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Letter: Price is right for Melius property

Freeport, NY - Friday July 29, 2011 -

Freeport, NY - Friday July 29, 2011 - Newsday/ J. Conrad Williams Jr.: Developer Gary Melius will submit redesign plans or for an apartment building that would now include some of the historic facade of the former Brooklyn Water Works building on Brookside Avenue in Freeport Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Regarding "Nassau should reject land buy" [Editorial, May 18], Gary Melius purchased the Brooklyn Water Works site in Freeport in 1986. It was an abandoned, blighted eyesore which, left unattended, could have deteriorated further.

He has since spent millions of dollars in property taxes and legal, engineering and architectural fees in an attempt to come up with a development that would please the Village of Freeport. Various schemes were proposed, based on community feedback, but none was ever approved, mostly due to a personal political discrimination against Melius himself. So much for Newsday's contention that political influence is at play in the possibility that Nassau County would buy back the land at a large profit to him.

When communities and taxpayers constantly deny private developers the right to commonsense natural business growth, which is necessary to maintain and promote the economic balance of our modern society, they must understand there is a cost involved. Consistent stagnation is counterproductive to the harmony they seek to maintain.

The $6.2-million compensation for abandoning the development potential of this property is fair and just, and Melius' reputation for giving back to communities, charitable causes and needy individuals speaks for itself in terms of his political agenda.

Paul Gruber, Manhattan

Editor's note: The writer is president of PKG Realty Services, a real estate brokerage, and has shown the property to potential buyers.

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