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Builder unveils plans for Marine Street

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A planned development that would plop two large buildings on Marine Street has City Island residents hot and bothered.

The architect and lawyer for the owner of the Marine Street waterfront property attended a City Island Civic Association meeting on Tuesday, November 24 to present an updated development plan. The plan calls for 32 apartments spread between two, two-story buildings, 93 parking spots and public waterfront access.

CICA president Bill Stanton declared the planned development out of context with older, nearby buildings. Stanton would prefer to see a handful of roomy houses on the property, a former maritime facility. Such houses would fit his vision of an upscale island.

“We’re not anti-development,” Stanton said. “We’re anti-overdevelopment.”

He admits that the Marine Street property will eventually see construction.

“Let’s face it…unless people already on City Island want to buy up every vacant lot…development is going to occur,” Stanton said.

Many on City Island are wary of developers determined to squeeze residential units onto properties, developers indifferent to neighbors’ concerns.

“Many islanders are on edge because we’ve been hit several times by developers who’re building beyond what we feel is the tenor and the tone of City Island,” Stanton said. “When I see what’s going on in Westchester Square with homeless housing, I’m concerned that if large properties remain unsold, builders will resort to trying that here.”

In the past year, owners of two-family homes on City Island have received solicitations stating that they could fetch higher rents if they housed distressed families.

The planned development discussed on November 24 sits at the east end of Marine Street.

“We’re taking about waterfront property that a lot of people want,” Stanton said. “I would much rather see five houses going for $2 million each. The word ‘affluent’ in this current climate seems to be a dirty word. I think that affluent people want to live and invest on City Island. At the same time, it’s a great place for any people, in any tax bracket.”

Reach reporter Patrick Rocchio at 718 742-3393 or procchio@cnglocal.com

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