Liebowitz was referring to the Shulamith School for Girls, which also bid on the property. The Woodmere school houses students from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade. Its bid was $10.5 million, while the JCC of the Greater Five Towns bid $9.1 million. There was also a bid from the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach, for $9.5 million, and another from an unnamed developer.
Ari Cohen, president of Shulamith, said he thinks the school’s bid is a better choice, because it would maintain the ball fields and other recreational space on the 10-acre property. He added that he is prepared to rally community members to vote “no” on the referendum to sell. “We are organized,” Cohen said, “and … we can engender a lot of community opposition.”
Benjamin Weinstock, an attorney representing Simone Development, said there would be informational meetings to explain the developer’s plans. The entrances and exits of the medical facility would only be on Branch and Peninsula boulevards, Weinstock explained, and the side of the property that faces residential streets would be extensively landscaped. The ball fields and recreational space — basketball and handball courts — would be converted to parking, but the playground would either remain where it is or be moved to another part of the property. Approximately 360 parking spaces would be required, based on the size of the building, according to the Town of Hempstead’s building code, he said.
“The entrance will be inside the L [shape] of the building, and traffic studies will be done,” Weinstock said, adding that the medical facility would be open seven days a week during business hours.