Playhouse public hearing pushed back to Dec. 9

The public hearing for the First Playhouse developments has been pushed back to Dec. 9 at the Great Neck Estates Village Hall. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

A public hearing for the First Playhouse redevelopment project in Great Neck Estates has been postponed until Dec. 9.

The village board took the action at a meeting Monday, delaying a hearing that had been scheduled for Nov. 11.

“When we made this date, we asked the petitioner to provide an amendment of their plans, an updated SEQR review, as well as a traffic review based on the new construction that’s been approved in the vicinity of the playhouse,” Mayor William Warner said, referring to an environmental review.  “We have not, as of yet, seen either of those items.”

The First Playhouse on Middle Neck Road showcased Broadway-bound plays and vaudeville acts starting in the mid-1920s, including the works of the Marx Brothers and F. Scott Fitzgerald in its heyday. United Artists bought the theater in the 1930s, but it closed in 1983.

Albert Shirian and his development team have proposed to develop the property into a 20-unit apartment building with retail space.

During a Sept. 9 meeting, Warner and the board granted the developer, the First Playhouse of Great Neck Corp., a Nov. 11 hearing on the project.  No action has been taken by the developers since then.

Shirian and the other developers were not available for comment.

“Even if they handed it all in tomorrow, we would need to be able to read over and analyze all of the documents,” Warner said on the justification for pushing the hearing date back. “We need the aforementioned items by Nov. 1 so we can be able to take a proper look at the documents to be ready for the Dec. 9 hearing.”

According to the board, the developers did present an initial environmental impact study, or SEQR review, along with a traffic study, in March. Since then, the board said it has been made aware of several potential changes to the developers’ proposal. If changes have been made to those plans, it would require updated paperwork.

The board also approved the appointment of consultants to review the amended plans, whenever they arrive.

“We need to appoint consultants to properly review the plans, and we want to have them so we can be ahead of the game for when the plans are submitted,” Deputy Mayor Jeffrey Farkas said.

According to Warner, the board received submissions from several consultants, with the ultimate decision being to hire the hybrid consultancy of Cameron Engineering and Notaro Grupp Associates.

Cameron Engineering, with offices in Manhattan, White Plains and Woodbury, is an engineering firm with experience on municipal, institutional, commercial, industrial and environmental projects.

Notaro Grupp Associates, located in Glen Head, has been involved with local projects such as the New Hyde Park Village Theater, the Town of Oyster Bay athletic facility and the Manorhaven Beach Park pool renovation.


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Robert Pelaez

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