A development firm caused a stir in Lynbrook last week when it posted fliers in the neighborhood and revealed plans on social media to build an 18-unit luxury condominium project in the village.
The proposal, called Parson’s Corners at Lynbrook, would be built at 161 Union Ave., where a sushi restaurant now operates, and would have a mix of one- and two-bedroom units. The request for the project was filed with the village’s Building Department by L.I. Building Corp. on Sept. 1, and the cost has not been determined.
The plan drew the ire of some residents because it came without much warning, and the developer announced meetings about it at the Knights of Columbus on Sept. 16 with little notice.
Mayor Alan Beach said he was caught off guard by the fliers, and noted that the village board of trustees had not held any hearings with the developer, so the project is far from finalized. He also referred to a statement he made on Facebook.
“It’s come to my attention that a development group held an informational meeting for residents regarding a proposed residential condo development at 161 Union Ave.,” the statement read. “I understand only residents adjacent to this property were notified of this meeting. It is my expectation that any developers in our village hosting informational meetings provide adequate and reasonable notice to the public before moving forward with a proposal, so all interested residents have an opportunity to participate. As of now, no matter on this parcel has come before the village board.”
If the development were approved in the next three months, it would be the second major housing project in the village this year. In June, the much-maligned Capri Lynbrook Motor Inn was razed, and the $24 million, 80-unit Cornerstone at Yorkshire apartment complex will soon replace it. Beach noted that its developer, the Farmingdale-based Terwilliger & Bartone Properties, received approval from the village board after hosting several meetings at which it heard community feedback and after a public hearing, which he said would be the only way a development project would be approved in the future.
L.I. Building Corp. did not return requests comment on the project at press time, but a post on the Parson’s Corners at Lynbrook Facebook page revealed the project plans.
“Our intention is to remove the restaurant building and its related structures from the property and totally upgrade the property with a new two-story, 18-unit condominium with a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments,” the post reads. “The project will represent a significant aesthetic upgrade of the property and will introduce an attractive and much-needed use to the community.”
The units would be sold, not rented, and updates on the project will be posted on the Facebook page and the village’s website going forward, according to the developer.
Beach said the board would schedule a public hearing at a later date, but for now it was focused on community feedback. L.I. Building Corp. posted on social media that it started the process transparently by inviting residents who live within 200 feet of the proposed project to the initial meetings, and that it planned to host more meetings that will be open to others in the future.
Residents have compared the lack of information about the project at its outset to Terwilliger & Bartone’s initial plan for the downtown, the Cornerstone at Lynbrook, which would have included a $75 million, 200-unit apartment complex and $10 million 400-space parking garage downtown. That proposal was eventually nixed because of resident backlash.
“The original Cornerstone project still is very raw, and now that that’s happening where the Capri was, a lot of people are upset,” Elizabeth Margulies said. “. . . I would have to think if a developer is interested in some land, we as a village should have an opinion. I think we would be happier if we had some input in it.”
Margulies said she would like to see condominiums for seniors and eco-friendly construction plans.
Ivy Reilly, who lives on the border of East Rockaway and Lynbrook and has two children enrolled in Lynbrook schools, said she would also be a proponent of senior housing, noting that it would not add children to the schools.
“I think we should do a 55-and-older community, because something that we really lack is affordable housing for our older community,” Reilly said, “and they can’t move out of their houses and downsize in Lynbrook because there’s not a lot of opportunity for that. If Lynbrook is seeking out developers, then they should find developers that will give the community what it needs.”
Beach said that nothing is finalized as of now, and more information about public meetings and an eventual hearing would come in the future.
“There is nothing planned. Nothing has been approved,” he said. “I want the whole village to know what’s going on. Something of this magnitude is going to affect more people than those living within a 200-foot radius, so that’s not the transparency I want to show.”