Long-awaited $1.3B Garvies Point project finally takes shape
Dr. Thomas Garvie could have never imagined how part of his homestead on Glen Cove Creek would be transformed two centuries after the Scottish physician first settled here.
But up until a few years ago, neither could anyone else.
First pitched in 2002, the redevelopment of 56 acres at Garvies Point has gone through changes in developers, a drawn-out environmental cleanup, a housing market crash and a few lawsuits that collectively delayed the massive project along the way.
However, the $1.3 billion mixed-use community rising above the once severely polluted waterfront property in Glen Cove is finally becoming a reality. In fact, leasing of the first phase of the project’s rental apartments is scheduled to start in July and developer RXR Realty has already pre-sold nearly half of the units in its 167-residence condominium complex called The Beacon.
It’s been quite a long and winding road to get to this Point.
The City of Glen Cove has had five different mayors since the plan was first presented. The city signed a land development agreement with the project’s original developers in 2003 and initial approvals were granted in 2008, but the start of construction was delayed by the massive clean-up needed to remediate the once-toxic property, changes in the development team and poor market conditions.
In August 2016, a state Supreme Court judge dismissed two lawsuits filed by a group of residents and the Village of Sea Cliff against Glen Cove’s approvals of the Garvies Point project. Neighboring Sea Cliff officials had claimed that the city was breaking a written agreement it signed in 2000 that limited building heights to 65 feet and the total size of the development to 700,000 square feet. Construction eventually began towards the end of 2017.
Though the name of the project, originally known as Glen Isle, and the plan itself has morphed since it was first proposed, Garvies Point will now bring 1,100 residences – 550 rental, 550 for-sale – about 75,000 square feet of restaurant, retail and office space and 28 acres of publicly accessible waterfront esplanades and parks.
LIBN took a hardhat tour of the construction last week led by Joe Graziose, RXR’s executive vice president of residential construction and development and Sandra Raymond, an RXR marketing coordinator.
Graziose, former owner of multifamily specialist Paramount Development, joined RXR in 2007 and has spearheaded the company’s Ritz-Carlton condo projects in Baltimore and North Hills. Experiences in creating those developments have helped shape the Garvies Point project.
“We learned what downsizers are looking for in highly amenitized buildings,” Graziose said.
The first phase of Garvies Point includes 385 rental apartments at Harbor Landing, where a building with 175 apartments opens in September and a second building with 210 apartments is expected to open by the end of the year. Monthly rents for the studios, one- and two-bedroom residences will range from about $2,000 to $4,000.
First move-ins at The Beacon building, which offers 800-square-foot to 2,400-square-foot condos priced from about $700,000 to $3 million, are expected in December. Among the amenities at The Beacon are a movie theater, billiards and game room, library, fitness center, yoga studio, event space, outdoor pool and a 24-hour concierge. Graziose calls it “a lock and leave lifestyle.”
That was attractive to Neera Tewari and Vineet Gambhir, who own a single-family home in Dix Hills and bought a Garvies Point condo unit.
“We were attracted to The Beacon by the location, being on the water and ease of getting into New York City,” Tewari said. “We also liked the community feel and having everything in one place. We lived in New York City before and this allows us to have city-style living in an amazing waterfront location.”
About half of the 56-acre site will be reserved for open space, parks and recreation that will be open to the general public, not just residents. The project, which includes more than a mile of waterfront esplanade along Glen Cove Creek, is adjacent to the 62-acre Garvies Point Preserve.
The waterfront at Garvies Point should be fairly active. Glen Cove’s new ferry terminal is located on the site and is slated to open in May 2020 and the city will also operate a 40-slip marina on the eastern end of the development property. In addition, RXR built a $1.5 million clubhouse on the Garvies Point property for the Anglers Club, a pre-existing 70-member boating group that owns 30 slips there.
Still to be built is a 350-unit condo building that will be nine stories of residences over two stories of parking on the western end of the development. Another four-story, market-rate rental building with 146 apartments is also in the plans, as is 50 units of workforce-priced rentals and 50 units of workforce-priced for-sale residences.
To make room for some of the future development at Garvies Point, RXR is in contract to purchase the adjacent 18-acre industrial site formerly occupied by Konica Minolta and a smaller parcel that used to be the home of a commercial laundry facility.
RXR also acquired an asphalt plant on the south side of Glen Cove Creek to assist in the city’s $25 million construction of a 1.1-mile stretch of Garvies Point Road that traverses the development site. Graziose said once the Garvies Point project is finished, the plant will be razed so as not to sour the views of its new residents.
Less than a half-mile from the Garvies Point development, RXR is building Village Square, 146 market-rate rental apartments over 17,000 square-feet of retail space in downtown Glen Cove. That project, which includes an 18,000-square-foot pedestrian plaza, is slated to be completed in March 2020.
Glen Cove Mayor Tim Tenke said the Garvies Point project represents a tremendous re-use of a former EPA Superfund site that remained when the heavy industries that had occupied the property vacated.
“Glen Cove is a waterfront community and we’re reclaiming an area that was an eyesore for the city and was generating no taxable income,” Tenke said. “This is not an enclave for the wealthy, but rather a site where 28 acres can be used by the general public.”
City officials and developers are expecting Garvies Point will give a boost to the local economy. The construction crew is already contributing.
“Over 600 men and women drive into Glen Cove, shop at local retailers and restaurants in the downtown area and are able to experience what the local Glen Cover experiences,” Raymond said. “Heritage Bakery, for example, has really become a stand-out local favorite. It sits across from the construction on Garvies Point Road and has had to produce a few more pop-overs since they opened their doors two years ago. To me, this project creates an exciting waterfront lifestyle while providing impressive economic growth to the City of Glen Cove.”