New Development Proposed for Superblock

City looks to settle legal matters pertaining to the six-acre parcel.

The Superblock in Long Beach. (Credit: Joe Kellard)
The Superblock in Long Beach. (Credit: Joe Kellard)

The owner of the Superblock will officially propose a new development at the long-vacant property this week, while the City of Long Beach seeks to settle all litigation pertaining to the six-acre parcel.

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Shore Road-Long Beach Superblock LLC, a subsidiary of the property owner, Manhattan-based iStar Financial, has submitted an application to the Long Beach Zoning Board of Appeals seeking a height and density variance for a mixed residential and commercial development on the Superblock property that is bound by East Broadway, Riverside and Long Beach boulevards and the beach.

While the zoning board’s hearing on the application is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, iStar representatives will first unveil their plans for the new development at the Chamber of Commerce meeting schedule for Park Sports Bar & Grill, 20 W. Park Ave., at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The plans include two 14-story residential luxury apartment towers with a total of 500 units and 950 parking spaces, as well as a promenade adjacent to the boardwalk with shops and restaurants, according to the Long Beach Herald.

For the proposal to move forward, however, the city must first settle a lawsuit filed against iStar and the property’s former developer, Pilevsky and Philips International, which also owns the Long Beach Cinema 4 at the northeast corner of East Park Avenue and Long Beach Boulevard.

According to the city, the City Council first held a meeting on a new development of the Superblock in February 1979, which was followed by 35 years of meetings, public hearings, planning and litigations while the property has remained vacant. Under current circumstances, millions of dollars in undetermined condemnation costs and legal fees still need to be paid as part of an agreement with Pilevsky. In 2011, the city filed suit against iStar, Pilevsky and Philips International’s subsidiaries. But last April a State Supreme Court judge denied parts of the city’s claim and pushed the municipality to settle with  iStar and Pilevsky, the Herald reports. City Manager Jack Schnirman said:

“After decades of litigation, we believe that the city’s longstanding lawsuit against the current owners of the Superblock, iStar, and the former owners of the Superblock should be settled. The Superblock project is one that has been talked about for decades, and we are extremely hopeful that this privately owned vacant lot will finally be developed into something that benefits our entire community.”

Toward this end, the City Council on Wednesday will vote on a resolution to have the city’s corporation counsel settle outstanding litigation with all the parties involved, including iStar and former owner and developers of the site — Janow Associates, LLC, Shore Road Development Partners, LLC, Shore Road-Long Beach Superblock, LLC, and Philip Pilevsky — for $5.2 million paid to the city.

The resolution notes that the settlement would include construction and installation of new sewer and water mains from East Park Avenue south to Riverside Boulevard at the Superblock, the reopening of the Hurricane Sandy-damaged movie theatre, and “any additional fees and charges required by the city.”

