By all accounts, 2018 should be a year when Lynbrook and East Rockaway get things done. Local officials said that a number of important projects were nearing completion as 2017 drew to a close, and should be completed in the new year.
On Atlantic Avenue in Lynbrook, near Merrick Road, the new Regal movie theater is 95 percent complete, and Lynbrook Mayor Alan Beach said he hopes it will be a boon to the downtown business district.
The old theater was razed in 2016. With the new theater, Beach said, “we trust that increased attendance will help support the business district and provide a great entertainment venue for our residents, both young and old. This will have the synergistic domino effect that will encourage other businesses to thrive and new businesses to form.” The $21 million theater “should be open in the next 90 days,” Beach added.
It will have 1,434 seats — 160 fewer than the old one — but the new structure’s footprint is larger than that of the old theater, so 51 parking spaces had to be eliminated. Village officials have said they are confident there will be adequate parking to accommodate theatergoers.
In addition, representatives of Impressive Parking worked out a deal with the village and the owners of the Pistilli building, at 303 Merrick Road, to offer valet parking for moviegoers in the building’s 121-space garage for $5 per car.
Beach said that signs would be installed in the spring to direct theatergoers and other business patrons to municipal parking spaces. Village officials also reorganized unused spaces that were designated for Long Island Rail Road commuters to make them available.
Officials are also working to fill a major vacancy that has plagued the downtown for more than a decade, at the site of the Mangrove Feather factory, at Broadway and Langdon Place. In November, Beach and the board of trustees met with the Garden City-based Breslin Realty Development Corp. and Larry Singer, the building’s owner, in the hope of striking a deal to build rental apartments there. “One of my first efforts as mayor was to speak to the owner of the feather building,” Beach said. “He was pleased I reached out to him, and promised that either he or a partner will rehab the building to make it an asset for the community.”
The building would have 102 one-bedroom apartments and 111 parking spaces. On Jan. 22, Breslin representatives are scheduled to present details of the proposal at the village board meeting. A public hearing will then be opened, at which village officials will invite residents’ input.
Beach also addressed the issues surrounding the Capri Motor Inn, which has been a village nuisance for many years, officials say. Last spring, Mayor William Hendrick, who died last fall, formed a committee, led by Beach, to hold hearings to determine whether the building’s owners should have their room-rental licenses revoked after a series of crimes there. Beach said that village officials are working toward a resolution. “There are various developers who are presently in talks with the owners of the Capri for possible redevelopment to another use,” he said, noting that one possibility would be to turn it into an assisted-living facility.
Other initiatives in Lynbrook include a multi-million-dollar road-improvement project that would fix more than a dozen streets in the spring, replace water and gas mains, add 17 new intersection security traffic cameras and initiate many beautification projects, which would be funded by grants.
The Marina Pointe condominium complex on the Mill River, at Atlantic and Ocean avenues, is expected to be complete in June, but residents will start moving into units in the coming weeks. The complex comprises 84 condominiums, and is being developed by Jericho-based Beechwood Homes.
“Beechwood Homes advises the target move-in date continues to be early in the new year, with January, though likely February,” said Suzee Foster, a Beechwood spokeswoman. “Timings are always estimated.”
The complex will include 54 suites and 30 villas, each with open floor plans. Homes will feature hardwood floors and plush carpets in the bedrooms. Balconies and elevators are optional.
“This will certainly be a benefit to our local businesses and restaurants,” Mayor Bruno Romano said. “The residents of these condos will certainly be able to enjoy our wonderful waterfront park area, recreation programs, along with the senior programs.”
Romano said there are also many projects that he and village officials are excited about in 2018. He noted that the Recreation Department would add new children’s and youth programs in the coming year. In addition, the village will introduce a senior bus shuttle, which will enable residents to get to and from the Senior Center, and offer field trips in the summer.
While there is much to look forward to, Romano said, there have been issues with filling vacant businesses near CVS on Atlantic Avenue. He said the lack of parking in that area is a concern, and that village officials are working closely with the Chamber of Commerce to address the problem.
“I would love to see some clothing boutiques and other outfitters,” Romano said. “However, retailers are not ready to make the investments yet. I believe that after one retailer establishes themselves in our community, then others will follow suit.”