During the most recent virtual board meeting, the Town of North Hempstead board unanimously voted to approve the expansion and renovation of the Uncle Giuseppe’s Market in Port Washington.
The board ultimately approved two resolutions during the meeting, one which eliminated a covenant at 319-374 Port Washington Blvd., that affected the western side of the property and second to approve the change the zone where the covenant was from Parking to Business A.
“By removing this covenant Uncle Giuseppe’s Market will be able to expand its store,” Councilwoman Mariann Dalimonte wrote to her constituents in her District 6 newsletter following the meeting.
Daniel Baker from Certilman Balin Adler and Hyman, LLP an East Meadow-based law firm spoke about the applicants plans for the property.
“The property is currently approved with two buildings,” Baker said. “One is a 9,000 square-foot grocery store, which is the Uncle Giuseppe’s Market. The other building that is on the property is a 9,479 square foot retail building that had a number of different tenants throughout the years, with the only one remaining being the liquor store.
The applicant is seeking to demolish the 9,479 square foot retail building and use that lot for parking, then rezone that portion of the premises from Business to an overall parking zone. The applicant then seeks to rezone the overall portion of the premises from parking to business. As part of a new overall model facility, the applicant is also seeking to construct an addition to the current market with the construction of a new 10,276 square foot building.
Project architect Miguel Weinstein went over plans for the property, which include the addition of a closed trash compactor, changes to the inside of the market and a new parking area with landscaping which will “create a green-screen buffer.”
During the last meeting held this past February, residents raised concerns about the noise level being added due to the trash compactors.
“We have listened to the neighbor’s concerns, and that’s why we’re installing a new cell phone compactor container attached to the building,” Weinstein said. “This will result in less noise and will minimize the odors. We have also created an attached loading dock to receive all merchandise directly into the building, reducing the time required to load—that means also less noise. We are also including a noise barrier wall at the northern area bringing the noise level even lower.”
All new lighting will be installed at the site to eliminate any light from shining into the neighboring homes. The parking lot will also be resurfaced to remove any stagnant water puddles. A new metal guardrail and fences will also be installed to protect the entire property.
“The new design will provide a new clean, more attractive, less noisy and safer store to the neighborhood,” Weinstein said.
President of Uncle Giuseppe’s and a co-owner of the company, Philip DelPrete attended the meeting and stated that he has been working on this project for three years and believes that this will be a great project for everyone involved.
“Port Washington is a great town,” DelPrete said. “We feel like we’re part of the neighborhood here. I’ve been working on this project for three years, and we have a lot invested in it between the loss of rent, and all the studies we’ve been doing. But we feel that it’s really important to our name and our brand to build a new store.”
DelPrete stated that renovations to the property would take “maybe a week or two.”
“Our plan is to keep [this store] open and keep it supplied,” DelPrete said. “We didn’t want to inconvenience the customers and close for a year so we plan on building the expansion and close for maybe only a week or two. With COVID and everything we’ve gone through, I know we got pushed back, but we want to make a decision here whether we’re gonna move forward with this project or not. We think it’s going to be great for the neighborhood.”
The applicant will still need to appear before the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) for a conditional use permit related to the grocery store use. Assuming that everything is approved by the BZA, the town board will then need to hold another meeting for site plan approval of the premises.