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Developer: Apartment proposal for Amityville is in line with downtown development plans

A 12-unit Oak Street apartment building proposed for Amityville Village is in line with plans for a revitalized downtown, representatives for the developer said at a public hearing Monday night.

"It will actually be a magnet for encouraging similar projects in the business area," said Bruce Kennedy, the former village attorney now representing developer Robert Curcio Jr. "This is quality housing within a short walking distance to stores and restaurants, which is something we're looking to encourage."

If approved, one-bedroom apartments in the two-story building would be built on a little over half-an-acre and would rent for $2,000 to $2,200, Kennedy said.

Some village residents warned that the project would mean demolition of three houses owned by the estate of Charlotte Bleecker, whose family lived in the village for generations. That would displace families now renting the houses and perhaps also dilute the village's historic character at a prominent intersection, said neighbor Larry Parker.

"Those houses don't look 'dilapidated,' " he said, disputing Kennedy's description. "They need some work. They need some paint."

The apartment proposal drew support from some residents, including Frank Chichester, whose family gave its name to the nearby Chichester Cemetery. "I think the project looks good," he said.

Trustees will vote Nov. 10 on a change of zone for the property from retail business and B residence to C residence, which permits multiple dwellings.

Trustee Nick LaLota has already said he supports Curcio's application but may also push for some sort of "accommodation" for the current residents.

Curcio, who built the condominium projects Village Estates near Sunrise Highway and New Pointe Estates on Louden Avenue, will need the zoning change to proceed, along with approvals from the zoning board of appeals and the planning board. His purchase of the property is contingent on winning those approvals, Kennedy said.

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