Village of Great Neck nears closing of 756 Middle Neck Road property for new village hall

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Village of Great Neck nears closing of 756 Middle Neck Road property for new village hall

The Village of Great Neck Board of Trustees on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution authorizing Mayor Pedram Bral to go ahead with the purchase of the 756 Middle Neck Road property to be used for a new village hall.

The board voted unanimously to approve the purchase of 756 Middle Neck Road for a new village hall in mid-June.

On Tuesday, the board authorized the mayor to execute an agreement to purchase the site from Nexgen Properties for the negotiated price of $800,000.

Village officials said that the village engineering consultants, H2M architects + engineers, did not disclose any hazards on the property during the due diligence period.

Village Attorney Peter Bee said the due diligence period for the village was scheduled to expire on Wednesday, which allowed for an additional 10 days afterward to schedule a closing with the seller.

“Sometime over the next 10 days there should be a closing,” Bee said. “That’s not a hard or fast 10 days. I don’t think that the seller would walk away at day 11 or 12, but the contract calls for a closing 10 days after the due diligence period expires.”

Bee said that if the closing did not occur, the village would be in violation of the contract unless the village bailed out of the deal Tuesday.

“This is a parcel that we have looked at acquiring in different ways,” Bral said in June. “I think it would give the board the latitude to move forward with what the board has been planning for a while now, to move the Village Hall to Middle Neck Road.”

Bral said that this would allow the board to sell the space housing the current Village Hall to the school district for it to be able to expand.

Plans to sell Village Hall were floated to the board more than a year ago, before the COVID-19 pandemic, as a way to help relieve stress at E.M. Baker Elementary School, which is located right behind the building.

The proposed sale would aim to alleviate any concerns that the district could have trouble accommodating more children, by providing more space. Given social distancing requirements, this may be necessary for educators.

Resident Rebecca Gilliar said the developer of the property has been trying to unload it and no one would buy it. Two years ago, Gilliar said, the developer offered the property to the mayor, for permission “to invade the residential area of Arrandale Avenue, which residents learned about and opposed.”

Village resident David Zielenziger also inquired about how the paper files and documents would be transferred over to the new village hall or if the board had considered digitizing them.

“I do believe we have the program [to digitize files], but we just need to finalize when this happens,” Bral said. “Obviously we are not going to move in a couple of months, we have time to discuss that. But the plan has been and is to digitize those paper files because they’re difficult to move and to keep them the way they are, the possibility of them getting lost also exists.”

Village Clerk Abraham Cohan said the cost to digitize files in the Building Department is around $225,000 to $250,000.

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