In early July, the Village of Great Neck Plaza unveiled its recently renovated alleyway. This alleyway connects the parking lot in front of the village hall to the shops on Middle Neck Road. To celebrate the renovations, Great Neck Plaza village officials, business owners, local government representatives, and more gathered in the alleyway to look at the beautifully constructed path.
The alleyway renovation consisted of a new stone design on the walkway and raised gardens along the side of the pathway. The renovation has been in discussion for a long time, shared Great Neck Plaza Mayor Ted Rosen.
“The renovation has been a subject of discussion for a long time about ways to just dress it up and fix it up over the years,” said Mayor Rosen. “[The alleyway] was not in the best of conditions. My predecessor was talking to people about different projects and different designs. At one point, we were considering possible murals on the walls, and we didn’t end up doing that, but we are very pleased with the way this project turned out.”
While the project is small, many people came together to make it happen. The village government, contractors and commercial business owners next to the alleyway worked together to plan the design and make the alleyway renovations come to life. Mayor Rosen is thankful for the cooperation and enthusiasm of the property owners of the buildings on either side of the alleyway at 42 Middle Neck Rd., Joel Ainatchi and his wife Sharon Khazzam, and at 46 Middle Neck Rd. Dr. David Nathanson of London Optical.
“[The property owners] had their own ideas and we got together cooperatively. We talked to each other, we exchanged ideas and we came up with a consensus,” said Mayor Rosen.
Mayor Rosen thanked the two contractors who helped make the vision become a reality, Juan Reyes and the landscape contractor Mario Gonzalez. One of the most important contributors to the project was Michael Flood, shared Mayor Rosen. Flood is the founder of Richland Management Company, and he is an incredible volunteer that often lends time and effort to the projects in Great Neck Plaza.
“Flood is a volunteer that has helped us on not only this project but other projects as well,” said Mayor Rosen. “He worked on the alleyway, gave his input, and supervised some of the work as a volunteer.”
At the reception for the unveiling of the renovated alleyway, Mayor Rosen explained that the cooperation of all different people and organizations to make this small project happen gives the village a model to follow on other projects to come.
“When you get the cooperation and the joint efforts of the government, private property owners, contractors and volunteers, it’s so great. It was very gratifying to see,” said Mayor Rosen.
Nassau County Legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip attended the alleyway unveiling and posted the following comment on her Facebook, “This beautification and infrastructure project would never have happened without the Village, Flood family and building and business owners teaming together to make it happen. Thank you.”
New York State Assemblywoman Gina Sillitti also attended the unveiling and thanked everyone who came together to complete the project. She wrote the following on her Facebook, “While it may seem small to some, improvement projects like this help exemplify what is so great in our villages, the passion for improving our community. I think it’s wonderful we’re taking a moment to celebrate this project.”
The Village of Great Neck Plaza is currently working on other projects, small and large. Recently, Mayor Rosen saw volunteer Flood and some others cleaning up a traffic rotary on Barstow Road.
“That area has been dedicated some years back to Walter Handleman, who had been an engineer for the village for many years. Over time, it has become overgrown, so Flood and others are cleaning it up and putting in new plantings,” said Mayor Rosen.
A fairly large project currently underway in the village is the reconstruction of the sidewalk over the Long Island Rail Road on Barstow Road. The road had been redone last year, and now the village has decided to focus on the sidewalk.
“It is a busy spot, with buses and people walking. A lot of buses come from the north side to the south side over Barstow Road so we’ve had to reroute buses. The NICE buses have been very cooperative with us,” said Mayor Rosen. “The LIRR, MTA, contractors, village engineers and personnel have all been working together for this project.”
Between the demolition of the old sidewalk and the reconstruction of the new sidewalk, the project is expected to be completed at the end of July.