Mineola board OK’s four-story, mixed-use Main Street building

Jed Hendrixson

The Village of Mineola’s board has approved the application for construction of a four-story, mixed-use building at 86-88 Main St.

The building, which drew both support and criticism from residents and business owners, was approved at the trustees’ meeting Wednesday night.

The development, three-stories of residential apartments over commercial space, aligns with the village’s comprehensive master plan for downtown revitalization in the area, according to the board.

The goal of the downtown section of the master plan is to create a vibrant, walkable and accessible downtown that is a community focal point, the plan states.

The board previously reserved making a decision on the property following a second public hearing.

At that hearing, the board overall showed improved opinions on the project following adjustments by the development team to consider the board’s suggestions, including slightly increasing the size of the apartments, pushing back the fourth story of the building to align with the top of the neighboring buildings and adjusting the facade to blend with other downtown establishments.

Fox’s of Mineola owner Bob Fox, at both meetings, pressed the board on parking and congestion issues in the downtown area, which he said are affecting his business.

“With all that’s going on do we really need to over-stress the situation now and throw this development right into the middle of Main Street?” Fox previously said.

Multiple construction projects are currently underway in the downtown area.

In addition to the construction beginning on the LIRR third track expansion project, construction is underway at both the Village Green across the street to erect a 266-unit apartment building and between Harrison Avenue and First Street on Mineola Boulevard for a five-level, 551-space parking garage. Sewer work is also scheduled to begin on Main Street in the near future.

No timeline was provided for when the project construction will begin.

Mayor Scott Strauss also addressed an unrelated village matter, a contentious discussion on parking in Mineola with a resident disgruntled by changes to overnight parking in the commuter lots.

The board recently amended parking laws, banning parking from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. in several lots, to prevent the overnight and long-term storage of vehicles. The adjustment was to ensure that the parking was being used by commuters, Strauss said.

Village resident Theo Rabinowitz, who lives at the Town House on First Street, argued that the ban made an already difficult parking situation worse, but the board maintained that the lot is for commuter use and that there still 55 parking spots with no overnight restriction available just south of the Long Island Railroad station.

The abuse of commuter permits by residents seeking parking options is an ongoing issue in the downtown area, Trustee George Durham said. Durham added that the buildings residents are living in were built in years like 1955 and 1968 when parking was a non-issue.

The village also honored Mineola High School student Yesenia Hanif, who recently won a $50,000 scholarship to the college of her choice.

Strauss and the board presented Yesenia with a proclamation congratulated her on the award, which she received for winning an essay contest held by Univision/ACT Contest, Sweet 15: A Dream Achieved Contest.

Yesenia will also be partaking in a prestigious summer program at Oxford University, according to Deputy Mayor Paul Pereira.

Village Clerk Joseph Scalero was also commended by the board. Scalero was recently named the First Vice President of the state City & Village Clerks Association.

Scalero said that it is an honor to be recognized by his peers locally and throughout the state.

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