Condos OK’d for East Rockaway



The East Rockaway zoning board has approved a plan by the Jericho-based developer the Beechwood Organization to build 30 owner-occupied condominiums on the site of the rundown Davison Boatyard and Marina, just a few feet west of the Oceanside border.

Fifty-four condos proposed by Beechwood have already been approved by the Town of Hempstead for the lot, meaning that there will be a total of 84 units on the property, in six four-story buildings, with parking garages beneath them. Boat slips will be available for the condo owners.

East Rockaway’s zoning board, in agreement with the town, also approved a variance that will allow the buildings to be 40 feet tall — 5 feet higher than current regulations allow — and, more important, change the property’s zoning from waterfront commercial to residential.

The nearly 3-acre parcel, across from a Pathmark supermarket and near Mill River and the East Rockaway Long Island Rail Road station, is now the site of the Hurricane Sandy-ravaged and nearly abandoned Davison Boatyard, which dates back to the 1930s. The boatyard, which faces Atlantic Avenue and backs up to the bay, still does business on a limited basis, according to Tom Smith, supervisor of the village’s Building Department.

The property, owned by Franruss Realty Co. and C&D Atlantic Realty LLC, is within the jurisdiction of both the town and the village, so approval was needed from both municipalities. Four of the proposed six buildings will be under town control, and those 54 units will include both condos and townhouses. The two other buildings, with 30 condos, will be under East Rockaway’s jurisdiction.

“Work will start in 2015,” Smith said. “It will be a great improvement of that dilapidated piece of property — and an asset to the village and the surrounding businesses.”

Michael Dubb, Beechwood’s owner, said his company would now need the approval of the Nassau County Planning Commission, which should take a few months. “We’re hoping to start demolition in early summer,” Dubb said, “which would also allow [boatyard owner] Dan Schmidt time to store some boats for the winter.”

Dubb added that the units would be priced from the high $300,000 range to $400,000-plus. “The structure itself will be elevated,” he said, to allow not only for parking, but for the eventuality of future flooding.

“We’re taking an eyesore and turning it into a housing alternative to get young people started, and to maybe keep the seniors here,” he said. “It’s the type of project we need more of on Long lsland.”

“Transit-oriented homes serve an important need in providing convenient living accommodations for those who work in the city and use mass transportation,” said Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray. “Such projects result in fewer cars on the road during rush hour, and reduce our carbon footprint in the town.”