshore can move to eliminate the service.
Mayor Pedram Bral said the shuttle service stems from the trustees' desire to minimize potentially more traffic coming from new Millbrook Court residents.
“If we can get 10, 20, 30 cars, or maybe even more, off the roads during rush hour, it will give a nicer feel to the community,” he said. “As the population may grow, we don’t want the number of cars to grow.”
The shuttle schedule hasn't been finalized, Bral said, but trustees suggested service from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, excluding holidays and weekends. Bral said existing tenants can use the shuttle service after agreeing to pay an extra fee, which is not yet determined, with their rent.
Bral said the project is the first time trustees have asked a developer to offer a shuttle service. Avalon Great Neck, an apartment complex on East Shore Road, was the first to contribute to the community benefit fund, he said.
Northshore's contribution to the village's community benefit fund is the result of approval for one of the buildings to rise four stories instead of the village maximum of three, the mayor said.
Bral said that trustees have not decided how to spend Northshore's contribution to the fund but that the developer will pay the amount before getting final approval to open the three new buildings.
Village officials will ask future developers to submit plans for a shuttle service and for contributions to the community benefit fund, if building plans go beyond village code, the mayor said.
"The goal is [for developers] to provide enough services so that people will not use their car," Bral said.
Once construction is complete, Millbrook Court will grow from 119 total units to 186.
Northshore has one year to obtain the necessary building permits and must pay about $535,000 in building fees, village officials said. The company must complete a majority of the construction within three years.
Northshore spokesman Andy Kraus said the company is "pleased to have the village's approval" and that pre-construction and demolition work will start before the end of 2018.
Developer Northshore Millbrook must provide shuttle service from the Millbrook Court apartments to the Great Neck Plaza LIRR station. Future development by other companies will require a similar shuttle plan as officials seek to minimize vehicle traffic and maintain a "nicer feel to the community," said Mayor Pedram Bral.
LIRR shuttle | Must be established and made available to new residents
3 | Minimum number of years a shuttle service must be provided
35 | Minimum daily required ridership, or service can be canceled
$354,698 | Northshore Millbrook's required contribution to the village of Great Neck's community benefit fund