Community center pitched for United Mashadi Jewish Community in Great Neck

Janelle Clausen
A side view of the proposed Mashadi Jewish Community Center. (Photo rendering by Mojo Stumer)
A side view of the proposed Mashadi Jewish Community Center. (Photo rendering by Mojo Stumer)

The United Mashadi Jewish Community presented early concept plans for a community center for its roughly 7,000 members to the Great Neck Board of Trustees on Tuesday night.

Allen Hakim, president of the United Mashadi Jewish Community, said the private building aims to strengthen the Village of Great Neck while offering more programs that would bring young people together in a healthy and safe environment.

“It’s about our youth, it’s about our Great Neck future, and it’s to have our children and grandchildren to come back to our beautiful town,” Hakim said.

According to the site plan, the United Mashadi Jewish Community wants to build a four-floor building at 189-195 Steamboat Road with nearly 70,000 square feet of usable space on three stories and a roof pavilion, as well as a 24,450-square-foot basement.

The site plan of the building. (Photo from Mojo Stumer)
The site plan of the building. (Photo from Mojo Stumer)

Among its features would be a playground, senior lounge, auditorium for cultural programming, multiple gyms, fitness centers and a swimming pool.

The building would take up 31.8 percent of the nearly two-acre lot, above the 20 percent maximum allowed by code. The building height is also above the 30 foot maximum allowed, with it measuring 50 feet to the parapet and 58 feet to the pavilion roof.

Mark Stumer, the principal of the architectural firm Mojo Stumer, described the proposed facility as a “fun building” usable for various activities while being “very respectful of the street.”

Additionally, according to the plan, there would be 115 feet three inches of street frontage and a 115-foot front yard, totaling about 230 feet of space between the building and Steamboat Road.

“We have texture and movement versus flat walls,” Stumer said of the building’s exterior appearance. “Everywhere we can, we have the concept of this building having its own identity and activity.”

Stumer also said that the building, due to the sloping of the area, would also appear lower than its actual height.

Currently, the plan calls for 216 parking spots with the actual required amount “to be determined” by the Board of Trustees.

Resident Jean Pierce pointed out on the plans that the additional parking area on the designs, in part, spreads into Kings Point Park, which is managed by the Great Neck Park District and asked if the group has reached out to the district.

Hakim said the group’s officials have had conversations with the three park district commissioners and superintendents and that they are “fully on board” with the community center project.

Great Neck Park District Commissioner Bob Lincoln confirmed on Wednesday that they had “general conversations” with the United Mashadi Jewish Community about the proposed center.

Village officials also stressed that this is an initial concept and that specific questions can be addressed at future meetings.

When asked by resident Amy Glass if there would be enough supervising adults at the facility, Hakim said safety is of paramount importance.

“We’re not going to sacrifice an inch for our children,” Hakim said.

Peter Bee, the village attorney, said it could be a long legal process to get the community center approved, including early environmental review, a zoning analysis stemming from a subdivision, approval from the Nassau County Planning Commission, creating a wastewater disposal plan and other steps.

Stumer said it would be an “adjunct facility” to the Mashadi community.

In other unrelated village business, North Road residents raised concerns about illegal occupants and speeding on their street, which they argued amounted to a public danger.

“This is not the way that we can live,” one resident said.

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