Penquin January 22, 2014 at 12:34 PM
Lobster - I miss Dicks Bar - fun in my early adulthood
Dave Watts January 22, 2014 at 12:48 PM
Plan it right, and get to it. Mixed use, and don't use taxpayer money (shouldn't need to). While we're at it, develop the bay side- lot's of potential if it is also planned right.
Lobster January 22, 2014 at 12:49 PM
I miss it too, for me, it really was my home
Penquin January 22, 2014 at 12:53 PM
I remember when LB was fun before it became the land of no, and wasn't overtaken by yuppies.
irene g January 22, 2014 at 01:41 PM
I wonder how many private home owners and apartment dwellers in the immediate area are aware of this proposal Maybe they should be encouraged to come to zoning board and city council meetings
Eddie January 22, 2014 at 02:51 PM
The developer states these are to be "luxury rental" apartments. Bur remember that the Long Beach Democrats have partnered with Sustainable Long Island to bring "free-choice in housing" to Long Beach. That means Section 8 garbage. Look who the Democrats have brought here in the past two years, look at how they have crucified, discouraged and bankrupted market rate rental property and you be the judge of what will be moved into the Superblock.
larry teague January 22, 2014 at 03:43 PM
"luxury rental" is another term for Shokrian (dem leader's client) who has another "luxury rental" building across the way on broadway which isn't rented. so what is to become of this if it isn't rented? what happens when they don't come through with the parking spaces (can you say Allegria?)? what happens when the plan changes after construction begins (can you say Long Beach Hotel?)? now let's sit back and watch long beach and it's dem club and dem leader go to work. have fun long beach
sue erlik January 22, 2014 at 03:51 PM
Definitely all rental!! 522 of them!!
Eddie January 22, 2014 at 04:42 PM
luxury rental or Section 8 make up your mind, which do you want? Democrats bring in both or none? Just the same people against everything, posting garbage.
Laura January 22, 2014 at 06:06 PM
You really think the Democrat City Council or the Democrat Zoning Board cares even one bit about what the public feels? They are bought and paid for and the fix is in. Arguing about a variance is stupid. The variance is granted. Anyone have enough money to challenge Vanderbilt's trust fund manager in court? Just watch what kind of cars our Councilmen drive next year and watch where they move.
Eddie January 22, 2014 at 06:39 PM
I agree with L, that "the fix is in." These places are being built, the variances are already written. Perhaps if the taxpayers make enough noise, after all the NIMBY complaints are aired we'll get them knocked down to ten or twelve stories. But is anyone going to ask the real questions? What are WE getting out of this? What are the taxpayers getting out of a development that should bring in an additional $4,000,000 per year in taxes? Will we see a tax decrease, or will the City simply give its hacks raises and hire more hacks? How will this affect our property values? What will the infrastructure costs be to the taxpayer? Will the City Council's Economic Opportunity people grant the developer a ten or twenty year tax abatement that we'll have to pay? Perhaps a bigger question is why a developer would want to create 522 apartments in a market which right now has a high vacancy rate? I doubt he's a fool.. What does he see that maybe we don't? It's simple to say that Section 8 is in his plans, but if that were the case, Section 8 housing would be sprouting like mushrooms; the fact is it just isn't profitable. This is an interesting project to watch. I don't like it, but I want to learn more. Let's hold the Council's feet to the fire and make sure the taxpayers get something out of everyone else's profits.
Publius January 22, 2014 at 08:41 PM
Go to ZBA meeting tomorrow night. Talking on here is good for organization, but attendance and voicing opinions at meetings needed to affect decisions.
Eddie January 22, 2014 at 09:07 PM
That empty lot look really good. I can understand why you would want to keep it that way. To bad we will lose all the parking spots for the fair. Maybe they will get new cars from the Boardwalk money - 44 million and they won't have to live here anymore. Many the new cars is because every idiot in Long Beach didn't leave for Sandy so everyone has a new car. We can all agree they are idiots.
Jenn January 23, 2014 at 07:55 AM
Where is the ZBA meeting tonite? And what time will it be held?
moe January 23, 2014 at 08:13 AM
Herald says 900+ car parking. The end is the lot needs to be developed its a horrible eye sore and waste of space. You can't make it a park or whatever else the loons want cause someone actually owns it. And we already have a few10-11 story buildings so 12ststories should not be too bad. And I doubt you're gonna build a brand new luxury building right on the beach/water and put section 8 in there. I understand the NIMBY mindset but if you wanted to be a part of the discussion then your apathetic butt should have reached out to the city council and forced your way into the conversations with Zapson and Kohut.
moe January 23, 2014 at 08:17 AM
City Hall 6th floor tonight at 7pm
Brian January 23, 2014 at 08:28 AM
There should be no subsidy. The age of subsidy is over.we have schools closing , bond ratings tanking, hospitals closing, roads in need of and local gov looking to wax the tax payer for full medical after 5 years? 14 stories is way too high.They need to bring it in line with the rest of the buildings.It would be nice if they could incorporate some kind of public parking facility as well. It is a transient town after all. They need to do something with this space nothing is not a option .....but in no way should this be subsidized 1 penny nobody is forcing this builder to build here.
Fred Barnes January 23, 2014 at 08:55 AM
Go to zoning meeting tonight. they want 14 stories or more not 12 floors. push back so we can get lot developed but in a reasonable way.
Trying to Make Sense January 23, 2014 at 09:14 AM
