Tag Archives: HALB

HALB-Development / Zoning Board Meeting. Thoughts, concerns, etc.

I’m hearing there was a packed house at the zoning board meeting last night, the main event being the proposed-towers over at the Hebrew Academy [HALB] property.

Sam Pinto, who attended and spoke, told me the following:

“On the developers side, there were many engineers, finance guys and lawyers present. They made statements about the impact, including Police, Fire and EMS services. When challenged or questioned by the ZBA, The claims were not really substantiated with any relevant facts, data or appropriate studies. There was also a lot of finger pointing by the developer on how some Environmental Impact Studies also were incomplete. Continue reading HALB-Development / Zoning Board Meeting. Thoughts, concerns, etc.

Aaaaand really good reasons why we should be against the HALB-development proposal [OPINIONS]

Regarding: HALB PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT. IT’S NOW DOWN TO 9-STORY TOWERS. PROTESTERS WON. NOW LET’S FACE THE INEVITABLE. [OPINION]

I want to say that my article wasn’t directed toward the overdevelopment group. It was more about NIMBYism that plagues Long Island, in general. I obviously don’t want to see Long Beach lined with skyscrapers, à la Miami Beach. I’m more of a smart development kind of guy. Personally, I would rather see more development near the LIRR and downtown, but I’ll save that for a different article.

So here is the other side of the coin. All really good points, I might add.

Sam Pinto via Email: “The new plans are actually worse for community than last ones. They are pretty much playing at Tetris game by moving the 3 stories from on top of the 2 outside towers to now create a third tower. Creating less “pass through”. They are also confusing people by talking “stories” but not included the FEMA or parking floors. So 9 stories is really 11 or 12, and 6 is really 8. Density wasn’t really improved on and a plan of this magnitude will still cripple the infrastructure.

 

Jimmy Hennessy via Facebook: “There’s one single question everyone should focus on, in order to be granted a variance the developer must show a hardship. What exactly is the “hardship”? The developer needs to make more money? Not happening. If there is not “hardship” they should be NO variance.


James Lynch via Facebook:
 An independent cost benefit analysis needs to be done, on this project and all like it. We don’t even know the value of this property nor the related costs to build this project . Benefit vs detriment, you cant claim a hardship if you don’t even own the property, why should the community give up its quality of life to benefit one entity.

Long Beach Neighbors Against Overdevelopment via Facebook
: Our motto is, and will continue to be, “Develop, but don’t Overdevelop”. That site where the HALB project is being proposed is zoned for a certain height, a certain lot coverage, a certain density, and a certain side yard unobstructed. The developer’s new, revised proposal still GROSSLY violates these codes. The developer is currently proposing a project whose 2 towers are more than three times what is permitted, and whose middle tower is more than two times what is permitted. This new project has more than two times the permitted lot coverage, three times the permitted obstructed side yards, and has approximately two times the permitted density. The zoning codes were created for our protection, as well as for the benefit of the various neighborhoods they effect.

While we appreciate your opinion, and your thoughts on the matter, we don’t agree with your assessment of the situation. True, through the actions of our group, and the neighborhood in general, we were able to have the developer reduce the height of the towers from 189’ to 125’. Additionally, the developer did reduce the density of the project. However, when a developer starts with a project that is so ridiculously outlandish, reducing the project to something which is still dramatically out of character with the neighborhood and in violation of the building codes is still not acceptable.You ask “Honestly, what do you folks realistically think is appropriate for that lot? You can’t just stop all development because of a few lost views. Is there a water issue? Is there a sewer issue?” We will answer these questions. First, simply look at the numerous waterfront townhouses and condominiums along the boardwalk from Lindell Blvd & W Broadway to New York Ave & W Broadway. These are examples of responsible building which enhances, and does not hurt, the neighborhood. Second, yes, this will make the water issue in Long Beach even worse. If you live here, then ask yourself if there has been a dramatic increase in the frequency you have “brown water” running from your pipes over the past 10 years. Third, yes, this will make a sewer issue worse. The sewers and drainage in ground level homes, businesses and apartment are already significantly slower – an increase of units twice the number of what the property is zoned for will not help these issues. These are only some of the issues caused by this overdevelopment.

We expect the developer who buys that property to do so in order to make a profit. We are not opposed to the developer making a profit. However, we cannot, and will not defend or support a developer who overpays for a particular lot because of what they “think” they can build, or creates the alleged very hardship they now claim mandates the massive project.

We are meeting tomorrow at 7pm at Long Beach Catholic to provide more information. As always, we welcome your presence.

HALB Property development. It’s now down to 9-story towers. Protesters won. Now let’s face the inevitable. [OPINION]

This opinion is going to be so unpopular (and I kinda don’t care).

