Roslyn Village officials have approved a developer’s plan to build a 54-unit apartment building on Warner Avenue near the Long Island Rail Road station, despite objections from the Roslyn school district and some Roslyn Heights residents.
The proposal from Roslyn-based JK Equities, owner and developer of the site, calls for a ground floor of retail establishments and 23 one-bedroom and 31 two-bedroom units on the three upper floors.
Village officials, who said the project had been under review since 2019, approved it last month with a 5-0 vote, according to meeting transcripts.
In the past year, the proposal had faced pushback from residents in Roslyn Heights, the hamlet that borders the site, and the school district, over the structure’s size and density on a nearly 1-acre corner lot.
"The scale of this is too big," said Nancy Shores, a Roslyn Heights resident, during a hearing before the board voted March 23. "… It sits right on the road — pretty close to it. And the 30 apartments is something that people could live with. But beyond that, it’s just not right."
Under the zoning laws passed last October, the newly created transit-oriented district, which includes the site, permits a 40-foot-tall building with density capped at 30 units per acre. With incentive bonuses, however, the number of maximum units could be doubled to 60.
Critics said they were not against development but wanted to see the density reduced to 30 units per acre, to which village officials said the developer had already scaled down from the originally proposed 72 units.
Trustee Craig Westergard described the one-story commercial building that currently stands on 281-301 Warner Ave. as a "dilapidated eyesore" that he had hoped to be improved for three decades.
Deputy Mayor Marshall Bernstein said the planned project would replace it with "a beautifully designed building" and support local businesses that have struggled during the pandemic.
Trustee Sarah Oral, who has lived in the area for 11 years, echoed other trustees’ comments.
"I mean, 30 years, we have been looking at that property. It’s time for a change," Oral said. "And if we don’t do anything, it’s going to be 30 more years that we are looking at that property. The time has come."
Jordan Karlik, who cofounded JK Equities with his father, Jerry, said in a follow-up interview that he expects the construction to take 16 to 18 months and to see the building completed in early 2023.