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Developer proposes apartment complex for site of vacant Mangrove Feather factory in Lynbrook

Community meetings set for April 1 and 6


A developer who is seeking to build a 210-unit apartment complex at the site of the vacant Mangrove Feather factory has invited the community to take part in two meet-and-greets to learn more about the project and offer input.

David Orwasher, the chief development officer for the Garden City-based Breslin Realty, planned to meet with residents on Thursday, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the Lynbrook Knights of Columbus hall, at 78 Hempstead Ave., after the Herald went to press. He planned to host another meeting at the hall on April 6 at the same time. The second meeting will also be available virtually, details of which will be posted online at a later date (see link at the end of this story).

“We’re very excited, and the board is open to all interesting projects that come to our village,” Mayor Alan Beach said. “We look forward to the public hearing.”

Beach added that a date for the public hearing had not been set. The next board meeting is scheduled for April 5, but Beach said he was uncertain if it would be scheduled then, since it is a day before Orwasher’s second meeting with the community.

The Mangrove Feather factory has been dormant since 2008, and several village administrations have sought to develop it, but it took many years to persuade the owner, Barry Singer, to sell the property, which residents and village officials have called an eyesore. Orwasher and Singer began negotiating a deal in November 2017, and finally reached one last month. Orwasher said he thought the site was a perfect spot for housing because of its proximity to the Long Island Rail Road station and to downtown.

“This is a classic transit-oriented development,” he said. “It’s literally across the street from the village train station. It’s also going to replace a derelict building that has been vacant for over a dozen years. This particular location occupies what we believe is a pivotal location within the fabric of the village downtown.”

The building would also include a parking space for each unit, with the first two stories serving as a garage. The complex would comprise a mix of studio and one- and two-bedroom apartments, but Orwasher said he did not have the breakdown at press time. Among the amenities would be an outdoor recreation deck, a sun deck, a chess table and more, he added.

If approved by the village board, construction would take 18 months to two years. Orwasher said he was uncertain if developers would seek a PILOT, or payment in lieu of taxes, but stressed that if they did, the village “would not be diminished one nickel in taxes,” and that the project would help grow the tax base. Additionally, he said, the building would contribute long-term jobs for building support and local contractors, as well as construction jobs while it is built. Orwasher was unable to provide the project cost, but noted the negotiating process was an arduous one.

“We’ve been working on the ideation and creation and analysis of the site for some time,” he said.

Orwasher said the building would be step toward alleviating pressure on empty nesters and millennials to maintain and establish roots on Long Island by giving them an option to stay put. He also said he would use the two meetings to learn what the community wants.

“We are seeking feedback,” he said. “We’re trying to understand what folks would like to see, and there are some levels of elasticity, and we’re trying to build a good and consistent neighborly outreach to support the asset and the contribution that this development will deliver.”

To learn more about the project, or to access the virtual link for the April 6 meeting when it is posted, go to restore4347broadwaylynbrookstation.com.