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Protesters greet supporters of Glen Cove waterfront project

Opponents to Uniondale-based RXR Realty's plan for a

Opponents to Uniondale-based RXR Realty's plan for a $1 billion redevelopment of Glen Cove's waterfront protest in front of the welcome center in Glen Cove, Wednesday night, May 18, 2016. Photo Credit: David Wexler

Glen Cove officials and other supporters of a proposed $1 billion redevelopment of the city’s formerly industrial waterfront were confronted by chants and picket signs Wednesday night as they sipped wine and ate crabcakes at a reception inaugurating the project’s new welcome center.

Protesters loudly booed from across Herb Hill Road as Scott Rechler, the chairman and CEO of Uniondale-based RXR Realty, the site’s developer, cut a ceremonial red ribbon.

Roger Street Friedman, president of Committee for a Sustainable Waterfront, which organized Wednesday’s protest and another on Sunday in nearby Sea Cliff, said the project “is completely out of scale with the North Shore of Long Island.”

The development, called Garvies Point, would include 1,110 condominiums and apartments, stores, parks, marinas, offices and restaurants. Two towers would both rise 11 stories.

Frank Haftel, director of the Garvies Point project for RXR, said the protest, which attracted about 35 people, was misguided.

Inside the welcome center, he pointed to a roughly 100-square-foot model of the development and to the 28 acres of parkland — to be open to the public — that would comprise half of Garvies Point’s footprint.

“We strongly believe people should be applauding this, not protesting this, because of all the incredible amenities we’ll be building for the public, the jobs we’ll be bringing to the city, because of the additional economic activity that will be created by this project,” he said.

Rechler said Garvies Point would transform “an environmentally blighted site ... that has kept the waterfront from being available to the public and from being an economic engine for the community.”

But Mayor Bruce Kennedy of Sea Cliff, which filed one of two lawsuits aimed at stopping the project, said Garvies Point would choke his village’s street with traffic and forever change views of the shoreline.

“This development is going to destroy the whole bucolic character of the area,” he said.

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