Preliminary plans for the Village of Great Neck’s new village hall were presented during the Sept. 14 Board of Trustees meeting.
After a handful of meetings between the board and architects, the plans for a new village hall, which will be located at 756 Middle Neck Road, were finally presented to the public by Mark Stumer of Mojo Stumer.
The proposed three-story building is 35 to 40 feet high and features a larger lobby, Building Department office, a second-floor courtroom, a variety of conference rooms, and a third-floor reception hall. With height concerns about other proposed developments raised by a variety of residents in the past, Stumer said that the structure will not “overpower” neighboring buildings.
“We don’t want to overpower the end of that street,” he said. “We want to really be an element that becomes a beautiful, respected building.”
Also featured in the proposal are benches, trees, a pedestrian courtyar, and an outdoor terrace on the third floor. Public parking will be available in the rear of the building, with two handicap parking spaces directly next to the back of the building. The first floor of the building also has two entrances, one in the front and one in the rear, that lead into the same lobby, Stumer said.
“The pedestrian experience is extremely considered in the overall layout of this,” Stumer said.
The building’s exterior, he said, is a “governmental-type facade,” with the village seal prominently placed outside the Middle Neck Road entrance. The facade includes some wood around the entrances and side streets, with a majority of the building featuring limestone and long, narrow windows.
A portion of the roof will also feature solar panels, Stumer said.
“The building will look aesthetically the same whether we have an opening tilting window or a pivot window or not,” Stumer said.
Contrary to other developments presented to the village in recent years, the proposal met with a good reception from residents present at the meeting.
“The courtyard with the benches is a very nice idea,” resident Jean Pierce said.
Pierce expressed concerns about potential loitering during the night, but Stumer said proper lighting or the potential of a chain to have the courtyard closed off would deter people from intruding after hours.
Deputy Mayor Bart Sobel touted the work of the village and Mojo Stumer to create a village hall that would benefit all of the village’s residents.
“We often hear negative things when we present new ideas and we at the board worked hard with Mark Stumer,” Sobel said. “This building was designed for many generations to come and for future residents to enjoy and get the best use out of it. I think the village deserves that.”
“I think this is a really positive move,” Stumer said. “It’s only going to get better.”
“I think this is really remarkable,” Mayor Pedram Bral said. “It would be interesting to celebrate the 100-year birthday of the Village of Great Neck with this concept of a new village hall.”