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Glen Cove asked to waive right to buy mansion-turned-hotel

A mansion built for John Teele and Ruth

A mansion built for John Teele and Ruth Baker Pratt in 1910 now serves as the Glen Cove Mansion Hotel and Conference Center, at 200 Dosoris Lane. (Dec. 22, 2010) Credit: T.C. McCarthy

Glen Cove officials have expressed skepticism over a request by the owner of the Glen Cove Mansion Hotel and Conference Center to waive the city's right to purchase the property.

The owner is a limited liability company controlled by Los Angeles-based Oaktree Capital Management LP, property records show.

Eli Elbaum, an attorney at a Uniondale-based firm representing the owner, asked the City Council Tuesday night if it would relinquish the right of refusal, suggesting it has no monetary value for Glen Cove.

But Glen Cove Mayor Reginald Spinello said at the City Council work session meeting that the fact that owners want the city to give up the right means "there's some value to it. . . . If there's value, the city would like to figure what that value is."

The council asked the owner to come up with a figure.

Spinello said the question was whether the value was monetary or in the form of concessions.

Councilman Michael Famiglietti said the statute is in place "for a reason, and in order to take it out, it has some value to us, and I think it's a monetary value."

Councilman Anthony Gallo Jr. said he did not "believe in giving away a right that was negotiated previously."

Oaktree Capital bought the land in 2006 for $27.5 million, property records show. A 2010 amendment to the city code gave Glen Cove the right to purchase the historic John and Ruth Pratt mansion property at 200 Dosoris Lane if the owner wished to sell the site.

Elbaum told the council the right of refusal should not be used as a veto power and asked the panel to consider whether it would actually exercise the right. "If the city wants to step in, then the city can step in and purchase it; that's the option, not just to block it [a future sale]," Elbaum said. "Is that realistic; is the city going to step in and purchase it?"

Elbaum said the right of refusal affects the marketability of the property; but he said he was unaware of a potential buyer. He asked if the council would be able to vote on waiving its right at its meeting next week, but it was unclear if the matter would be on Tuesday's agenda.

Last year, the City Council approved a zoning change to the property to allow the owner to sell a 22.7-acre subdivision of the 54.5-acre property to a developer who could later build houses on the land.

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