Covert Avenue, Centennial Hall properties discussed at Floral Park meeting

Covert Avenue, Centennial Hall properties discussed at Floral Park meeting
Floral Park's Centennial Hall. (Photo from The Island 360 archives)

Floral Park Trustee Michael Longobardi provided updates on the properties involved in the 2020 Covert Avenue fire and Centennial Hall during Tuesday night’s Board of Trustees meeting.

Longobardi, during the board reports portion of the meeting, said the demolition of the properties severely damaged in the fire nearly three years ago is nearing completion, with foundation work anticipated to start in the summer.

The village’s Architectural and Preliminary Site Plan Review Board approved plans for a new two-story mixed-use property on March 30. The Hillcrest on 43-61 Covert Ave. will include five retail spaces and 18 parking spots on the ground floor.

Longobardi said last month that construction can begin once Nassau County and its Fire Marshal’s office approve the new building.

Six businesses sustained major damage or were destroyed in the fire, while four others were damaged by smoke, Nassau County Assistant Chief Fire Marshal Michael Uttaro said.

Neighboring stores to Park Place affected by the fire included Villager’s Perk, Shin’s Tae Kwon Do, Luna Eyelash, Capo Ristorante, Covert Nail & Spa, Covert Barber Shop, Original V.I. Pizza, Covert Optical and K. Hunter Boutique.

Site plan approval for 1 Carnation Ave., the site of Centennial Hall, is also up for consideration on the county level, Longobardi said. The developer, he said, is submitting paperwork to demolish the current building, with demolition anticipated to take place over the summer.

The Floral Park Zoning Board of Appeals granted a variance request by Centennial Holdings, LLC, owner of the former Centennial Hall to construct 24 rental apartment units in July.

The decision eliminated three studio apartments of 503 square feet each from Centennial Holdings’ original variance request of 27 units. Along with eliminating three units, six parking spaces were removed from the original request of 54, now making it 48, two for each unit.

The Friedman Group purchased Centennial Hall, the 20,921-square-foot area that sits on the southeastern intersection of Tulip and Carnation Avenues, from the village in July 2018 for $1.2 million.

The purchase was part of a contract that would preserve the facade of the former Masonic temple and restrict it to residential uses only for 30 years.

The contract at the time called for 18 units in the 8,500-square-foot building and a triangular private park for building residents at the corner of Carnation and Tulip Avenues. As part of the contract, Centennial Hall will maintain its facade, the recognizable Greek Revival style four-column front of the building.

Village officials also expressed their gratitude to Deputy Clerk Rosaleen Shea, whose resignation from the village was unanimously approved and will go into effect on July 4.

“With a huge thank you and appreciation for all your hard work and everything you’ve done for the village, I’ll offer that resolution,” Longobardi said.

“I’ll second it with tremendous gratitude, affection and all the best wishes in the world,” Deputy Mayor Lynn Pombanyo said. “We know you’ll be a great success wherever you go.”

“Rose, thank you very much for everything,” Mayor Kevin Fitzgerald said.

The board also unanimously approved three roadwork resolutions on Tuesday, which included repairing a drainage issue at the intersection of Locust Street and Carnation Avenue, and removing and replacing handicap ramps along with sidewalk repairs on Harvard, Nassau and Lexington Streets.

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