Major projects in the works in Oceanside, Island Park for 2021

Mike Smollins Gfor LI Herald

Originally published in Long Island Herald

After a challenging 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, Oceanside and Island Park officials and local leaders are looking toward a 2021 full of projects and goals.

In Island Park

Island Park Mayor Michael McGinty said that village officials have plenty of goals for the new year, but noted that it was most vital for residents to continue their efforts to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“We, as a village board, want to emphasize the importance of voluntary social distancing, the wearing of masks and hygiene,” McGinty said in a statement. “As we enter into the New Year, I want to wish our residents good health, love and happiness in 2021.”

McGinty said the firm H2M Architects + Engineers has completed the design and engineering phase of the resiliency and hardening project for the second floor of the village’s Emergency Management Center, which includes the Island Park Fire Department, and is being funded by the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery. The department provides emergency services to residents of Island Park, Harbor Isle and Barnum Island.

Additionally, complete design and engineering for the three-phase, $40 million infrastructure and storm mitigation project for the village will be submitted to the Department of Homeland Security later this month, two months ahead of schedule, McGinty said.  The initial phase of construction will span Suffolk Road, from Island Parkway to Lancaster Road, and portions of Hastings, Warwick, Radcliffe and Quebec roads are slated for construction. The first phase will include installation of hydraulic flex valves for flood and storm mitigation along Suffolk Road. Funding for the project will come from a consortium of federal and state departments, with additional money from the state Department of Transportation.

Last year, village officials oversaw the completion of the firefighters’ training center, and plans are in place to put the finishing touches on it this year. Officials are also planning to finish the resiliency and hardening of the Department of Public Works garage.

“On behalf of the village board, I would like to pray and wish for outr residents a successful year on the fronts presented to us,” McGinty said in a statement. “I believe this year, we are on track to see firsthand the revitalization and renaissance that Island Park is close to realizing.  As a municipality, we have goals for the New Year, and as such, I would like to express our gratitude to our residents for the opportunity to see these goals and projects to fruition.”

Other major projects in Island Park that are overseen by Nassau County include the redevelopment of the Long Beach Motor Inn and road repairs to Austin Boulevard.

Last February, county officials voted to go through with the sale of the Long Beach Motor Inn to Patricia Abramson, of Merrick, who wants to build 18 to 22 one- and two-bedroom apartments at the site, on Austin Boulevard in Island Park.

“The Long Beach Motor Inn is a seedy, run-down eyesore that is dragging down property values, while not contributing anything to the tax rolls or the community,” county spokesman Michael Fricchione said in a statement after the vote. “The proposed development will help Nassau County cope with its housing crisis, which is marked by a disturbing shortage of available rental units.”

The county also plans to complete a long-awaited $8.9 million repair to Austin Boulevard. The project is one of 12 large-scale plans that county officials and labor leaders hope to fund with help from a $503 million federal infrastructure stimulus for the county that is now under consideration by Congress.

Requests for comments on the status of both projects were not returned at press time.

The Island Park Chamber of Commerce also has big plans for 2021.

Construction on the Long Beach Bridge is slated to take place from Jan. 4 through February. The goal is to improve parking and driving safety, according to Chamber of Commerce President Barbra Rubin-Perry. She added that the chamber is working closely with County Legislator Denise Ford, a Republican from Long Beach, and McGinty to obtain all the information on dates and areas where work will take place, and relay that information to its members.

She said the chamber has also worked with Hempstead Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito to acquire personal protective equipment and financial aid for businesses and has distributed grant information from State Sen. Todd Kaminsky, a Democrat from Long Beach, and Assemblywoman Melissa Miller, a Republican from Atlantic Beach, to them as well, and will continue to do so in the New Year.

“The Island Park Chamber of Commerce will be working with our members to flourish and grow in 2021,” she said.

In Oceanside

Developers have set December this year as the completion date for a $60 million, 230-unit apartment complex on Rockaway Avenue in Oceanside, dubbed Woodcrest Village Park.

Richard Donnelly, the property manager, who works for the Manhattan-based Broadwall Management, which also has an office in Levittown, recently said the project is about 40 to 50 percent complete. He added that work began last winter, and crews are now completing the floors on the building’s third level.

Donnelly said that despite a small number of objections from the community, he thought it was a project that Ocean-side needs, because it will offer luxury rental apartments, which he said the area lacks.

“There are hardly any rentals in Oceanside, period,” he said. “There are very few rentals, and it’s going to be a luxury-oriented building. It’s going to have a community room and a gym, so it’s going to have some amenities.”

Requests for comment from the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce on its goals for 2021 were not returned at press time.

Work will also continue on the Ocean-side Library’s Vision 2020 initiative in the new year, after voters approved the $33.5 million bond in June.

The projects mark the first renovations to the facility in 25 years, and will fund the renovations of some of the library’s rooms, enable the facility to host more programs and shows and enhance security while making the building more environmentally friendly and safe, officials said.

“We look forward to rebuilding the library to serve the needs of our community for decades to come,” Library Director Chris Marra said after the vote in June. “We know these are difficult times for many, and we cannot thank the community enough for their trust and support.”