Correct Publius, the devil will be in the details and they need to be presented with time for feedback given the magnitude of the financial and hometown cultural impact on the taxpayers. I understand the frustration that leads to the "Let's get it done already" reaction of some. However the potential for positive is only as great as the potential for opportunistic excess and bad decisions that change things in a way that we might regret. If there was priority brought to public input meetings for the boardwalk, the there should be no rush to move this project along without public vetting
Neutron January 23, 2014 at 12:01 PM
I went to the presentation that iStar did at the Chamber of Commerce meeting last night. I went in with an open mind looking to learn about the project and the pros and cons for Long Beach. So for those of you interested in hearing the information iStar presented last night here you go. The building will have 522 rental units. The target audience for the rentals is older empty nesters that want to downsize and young couples that can't yet afford to buy a home. Nassau county has some of the lowest availability of rental properties in the United States. Combined with the cost of living here, this is why your kid is living at home until he is 30, living in an illegal rental, or they just move out of New York. There will be 1.75 parking spots for each unit (around 975), which meets the zoning code, so they do not need a parking variance. Entrance to the parking lots will be from Long Beach Blvd and Riverside Blvd. There will be no parking lot access from Broadway. The development will have 11,000 square feet of retail space on the boardwalk. Depending on the size of the stores and/or restaurants will determine how many businesses that could fit. Could be up to 7 smaller stores, a big restaurant and two or three stores. There are various things that can be done with the space. The taxes on the completed site will add several million dollars to the city's coffers each year. For those of you shooting this down before hearing the details, you should know this. The site is already approved under an old deal to have three 10 story towers built on it. Two of the towers would be apartments and one would be a hotel. It is already approved and they could start building that immediately if they wanted to. The three towers would have a much larger footprint and obstruct views more than the new plan being proposed. The new plan has a smaller footprint and much more open space. So be careful what you ask for...you may like the alternative much less.
moe January 23, 2014 at 01:18 PM
Thank you neutron . And to your last point, think if the people who live behind the grandell who opposed shokrians development of the garden apartments next door. They fought the original plan and the second round that got approved was worse than the first. Millions in tax revenue? If so bring it on cause I don't want to hear a damn word out of Mandel, Goggin, Zapson or Kohut about the need to raise taxes cause they have been spending like drunk in sailors.
Lobster January 23, 2014 at 01:19 PM
Would love to open another Dick's on the corner where it use to be.
Eddie January 23, 2014 at 02:38 PM
Thank you Neutron. Yes, Lobster, those were quite different times. But you have to remember the humanities who lived in the site housing back then: The Commodore? It was Asbury Park type stuff.
Penquin January 23, 2014 at 02:54 PM
I have fought, but there are times I feel I am wasting my energy. There is so much $$ behind of all this, that it is beyond my comprehension. The whole plan is disgusting - hope those 1000 folks don't have to all drive down to the Meadowbrook in the morning rush hour - if so, plan on an extra hour. Hate this city more and more with every waking moment.
Trying to Make Sense January 23, 2014 at 10:52 PM
Just came back from the Zoning Board presentation impressed by what I saw and heard with respect to the Superblock development proposal. Nothing Bugsy Siegal about it at all Bob, rather well designed, thoughtful, and community positive. They have minimized the footprint improving sightlines, included significant setbacks and landscaping, have been thoughtful with commercial space and access from the boardwalk, even including an addition to the boardwalk between the buildings and the stores for sitting areas and attractive accomodations for the public. And most important, it is financially viable for the developer while improving LB's tax revenue stream. I am impressed at this point but look forward to any specific meaningful criticism that challenges the project as it has been presented.
Penquin January 24, 2014 at 12:17 AM
Bob, It's just getting too crowded for me here. But can't leave because I take care of my parents. removed. You should write to him. Also try the Herald on line. Also Patrick Whittle is our Newsday correspondent and Patrick will be following the story. Also, write to Joseph Kellard and express your opinion of the Patch problems - he is very kind and helpful. Lastly, sign onto a site called Long Beach Matters To Me. There are some very smart, educated folks on that site. Very informative. I have other sites as well. Write to me if you have any questions. The Penquin
Jenn January 24, 2014 at 10:06 AM
