Redevelopment eyed for fire-damaged Steamboat property

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Ohr Haemeth, or Light of Truth, would be home to students and rabbis associated with a nearby synagogue. (Photo from Meltzer / Costa and Associates Architects & Engineers)
Ohr Haemeth, or Light of Truth, would be home to students and rabbis associated with a nearby synagogue. (Photo from Meltzer / Costa and Associates Architects & Engineers)

Great Neck village trustees took on site plan review authority for a proposal for 113 Steamboat Road on Tuesday night, hoping to turn the burned out property into a home for five apartments – down from its previous seven.

Angelo Costa, a Great Neck-based architect representing the owners, said the proposed development – Ohr Haemeth, or Light of Truth – would essentially be “a repeat of what it was before.”

113 Steamboat Road is currently unoccupied due to fire damage. (Photo from Meltzer / Costa and Associates Architects & Engineers)
113 Steamboat Road is currently unoccupied due to fire damage. (Photo from Meltzer / Costa and Associates Architects & Engineers)

“The property has been unoccupied for a number of years due to fire damage,” Costa said. “And the owners would like to restore its prior use with some improvements that I think will reduce its existing nonconformance.”

The three-story front building would be reduced to four units from five and the rear building would go from two to one. Both buildings would have sprinklers and not change in height, Costa said, while the property itself would be renovated and feature new landscaping.

The proposed development is across the street from Kollel Ohr HaEmet, an Orthodox congregation that describes itself on its website as Great Neck’s “Community Torah Learning Center.”

“The tenants will primarily be students of the synagogue and rabbis and their families while they temporarily stay and use the house for the synagogue across the street,” Costa said.

In unrelated village business, trustees unanimously signed onto a resolution that “flatly condemns” AirBnb’s decision to remove listings of homes in Jewish settlements within the West Bank.

Audience members applauded the move.

Trustees also discussed the possibility of granting parking permission in front of the homes of 31 Beach Road and 35 Beach Road for home aides.

The board directed the Building Department to follow up with the owners, inspect the area and see what can be done.

In other village business, David Zielenziger asked if any more details could be given about the village entering a contract to purchase and subdivide the property at 53 East Shore Road.

“We can’t discuss the ongoing transaction,” Trustee Bart Sobel said.

A Hampshire Road resident also expressed concern about a streetlight at her driveway being out.

At the beginning of the meeting, trustees also called for a moment of silence for Ray Plakstis Jr., a former deputy mayor, firefighter and business owner who died from cancer at 57. He made frequent trips to Ground Zero to help with recovery efforts.

The next Board of Trustees meeting will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 7:30 p.m. at 61 Baker Hill Road.

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