IDA - Overdevelopment should not receive tax assistance!

IDA - Overdevelopment should not receive tax assistance!

November 14, 2022
Petition to
Nassau County Industrial Development Agency
Signatures: 395Next Goal: 500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Kate Goldberg

This new large apartment complex being developed at 733-741 Middle Neck Road CONTINUES TO ASK TO BE EXEMPT FROM PAYING TAXES, ALTHOUGH THEY WILL USE OUR SCHOOLS, AMENITIES, ROADS, SANITATION, SEWERS, ETC. And we will bear the enhanced tax burden. -- Please sign this petition.

We are opposed to the plan to grant tax exemption to a 60-unit high rise on 733-741 Middle Neck Road, 6 & 8 North Road.

This plan has been approved by the BZA in Great Neck in spite of vast public disapproval and concern.

A few years back the mayor had a “masterplan” to developing an incentive zone by piecing together properties in our Village.  After much uproar, the public finally “won” and that project was shot down.  Since then, however, in a piece meal manner, this “plan” appears to nevertheless be finding its way to fruition as the BZA approves building after building.

Currently, The Village of Great Neck has NO building inspectors, it just has one overworked Supt of Building.  How can buildings continue to be approved when they cannot be properly inspected during construction?

The developer of this particular project, Mr. Shemtov of Gesher LLC, has never acted in good faith. For years nothing has been done to fix the eye-sore of the property he purchased. There are holes in the roof and windows open to the elements, weeds all around. His plans grew from 20 units, to 40, to 60 without a public hearing.

Mr. Shemtov received a fine of $17,000 from the Village of Great Neck for breaking the Village code. On a Sunday, Mother’s Day, May 2022, when no work was to be done in the Village, he felled 13 trees at 6-8 North Road. He was never granted a permit to remove these trees, nor did he apply for one. Additionally, he cut down a tree on his private property on Arrandale Avenue without a VGN permit. For this infraction, he was fined $750 dollars and had to replace the tree with a new one.

The 733-741 Middle Neck Road project received a dozen of variances. Among others, a variance was needed (and granted) for underground parking as it reaches the property lines. A variance was needed as the building’s exterior walls will be located a mere 15 feet from a residential neighbor. Its size, lot coverage, and its apartment density exceed the zoning. There is absolutely no ground, garden, place for water run-off and, considering our weather patterns of late, that is a dangerous thing. 

There is no place for drywells for this building on the actual lot and so, as was mentioned at the hearing that took place on 9/13, drywells will be placed in the back yard of a private property at 7 Hicks Lane. 

There are plans for the entire ground floor to be used as an “art gallery”, not even to be subdivided to make way for retail or cafes or small offices which is truly what is needed on the north end of town! Why would GN need a gallery all the way north on the peninsula?  If we cannot attract people from outside GN to frequent our shops “down town” how can we even believe that a gallery will survive? 

The proposed 4,000 sq feet is larger than most NYC galleries, and if you follow art trends, small/mid-size galleries are closing down, and business is going virtual. 

The Village of Great Neck has an enormous percentage of properties already off the tax rolls; the parks – Village Green, Memorial Field, Parkwood Complex, the schools – North High, North Middle, Baker Hill School, the Village School, the library, Avalon apartment complex, churches and a proliferation of temples large and small and yeshivas. Our village needs every possible infusion of tax money – whatever is built at 733-741 Middle Neck Road needs to pay its fair share!

The property is located in the middle of a dangerous intersection of Middle Neck Rd/Hicks Ln/Arrandale Ave that is long, slow, and prone to accidents. It's used by many children walking/biking from the nearby school and sports complex. A need for improvement for this intersection was voiced for years, but instead, apartment buildings are added, increasing traffic and taking away tax funds needed for implementing infrastructure improvements.

When we constantly hear that a builder needs financial assistance (i.e., with tax breaks) or building assistance (i.e., with over-the-top variances) to make the project “viable” that should raise red flags; these projects should not move forward.  If you cannot AFFORD to build, or you cannot BUILD PER CODE…- DON’T build.  The Village of Great Neck is becoming an overcrowded city, with overcrowded and dangerous roads, overcrowded schools, and a stretched infrastructure. Additionally, tax exemptions for some make it even less affordable for all.

We hear that “young people” want this project and yet there are plenty of vacancies in apartments all around town. However, the huge garden apt. complex “Academy Gardens” on Middle Neck and Steamboat has been allowed to sit with the majority of the units vacant FOR YEARS as the owner hopes eventually to force out the few remaining residents and then to build yet another high rise. 

We have the garden apt. complex “Millbrook Ct.” that is in construction. We have apartment complexes at 777 Middle Neck Road, 523 Middle Neck Road, 240-250 Middle Neck Road, 105 Middle Neck Road, 55 S Middle Neck Road just approved. 200 Middle Neck Road and 213 Middle Neck Road on the agenda. 

There ARE apartments in Great Neck and there will be even more. But how many more can we afford without funding our stretched infrastructure?

If the property owner of 733-741 Middle Neck Road, Gesher LLC, Mr. Shemtov, wants to cram this project into our community in cahoots with our Village officials, sadly there is little that we concerned tax payers/ residents can do.  We’ve spoken our minds, written our letters, and been ignored.  But by all means, there should be NO financial assistance with tax breaks or tax forgiveness, or anything to HELP realize a project that would bring no benefit to the community. 

If this project succeeds in obtaining such assistance, that will open the door to others to buy properties, force out tenants (business and apt. dwellers), let buildings fall into disrepair and then claim they are improving Great Neck. This is manipulative, disingenuous, and sets a frightening precedent.

Support now
Signatures: 395Next Goal: 500
Support now

Decision Makers

  • Nassau County Industrial Development Agency