Everfresh is not expected to reach a July 1 deadline for the construction of a new facade, officials said at a meeting of the Village of Great Neck Board of Trustees on Tuesday night, although the business may be able to get an extension.
Robert Barbach, the building superintendent, said that based on Everfresh’s past behavior, the village began “to impose penalties for failing to meet certain commitments.” One of those was a deferred prosecution agreement involving the facade.
“With the deferred prosecution agreement, we received a bond payment of $10,000. That $10,000 … is available for us to take as a daily penalty of $500 if they do not complete construction by July 1,” Barbach said. “The reason we are bringing this to the board’s attention at this time is because I am observing they will not meet their July 1 deadline.”
“The applicant is not seeking anything,” Barbach added. “I’m looking to advise the board, since we are hurtling towards a deadline that may not be met and I would rather have brought this up in advance.”
Will Ardolino, a project architect for Mojo Stumer, which is designing the renewed facade for the grocery business on Middle Neck Road, said the delay has been a product of the construction market and complications with obtaining reasonable bids.
“The construction business right now is very busy and we’ve had a very hard time getting bids in – and it’s been about a month of bid processes up to this point,” Ardolino said on Tuesday. “We are meeting with a contractor tomorrow to review the project and move forward.”
Ardolino said another part of the delay was trying to make sure the facade change matches the design showed to the board, although a few changes are possible.
“We were hoping to maintain the doors in the new construction,” Ardolino said. “The only other revision is that we might replace the stonework with an efface that has reveals to make it look like stone.”
Mayor Pedram Bral said he wants to hear an update by Friday and see the signed contract with the contractor so the Board of Trustees can decide at the June 19 meeting whether to grant an extension to Everfresh.
“But until then, just talk alone, I don’t think it’s going to cut it,” Bral said.
Also paired with the facade makeover is the creation of a “pocket park,” which officials said is meant to serve as “a public space they are providing.” It would include trees to shield refrigeration units and dilapidated fences from view.
“The park and the facade are linked together with the refrigerated storage, and as part of a comprehensive settlement of all issues, they’re allowed to continue to use that parcel for storage if they build a park and they renovate the facade,” Barbach said. “And this board felt that was the right balance of issues to encourage them to do the facade renovation and build the park and allow them to continue with operations.”
Joe Gill, the village clerk-treasurer, also noted the presence of tax liens dating to 2014 on Everfresh property on which the village is collecting 12 percent interest.
“They can be issued a permit with delinquent taxes,” Gill said. “There’s nothing in the code that prevents that.”
In unrelated business, matters regarding the Millbrook Court apartments were adjourned to Tuesday, July 17.