Plaza inches closer to apartments approval after discussion of wiring concerns

Joe Nikic

The owner of a Middle Neck Road jewelry store seeking to convert office space above his shop into apartments addressed electrical wiring concerns last Wednesday at the Village of Great Neck Plaza board meeting.

Danny Arbusman, president of Jewels By Viggi, said he would be able to move the electricity wires located in front of his store, located at 65 Middle Neck Road, because they do not power his shop.

Arbusman applied for a conditional-use permit in June to convert the second floor of his building into two apartments and add a third floor, which would house two more apartments.

Currently, the wires feed power to Nardo, a clothing retailer located at 31 Middle Neck Road, according to Arbusman.

“This cable mainly serves Nardo, not us,” Arbusman said. “Our power comes from a manhole under the ground. PSEG will remove it and bring the power to Nardo from across the intersection.”

The Board of Trustees originally expressed concerns that firefighters would be hindered by the wiring should there be a fire.

Arbusman said the wires could be relocated in two weeks, weather permitting, once a fee of $4,660.32 is paid to PSEG,

He said the pole to which the wires are attached also contains other wiring that serves other customers, which would also have to be removed.

Village of Great Neck Plaza Mayor Jean Celender said she spoke to Cablevision and found that they do not charge money for moving their wires, but there are other companies with wiring on the pole that may charge to relocate them.

Celender would like to see the wiring moved underground.

“It is something that is a desirable thing. It helps the aesthetics,” Celender said. “The more we can get underground is better, which we’ve tried to do over time, and our utilities are in agreement with that because that saves them effort. It is a proactive measure that they appreciate as well.”

Arbusman also asked for a $4,600 credit on the $25,000 fee he has agreed to pay rather than supply the six spots necessary for the residential part of his property, if approved.

Trustees deferred decision on the request  because Village Attorney Richard Gabriele was not present at the meeting to advise the board on whether it had the authority to grant the credit.

The board adjourned the conditional-use permit hearing until its next meeting on Sept. 2 to further discuss specifics of the project and the requested credit with Gabriele.

Trustee Gerry Schneiderman said he was happy with the progress of the project.

“I’m glad to see we’re moving forward with this because I think this is something we want to do to help bring people downtown,” Schneiderman said.

Also at the meeting, trustees approved a modification to an existing permit for Pinpoint Fitness, located at 14 S. Station Plaza, to add a Yoga Studio and increase the maximum capacity of people from six to 18.

Pinpoint Fitness will be merging with Bonda Yoga to open the Violet Light Yoga Center, located on the bottom floor of Pinpoint Fitness.

Bonda Yoga will officially close on Aug. 23, with the new yoga center opening on Aug. 29, according to Bonda Yoga co-owner Laurie Ahlemann.

“We’re happy that they will remain in the village. That’s a good thing,” Celender said. “We don’t like store closings.”

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Joe Nikic

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