Did any of you attend the zoning meeting tonight??? There was a lot of questions that didn't get answered. Not to mention half of the community isn't aware if this!!! This is a big decision that will effect OUR future here in LB! It will set a precedence for future building. Do we allow them to put in a high rise! Denise Ford said it would be the 3rd highest in Nassau county. LB will not benefit with this structure! It is privately owned. Also it has already been approved for the standard highest zone for 10 stories. No changes can/will be made in regards to parking, or how much retail space parking and I've seen people suggest of family oriented ideas listed on imagine LB. Not happening here...! This meeting was strictly zoning for the height and density. These apts., will be small 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom apartments starting at $3000. They couldn't answer a question regarding "if they put up one building and it's not successful, they might not finish the project" so then we will be "stuck" with one high rise and unsuccessful retail units smack in the center if town. Not to mention the amenities that probably won't get finished. Btw some misinformation regarding their pool which would be indoor/outdoor. It's not for public use people! It's for the residence. Also, lacking in their presentation was the "front" of the building... I saw other views but not looking south from broadway. They keep saying at the meeting, that the building will be 50ft from the street and it will have landscaping but they fail to show the 24ft wall to a parking elevation. No, we see the view from the water showing you the lovely greens and park like setting, which is only for the residents of said complex. And also the picture plays with your eyes because you can't see the true elevation of the parking/park/pool. In addition, they address that they could sell it to whomever if it was not successful... it's privately owned. Questions regarding water supply/issues etc were not addressed. They claim studies regarding shadows on surrounding areas... But what about sunsets viewing the west if you are living in direct line in the southeast?? Please people I know we have sooo many issues hurting us in all directions here in town, sandy recovery, insurance, school issues, hospital but we need to he involved with this! Now! They vote next month on this! Please contact ZBA! Please have them think out these issues. I've only touched on a few... No one asked about flight patterns either... Considering how close we are to JFK! They fly low here... Again write, send emails, call ZBA please tell them your concerns. I lastly will say I'm an not opposed to building even one that is 10 stories. That lot has been an eyesore and needs development. But I want the ZBA and iStar to hear our concerns! I know I don't want 15 stories in my backyard!!! Because that is literally what I will see, a VERY tall building.
Penquin January 24, 2014 at 12:20 PM
Jenn, I wrote and expressed my opinion to ZBA and addressed some of your concerns and some different ones. Do you think anyone in Long Beach gives a sht about us? This is big $$ and it was approved before the meetings. Realtors and politicians having orgasms.
Trying to Make Sense January 24, 2014 at 05:01 PM
Penquin, Jenn's concerns read somehat NIMBY and you seem to have a nostalgia for a LB that was, but can never be again. Jenn, you raise some reasonable questions, but you also seem to be assuming that the block that has been sitting there to be developed must adhere to standards that perhaps maintain your ocean views or the aesthetics that you appreciated at the time of your purchase. Not so, me, you, Penquin, and Bob need to realize that in order for LB to deal with its many financial and infrastructural challenges, developing revenue creating mixed use is vital, and that particular parcel is especially valuable for that purpose. I understand why Jenn wants every answer to her concerns and empathize, but there is no "perfect" development and this particular plan seems to address many concerns while creating financial viability for the developer whose capital is driving it. Penquin, yes, capital can be called "big $$", and realtors may be happy, you have the right to "blame" them for that or realize that there must be some other policies, say STAR tax relief, that make you happy, but don't paint them with a innuendo laced descriptor. Politicians who keep hearing the same refrain...lower my taxes BUT improve infrastructure, maintain the status quo I like, and improve services at the same time, they should be happy to have more tax revenue to work with given an electorate that wants more for less and sees abuses everywhere, except, of course, in their own way of doing business and their unwillingness to really understand the issues that vex them. I, too, remember and love the smaller town LB, with the locals enjoying neighborhood beaches, and repairing to Chauncey's or a Dirty Dick's for a cheap beer. It's 2014, and there is are new visions in a more populated LB that needs new formulas to grow and prosper. But no, you or I don't own the sunsets or beach views. That the developer has been sensitive to our concerns in the redevelopment of the old approved plan, that it is targeted to empty nesters and young professionals who will likely use the LIRR more and not stress the schools, that ideas like Zip car rentals and public access pocket parks in the commercial space are included, all of these are positives that we should consider as we accept the fact that change is the only constant. For LB and LI, dynamic change, smart redevelopment, is one of the only tools we have to prevent economic stagnation and improve our community. Written with respect for all and the willingness to rethink my position based on new information.
Sent from my Lear Jet January 25, 2014 at 04:19 AM
ZB members have always been selected for their obedience to to the political boss that appoints them. Usually they are newbies to LB and have little knowledge of LB's history. They do what they are told to do by the boss. They want to get ahead politically. A typical tactic of the political boss is to have his client ask for something ridiculous like 14 stories and 900 apts and then "reduce it" to 12 stories and 800 apts or another much too big figure. The limit was 6-7 stories years ago, that's why the older buildings are shorter than the newer. Thus the political boss gives his client/benefactor exactly what they asked for and the dopes (the people of LB) think that the ZB did their job. Anyone laboring under the impression that the ZB is an independent decision making authority has rocks in their collective heads. Fact is, that the ZB is a puppet show that does what the boss/string puller tells them to do. It must also understood that the current boss is a real estate lawyer.


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