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Superblock waterfront property in Long Beach to be sold

Vacant oceanfront property known as the Superblock is

Vacant oceanfront property known as the Superblock is under contract. Credit: Barry Sloan

A Garden City developer is in contract to purchase the troubled Superblock oceanfront property on the Long Beach boardwalk.

The developer, Engel Burman Group, entered into contract with Manhattan developer iStar Financial for the right to buy the Shore Road property between Long Beach and Riverside boulevards, Engel Burman’s attorney Dan Deegan said.

The sale is contingent on a viable development on the blighted property, which has been vacant and tangled in litigation for more than 40 years. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Officials from iStar did not respond to a request for comment.

Engel Burman has not announced plans for the property but is pursuing a mixture of apartments and condos with possibly some retail, Deegan said. The company is planning several meetings with the community and said any project would follow the city’s zoning code without requiring a variance.

“They’re Long Island builders that have a great track record in Long Beach and elsewhere,” Deegan said. “Nobody knows what the city wants and needs more than the people who live there and we want to be receptive to local input.”

The city’s zoning code allows developments to be built up to 110 feet and no more than one unit per 600 square feet on the six-acre lot. The development would also require more than 700 off-street or underground parking spaces.

The development planned by iStar Financial was granted variances in 2014 for two 15-story apartment towers of up to 160 feet tall and 522 apartment units with 11,000 square feet of boardwalk-level retail.

The Long Beach Zoning Board revoked iStar’s variances last year because iStar developers failed to start construction in the first year and obtain all necessary permits. The zoning board ordered all construction stopped.

A Nassau County Supreme Court judge denied an appeal by iStar last year to reinstate the building permit revoked by the city.

Developers also filed a $100 million lawsuit against the city last year seeking damages for lost revenue for not supporting iStar’s application for up to $129 million of tax breaks from the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency. Officials with iStar said they had invested $80 million in the proposed development.

Long Beach officials have filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which is pending in Nassau County Supreme Court. City officials declined to comment on what effect a sale of the property would have on the pending lawsuit.

Engel Burman has not filed any applications for tax relief from the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency. The company is exploring the financial viability of the development, Deegan said.

“It’s been a prime piece of property for a long time, and we’re looking forward to the economic benefit for the community from new residents,” Deegan said. “We hope to do something visually that’s very appealing.”

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