The Village of Great Neck Plaza Board of Trustees will hold a public information meeting on Wednesday, July 1, 8 p.m., at Village Hall to solicit public input and comments regarding the draft design plans for the Maple Drive sustainable parking lot. The village secured a $675,000 grant to upgrade this parking lot from the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) under their program entitled “Green Innovation Grant Program (GIGP).” Stated Mayor JeanCelender: “We are thrilled to have been awarded this grant and to be collaborating with other levels of government to reconstruct the Maple Drive lot using green infrastructure techniques. Such greening includes an innovative porous pavement element to collect/recharge rainwater on-site to the aquifers, thus improving water quality. The project also looks to install new LED lighting, solar metering stations and new landscaping with trees and low-maintenance vegetation.” The Maple Drive lot is an open surface parking lot with 121 parking spaces. The village is desirous of retaining as many of the existing parking spaces as possible.
The project promotes sustainability by improving existing infrastructure with green technologies. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified “green” as the new color for stormwater programs. The GIGP is funded through the EPA as part of the New York Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program. Adopting this initiative by the EPA, the village is shifting to green to redevelop this lot with a porous pavement element and other features to provide for better stormwater runoff, minimize the potential for flooding, provide more additional greenery, shade and beautification, as well as reduce urban heat island effects. The Village of Great Neck Plaza, a participating New York State Climate Smart Community, was cited by the EFC as a model for other communities, for using “local assets to drive local economic growth and has resulted in unprecedented partnerships and collaborations that are building a reinvigorated economy.”
The village is partnering with Great Neck South High School and its business/technology department to provide a community-based applied learning experience for its engineering and architecture students about sustainable parking lot rehabilitation. In conjunction with the educational and community outreach components, the Village will be developing and installing interpretative signage in the lot to identify the green, sustainable features and interpretive themes on the historic North Shore Gold Coast area. This municipal public parking lot is centrally located within the downtown business district of Great Neck Plaza and serves shared parking for shoppers, workers, residents and visitors who are frequenting the surrounding retail stores, and restaurants, the Squire Bow Tie Cinemas and the Gold Coast Arts Center.
We would like to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo, the EFC, our state representatives, Senator Jack Martins and Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel, the Plaza’s Business Improvement District (BID), Great Neck Chamber of Commerce, and other stakeholders in the community who have supported our investment in infrastructure to maintain a strong, vibrant business environment, job growth, education and enhanced quality of life, not only for the Great Neck community, but for all Long Islanders.
The Village anticipates the following (approximate) project schedule: design in spring 2015, bid letting in summer 2015 and construction in late summer/fall 2015. Please join us on July 1st to learn about the project and take in a presentation of the draft design plans for the Maple Drive lot.