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Great Neck Plaza approves apartment complex near LIRR station

Village of Great Neck Plaza Village Hall is

Village of Great Neck Plaza Village Hall is shown on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A new 56-unit apartment complex featuring seven affordable suites is coming to Great Neck Plaza after village trustees this week approved a conditional use permit.

Great Neck-based developer Ephraim Namdar of 14 Park Place LLC applied to build the complex about three years ago. After submitting his application, the village conducted a lengthy environmental impact review where “plans changed several times during the course of that process,” village attorney Richard Gabriele said.

Mayor Jean Celender said she is eager to see the complex finished because it fits the village’s push for transit-oriented housing. Namdar’s complex will be at 15 Bond St., one block north from the Great Neck Long Island Rail Road station.

“It’s the right type of development for this village,” Celender said. “It’s exactly the vision we laid out more than five years ago.”

The future site of Namdar’s apartment complex once housed a medical office building, but that building was demolished by the developers last summer. Namdar must now submit final design plans to the village and construction could start in a few months.

Namdar’s younger brother Joel Namdar appeared before the Great Neck Plaza board Wednesday. Trustees told Joel Namdar that, under village law, the complex must be built within 24 months of receiving the building permit.

Namdar pushed back on that timeline, saying 24 months is “a very aggressive time frame” and added that “a more realistic timeline would be 30 months.” Namdar said he questioned the 24-month rule because he doesn’t know if there’s something deep underground at the site that could elongate construction.

“We could be digging the hole and coming out of the ground in 2 months, 3 months, or even as long as nine months,” Joel Namdar said. “The one part that is unknown is the earth.”

Trustees told Joel Namdar that if unforeseen issues arise, he can come back to the board and be granted an extension.

Michael Sweeney, the village’s public services commissioner, said he believes 24 months is a reasonable time frame, but also acknowledged that a recently completed development, 5-9 Grace Ave., needed extra time.

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