That beachfront Hebrew Academy of Long Beach  (HALB) property: The original 73rd Meridian-plan called for two 15-story buildings with eight townhouses with a total of 166 units. The second proposal scaled down to two 12-story buildings, eight townhouses and 130 units.  What’s the latest? Ben Strack, writing for the Long Beach Herald tells us:

“Now 73rd Meridian has proposed two nine-story, 120-foot-tall structures with 294 parking spaces — 30 percent more than required, according to the developer. The new project would also include a six-story, 85-foot-tall building in the center of the property as well as a previously planned clubhouse, and have a total of 126 units. [LINK]

Less density, more parking, shorter towers. The overdevelopment people won. You got these towers knocked down from 15 stories to 9. BRAVO!!! Now let’s allow the inevitable: development of that property the only way anybody with money would ever want to develop it. 

I know it’s cool to say “stop the overdevelopment,” but what else do residents want on that property? A park? Of course! But technically, there is a park in that area already. It’s called the beach. You all want a large parking lot, right? Nobody in their right mind is going to buy that multi-million dollar beach-front property for a parking lot just because “it’s the right thing to do for the community.” Would you? That is, unless you won the lottery or found yourself in a Brewster’s Millions situation.

Honestly, what do you folks realistically think is appropriate for that lot? You can’t just stop all development because of a few lost views. Is there a water issue? Is there a sewer issue? That, I can get behind, but then our city should just say it and stop entertaining all these proposals. Us folks in Long Beach live in an extremely rare situation where there is beachfront property that’s just a train ride away from the greatest city in the world. Single story family houses for that plot just isn’t going to cut it.

BUILD, BUT DON’T DESTROY. Isn’t that what those signs say?

I wrote this back in August and I’m sticking by it:

“I love the message on the sign: Build, But Don’t Destroy. I try to make some sort of effort of not being a NIMBY-type, so I am for development. I feel it’s extremely unrealistic to think that we can stop all beach front development from happening. The last thing I want is to live in a community filled with dilapidated-looking buildings. With that, as a community we must ask ourselves: What kind of progress do we want? What kind of progress can we sustain? And, what’s the deal with zoning? Should the city come up with a final plan that we all can agree on? AKA: It’s either this way or no way.

Some past SBTC articles on this topic

 

Long Beach Neighbors Against Overdevelopment [HALB property and beyond?]

2016-08-14 16.18.58-1

Long Beach Neighbors Against Overdevelopment is a new grassroots movement that’s building momentum as a direct response to the proposed towers at 530 West Broadway. This property is the current home of The Hebrew Academy of Long Beach [HALB]. See the following articles on this topic:

While the developers did come back and shaved a few stories off from the original plan, I do agree they are still way too big. Also, are we really seeking more retail on the boardwalk? If that’s the ultimate goal with boardwalk redevelopment, we might as well junk all the stores on Park Avenue. How many downtowns can this city sustain when [in my opinion] the main one is faltering?

I love the message on the sign: Build, But Don’t Destroy. I try to make some sort of effort of not being a NIMBY-type, so I am for development. I feel it’s extremely unrealistic to think that we can stop all beach front development from happening. The last thing I want is to live in a community filled with dilapidated-looking buildings. With that, as a community we must ask ourselves: What kind of progress do we want? What kind of progress can we sustain? And, what’s the deal with zoning? Should the city come up with a final plan that we all can agree on? AKA: It’s either this way or no way.

For those who are interested in joining the movement, visit them on Facebook @ Long Beach Neighbors Against Overdevelopment

More on those ‘HALB’ Towers

Photo Credit: Angelo Lomonte
Photo Credit: Angelo Lomonte

A little bit more on those HALB-property towers (530 W. Broadway). The developers are reaching out to the Civic Associations first. That’s why it was shown at last night’s Westholme Civic Association meeting. If you want to know more about this project, I suggest you find out from your civic if and when they get the same presentation.

  • 166 units in total, mix of 1,2 and 3 bedrooms
  • Condos for now. possibly open for rentals. ‘going to feel the market out.’
  • SINCE these are condos, I believe that means no IDA.
  • 2 towers, but the height appears to be changing. I heard 15 stories each with 2 levels of parking. But I also read it’s 15 stories of units, 2 stories of parking and 2 stories of penthouses (that equals 19! stories!!)
  • adding to above, one resident tells me: “I heard it was two 13 story towers with 8 townhouse between them all over a 2 story parking structure.  The sale price is dependent on the variance received.  The larger the variance, the larger the sale price.  $1,000 for square foot for an average of $1.4M per unit. 166 units in total, mix of 1,2 and 3 bedrooms.
  • The developer proposed a coffee shop , seating area and storage lockers as amenities for the city.  (So does that mean we get free coffee?)
  • Apparently residents there started laughing right when they were shown the rendering. I was also told how nobody asked who was going to built it (unions, etc.), as they are just so against it, they didn’t care to ask.