LIMBA-Taubman Mall at Oyster Bay Property Development
January 20, 2012 @ 12:00 am EST
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Dan Perkins working as a consultant to Taubman, the company that is proposing the Mall at Syosset made a presentation at LIMBA this morning
Taubman builds malls for high end retailers and they are company that builds specifically to their own standards, and they enjoy a reputation for quality. They intend to have Nordstom, Barney’s and other quality retailers in this mall
The development they are proposing will have good access to an excellent network of roads. The site was, in the past contaminated, but Taubman put the resources into the property to clean it up in 2004. While this has been termed a "Mega-mall" it is only 39 acres, a fraction of the size of Roosevelt Field, and 2/3 the size of Walt Whitman Mall.
According to Perkins the property is zoned industrial. Indeed it is surrounded by industrial users, so the impact on residential users is quite minimal. The commercial use as proposed by Taubman is the issue, but according to audience member and former utility executive Dr Matt Cordaro, that site was once considered a prospect for a baseload energy plant. An industrial use of that nature would provide few jobs and would seem to be less desirable than the new proposed use.
The mall construction would provide 3500 union scale jobs. The resulting 2000 retail jobs in high value merchandise would be quite high as well. It is expected the salaries would be about $80 million for the people working there. There would be about $5million dollars in tax revenues paid in local real estate taxes, and there would be little or no stress on the local school system. The presenter made many good points including Taubman’s reputation of being a good neighbor.
We at LIMBA are fortunate to have many experts in various disciplines. The following piece was contributed by another LIMBA member, traffic and planning expert Arvind Vora.
"Zoning laws have basic purpose of maximum utilization of land for the well being of the people in that jurisdiction, i.e. Village or Town. For the health of our body well balanced diet is necessary so is the balance use of land for the well being of our communities. For proper use of land master plan is devised and every generation or so it is updated to accommodate changes in our lifestyle and changes in the society.
The land where Upscale/Boutique Mall is proposed is currently zoned as an industrial use. Person of Taubman’s stature knows very well that buyer of property undertakes a substantial risk if contemplated purpose of the land is other than industrial. Community would have no ground to oppose any industrial use but they are well within their rights to oppose change of zoning. One can think of many creative industrial usages where traffic mitigations, community/school opposition and host of other factors commonly labeled NIMBYISM do not play a role. Newly invented chip by IBM or host of high tech product can be manufactured here.
As to traffic the land is bounded by best possible transportation network i.e. highways & railroads. Both Northern Parkway and Long Island Expressway are the best possible roadways Long Island has seen and will ever see in the near future. Both roadways carry traffic in excess of design capacity (happens to be the case for all limited access highways in and around NYC.)We traffic engineers are capable of finding mitigating measures but at what cost? Who are the best judges:
Residents who have invested their life; elected officials, in power for a short duration; investors, whose main goal is to increase profits; soft power professionals be they planners, traffic engineers, PR , consultants and so on.
Construction jobs, tax revenues and permanent jobs will be created even with proper industrial usage or for that matter any usage."
Arvind Vora, a retired traffic Engineer with 40 years of traffic experience on Long Island has not represented any party associated with the Mall in the past or at present.