Floral Park weighs plans for historic Centennial Hall

Floral Park weighs plans for historic Centennial Hall
Gerry Bambrick, the Floral Park village administrator, presents plans for the redevelopment of Centennial Hall on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Photo by Noah Manskar)

Floral Park’s historic Centennial Hall could house doctors, lawyers, accountants or condominium owners under four proposals the village has received for its renovation.

Village officials publicly revealed details of the plans, submitted in response to a request for proposals issued last October, for the first time at a meeting Tuesday night, the latest step in a two-year effort to redevelop the 92-year-old village-owned building.

Two of the plans call for 18 to 20 rental apartments or condominiums; one would create up to 26 offices; and one would build five apartments above a medical office space on the ground floor, village Administrator Gerry Bambrick said.

Village officials stressed that no decision has been made, and said the village could scrap all the plans if the public favors none of them.

“This is, again, to hear what you want to do with this building and what you see given the information we have now,” Mayor Dominick Longobardi said.

The village started looking into the future of the deteriorating former Masonic temple, located at the triangular intersection of Tulip and Carnation avenues, in early 2015. It had been used for village functions and as a home for the Floral Park Historical Society, but currently sits empty and draped in scaffolding.

Because negotiations are ongoing, officials did not reveal the names of the firms or how much they would pay for the property. But Bambrick said they are all established developers on Long Island, and three of them have experience with historic renovations.

All but the proposal for offices would leave space in the building for community use, and all four would maintain the building’s architectural character, Bambrick said. The village prioritized those factors in its request for proposals, which was developed with the real estate firm CBRE.

The condominium plan would offer 2,175 square feet for public use, including a museum space on the first floor. The apartment and mixed-use proposals would leave the entire basement to the village.

The office and apartment developers would also build a pedestrian walkway over a wooded area across Tulip Avenue to provide better access to the village’s Creedmoor Spur parking lot, Bambrick said.

Construction periods for the projects range from six to 16 months, Bambrick said. The condominium plan would add one story to half the width of the building to create a large penthouse unit, he said.

The village gave the proposals to a focus group of four residents to get feedback before Monday’s meeting, Bambrick said. The village Board of Trustees will now get “final and best offers” from the four developers before deciding whether to pursue one, he said.

“Right now, I guess you could say there’s these four choices, plus a do-nothing-with-the-property choice, or the village does something to renovate the property,” Bambrick said.

Several of the more than 40 residents at Monday’s meeting expressed concerns about the plans’ impacts on parking and traffic at an intersection that some said is already dangerous.

Residents of the nearby Flowerview Gardens cooperative apartment complex said they were worried construction would prevent them from parking in Centennial Hall’s parking lot, forcing them to walk three blocks home from their cars.

“I just ask that you truly consider the adverse effects on current citizens of the village before we get any new residents,” Pat Carrmody, a Flowerview Gardens resident, said.

Chris Schneider, a village resident, said he did not want to see the building become a busy medical complex like those on Marcus Avenue in Lake Success. Another resident, Patricia Hogg, said the process was taking too long and that the village should raze the building.

A villagewide parking study will examine the Centennial Hall area, and a traffic study will likely be done in connection with any development project, Longobardi said.

“The parking situation is something we’re taking very seriously,” he said.

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  1. Knock it down and build a park. It’s in a weird traffic triangle with and there is no way it can support parking for 15-20 apartments.

    The village never should have bought this building. It was all an over reaction to fears it would be turned into a mosque and the taxpayers are now carrying the burden of this mistake.

  2. They should give the building back to those masons and charge them rent. The town was foolish to purchase it and the the drive was bas based on racism.

  3. I do not approve of the plan you have for centennial hall. You are making Floral Park like China. Congested and polluted. We have enough people now. The pool area is over crowed. We will be adding the residents of new homes on Magnolia and tenants from Koenig’s. You are adding insult to injury by making Centennial Hall a rental complex! Why aren’t you thinking of the future?! We need more space, a better and larger library, and more room at the pool. The sanitation equipment there could be moved to the post office, why the sump is made into a parking lot


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