At 10 a.m. on Sept. 7, an excavator crashed it’s arm down into the side of one of the buildings in the blighted Village Square property in Glen Cove, signaling the start of this major downtown revitalization project, which Mayor Reggie Spinello has said is just as important as the Garvies Point Waterfront project.
City officials and some community members gathered at the intersection of Bridge and Glen Streets to watch the first steps of the demolition.
Property owner and developer, Uniondale-based RXR Realty, began the started the process by demolishing the buildings above ground. Following that will be the excavation stage, which is the demolition of the foundation and everything below ground. RXR is in the process of acquiring a building permit for the construction of the 16,500 square foot public plaza, retail space and 146 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments on the 2.66 acres of property.
“Ten years in the making, this project is very important — obviously it’s the basis for the revitalization of the downtown,” said Mayor Reggie Spinello. “This is another great step for Glen Cove.”
The project will result in about 225 to 300 construction jobs, 65 full-time jobs after completion, he says, and hopefully attract young professionals to the area.
“I’ve been waiting a long time personally, having lived here for more than 35 years; this whole area has been an eyesore,” said Republican Nassau County Legislature District 11 candidate Zefy Christopoulos. “But it also marks a new chapter in Glen Cove’s history — progress. It’ll launch the revitalization of the downtown. We need people to have a vibrant downtown, we need businesses.”
Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, who is running for reelection as a Democrat, was not at the demolition. Her aid responded by email that DeRiggi-Whitton did not want to comment on the project at this time.
This long-awaited demolition comes after more than seven months of the city’s Industrial Development Agency’s push toward eminent domain, after a doctor’s office owned by All Island Realty refused to sell their portion of the property, delaying the project. However, the office will be temporarily relocated during construction and move back into a condominium in the new retail space after the project is complete.
A contract is between RXR and All Island has yet to be finalized.
At the planning board meeting on Sept. 7, a minor subdivision for the public plaza and condominium subdivision for the new doctor’s office in the Village Square was approved.