VGN board OKs amended facade, site plan for UMJCA building

VGN board OKs amended facade, site plan for UMJCA building
Village of Great Neck village hall. (Photo from the Island 360 archives)


The Village of Great Neck Board of Trustees unanimously approved a proposal for a new facade for the Young Mashadi Jewish Center building in Great Neck as well as an amended site plan and a request for special use for the school that will be housed in the religious facility.

The center was granted permission to upgrade the facade, site plan approval and parking waivers and permission to have an outdoor pool by the board. No pool is currently on site.

The 73,000-square-foot building is located at 187, 189 and 195 Steamboat Road, a residential zone with a code permitting religious use.

Paul Bloom, of Harras, Bloom and Archer LLP, the law firm representing the project, said “the change in the facade material will be limestone. This will be used on three sides of the building.” The only side that will have stucco, which was previously approved, will be on the side that faces the Park District Maintenance Department.

Mayor Pedram Bral commented that it “looks like this is going to be a beautiful building.” The board concurred.

“The new amended site plan to move the building forward will provide better circulation around the entire building for both fire safety and the people utilizing the facility as well as increased parking on site and increased rear and side yard setback”, said Bloom.

These plans are being reviewed by the fire marshal’s office, which is not asking for any major changes or modifications, he said.

The application for special use required a permit to use the religious facility as a school. The lower level of the building plan shows nine classrooms in addition to the cafeteria and other items associated with a school. There is no increase in the number of previously approved classrooms, officials said.

“Having a classroom in a religious facility is probably more appropriate than having a basketball court,” Bloom said.

Village of Great Neck Building Superintendent Stephen Haramis interjected that “every classroom will require a strobe light and carbon monoxide detector.” Making sure that the building and everyone in it is safe is a top priority, he said.

Haramis concluded that there were no negatives in the proposal.

Bloom agreed and echoed Haramis’ emphasis on safety by stating that he had spoken to the fire marshal and confirmed that their fire trucks can safely make the appropriate turns around the building if necessary.

The board then welcomed Daniel Baker, of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, the law firm representing 777 Middle Neck Road, to the meeting. The applicant, he said, was seeking a  3 1/2-inch addition to the height of the three-story, 38-unit multi-family building.

Baker said the new height will allow the “appropriate room between floors to put in all the different plumbing and mechanical systems in place, as well as maintaining appropriate ceiling height for a marketable apartment unit.”

He also proposed an incentive of $65,000 in cash to the village community fund.

Baker assured the board that this will not require any material changes to the project or affect the shadow study that was originally done by Cameron Engineering.

“I want to remind the board that the height we’re seeking is not just for aesthetics. It’s really for the building to function properly”, Baker said.

After looking over the plans, Bral agreed that there will be no significant change to the shadow study and it would not negatively impact the community, which the board then approved.

The project’s developer is Lions Group LLC, with architectural aid from Newman Design.

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