VGN tables decision on architectural, facade reviews for Middle Neck Road proposals

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The Village of Great Neck Board of Trustees unanimously approved to table the decision on architectural and facade reviews for two multi-family dwelling units on Middle Neck Road on Tuesday. (Screenshot by Robert Pelaez)

The Village of Great Neck Board of Trustees tabled the architectural and facade reviews for two multifamily housing proposals on Middle Neck Road during Tuesday night’s public meeting.

The proposal at 777 Middle Neck Road is a three-story multifamily project with 38 units (13 one-bedroom units, 21 two-bedroom units, and four three-bedroom units) and 80 parking stalls, according to updated plans presented by Paul Bloom of Harras, Bloom and Archer LLP. This is a shift from the most recently presented plans with 44 residential units and 79 parking spaces. The project’s developer is Lions Group LLC, with architectural aid from Newman Design.

Village officials reiterated that the proposal is an as-of-right project and that the developer is not seeking any variances.

Before a motion to vote on the project’s site plan, architecture and facade review, the village asked the developer to provide a rendering of all sides of the building and physical samples of materials being used in the building and identify the location of a sound barrier. Village Attorney Peter Bee said that the board is also permitted to conduct a vote on the SEQRA review, though that has not occurred yet.

Bee said the village received samples of the materials for the building and the identification of a sound barrier on the building.  Mayor Pedram Bral said he appreciated the schematic renderings that showed the elevation of the building but said the village anticipated seeing different renderings, including a visual of the proposed building next to neighboring properties.

“You’re expecting us to visualize something based on a schematic drawing with some colors … that’s what the requirement was,” Bral said to Brian Newman of Newman Design. “This, to me, does not look like what the actual building would look like.”

“With the exception of the east elevation, we’re really not getting a sense of scale,” Deputy Mayor Bart Sobel said.

“This is what the building is going to look like,” Bloom said in regard to the submitted schematic renderings. “This is the building, I’m not quite sure of any other building that has been approved by this board was required to have a two-dimensional ‘rendering’ as opposed to a one-dimensional one.”

The board ultimately decided to table the decision on the proposal until the next board meeting scheduled for April 20.

The other proposed structure is a four-story mixed-use building at 733-41 Middle Neck Road that is 44 feet high and features 60 proposed dwelling units, with 56 two-bedroom apartments and four one-bedroom apartments, 93 below-grade parking spaces, a recreation center and a public art gallery.

There are also amenity spaces for tenants that will include storage areas, a conference room, a lounge, a library and a small fitness center, according to the latest set of plans presented by John Farrell, who represents the developer, Gesher Community LLC.

The property is 34,849 square feet, according to Farrell.

The main facade is proposed to have exterior insulation and finish systems with a white stucco finish and the secondary facade is proposed to have a composite cladding with a veneer finish.

Bral said the proposal was missing a “wow factor” and Sobel said it had a bit of a “commercial look” to it. Bral suggested a window dressing to help make the windows “pop” more. Farrell said he appreciated the comments made by the trustees.

“We want this building to be a success and we want the village to be proud of it,” Farrell said.

The board unanimously voted to table the decision on the architectural and facade review for the April 20 meeting.

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