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Glen Cove considers proposals for the former Coles School property

A view through the front door of the

A view through the front door of the long-vacant Coles School in Glen Cove Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

Glen Cove officials have received nine proposals to reuse the shuttered Coles School property and recently announced their four top-rated plans.

Two include construction of apartments, taking advantage of the property's proximity to the Long Island Rail Road station. The others are an assisted-living facility for people with various forms of dementia, and a site for an international soccer league.

"We want to preserve some of the history there, but it's an underperforming asset that we need to improve for the betterment of our city," Mayor Reginald Spinello said. "I think there's going to have to be discussions regarding transit-oriented development."

Patchogue and Farmingdale are among Long Island municipalities that have approved such developments, which create housing close to public transit, as one way to revitalize their downtowns.

The 4-acre Glen Cove property at 27 Cedar Swamp Rd. includes the former brick school building, auxiliary fields and another structure in the rear that houses the Cove Sports Academy. The school closed in 1992 and the site was purchased by the city in 2002.

The four plans, presented to the full board at pre-council meetings last month, were chosen by several city officials, including Spinello and Deputy Mayor Barbara Peebles.

City officials are not obligated to pick one of the proposals. The city received a state Brownfield Opportunity Areas grant for $402,100 to explore redevelopment of about 105 acres of Glen Cove, which includes the former Coles School site.

Jennifer DeVito, owner of Rajen Properties in Glen Head, submitted a proposal to build a 123-unit apartment complex at the site.

"We are very interested in doing communities that are close to public transportation because we feel there is a need for that on Long Island," DeVito said.

The other housing proposal calls for 71 workforce apartments for seniors, veterans and young professionals, said David Gallo, owner of Georgica Green Ventures in Jericho.

Mariano Berenstein, president and CEO of Boca Juniors USA, an Argentina-based soccer club that serves about 285 boys and girls at the Coleman County Day Camp in Merrick, said they are looking for their own facility on Long Island.

Boca's proposal includes renovating the former school building to serve as dorms for a residential program, as well as constructing two new small fields and one full soccer field.

The last of the top proposals came from Artis Senior Living, based in McLean, Virginia. It proposes to buy the back portion of the property, which does not include the school building, and build a single-story, 72-bed facility for people with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. The building would be about 36,000 square feet.

"Quite frankly this represents a good opportunity for the city to develop a property that has been dormant for way too long," said Locust Valley real estate agent Michael Stanco, who is representing Artis.

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