A space on Old Northern Boulevard formerly home to the Nassau County Police Department’s 6th Precinct has been completely restored after being left vacant for about a decade.
The building is ready for new occupants, and welcoming business into the two-story brick site across from Soleil Furniture will enhance the Village of Roslyn, said Deputy Mayor Marshall Bernstein at a ribbon-cutting ceremony last Friday afternoon.
“We’re in need of successful commercial ventures in the village and that’s what this will turn into,” he said. “We don’t like empty storefronts.”
National Grid and PSEG Long Island supported the project by providing grants of just over $26,000 each as parts of revitalization programs the companies execute.
Michael Puntillo, the president of Great Neck-based Jobco Realty & Construction, purchased the building about two years ago and said he plans to sign with a tenant in the next couple of weeks.
“I’m just excited that I was able to restore the outside of this building and have beautiful architecture in this historic downtown,” he said.
When he bought the building through a bid with Nassau County, it was in total disrepair, he said.
“It was a disaster,” Puntillo said. “It was mold-ridden. Leaks. It was truly blighted.”
The building was constructed in the 1920s or ’30s, he said. In the 1950s it housed the 6th Precinct until the police station moved to Community Drive, he said.
Nassau County then operated it as a senior citizen center beginning in the 1970s. But by the time Puntillo acquired it, the building had been vacant for about 10 years, he said.
“Any downtown that you drive through and you see a blighted building, you’re not really likely to shop there or go to dinner,” said John Keating, PSEG’s manager of economic development.
The location is now complete with energy-efficient materials, LED lighting and new heating, ventilation and air conditioning units.
PSEG’s main street revitalization program has existed for about a year and a half and helps complete electrical systems for projects in business districts.
National Grid has had a “Cinderella Program” for more than 40 years. Grants support redevelopment in vacant spaces or for new developments.
The purpose is to support projects that restore existing spaces rather than starting from scratch, said Lyle Sclair, National Grid economic development representative .
“We want to see development in areas where we don’t have to go in and tear up the streets,” he said.
The Roslyn Landmark Society wrote a letter of support for the project when it was seeking the PSEG grant and the Village of Roslyn Historic District Board was involved in approving the design
“We really enjoyed the fact that it was going to be multi-use – either retail or office space – and that provides jobs, would open up a lot of opportunity for the Village of Roslyn and keep with the streetscape and ambiance of the historic district,” said Jennifer Lister, executive director of the Roslyn Landmark Society.