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Amityville looking at new parking lot

Amityville trustees have set aside $5,000 for an appraisal of the building at 90 Merrick Rd., a step toward possible construction of a parking lot to ease what area business owners say is a chronic parking shortage.

At the Monday night board of trustees meeting, Mayor Peter Imbert said the village will consider buying the building or exercising eminent domain, but neither process is likely to begin before September.

The building, next to Big Al's Family Fitness, last sold in 2000 for $927,500, according to property records. Big Al’s owner Paul Riedel currently rents space at the site for other businesses related to his gym. A call to the Great Neck address listed for the property’s owner, Glen Green Associates, was not immediately returned.

Village officials said they did not yet know how many parking spaces could be constructed on the building’s footprint. After hearing a resident’s concerns over the appraisal’s cost, officials said they would consider using village personnel to conduct an initial valuation. But village attorney Bruce Kennedy warned that an outside firm would have to be used for an eminent domain transaction, in which the village would force a sale of the property at fair market value.

Imbert reiterated at Monday’s meeting that the lot would be constructed at no cost to taxpayers, and that instead the costs would be borne by parking fees or creation of a business improvement district (BID). Typically, a BID is funded by businesses within the district, though it may be grant-assisted.

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