Deal is made, but lot sits empty

March 16, 2007
By

JOHN RUCH

STONYBROOK—Neighbors of a proposed condo project at 101 Brookley Road finally reached an agreement with developer Gary Martell last fall, but are now wondering if anything will be built on the long-vacant lot.

“Once you’ve made a deal…the last thing anyone wants to see is have it sit there for years and maybe have to start all over again [with a new developer],” said Bill Mitchell, one of the Stonybrook Neighborhood Association (SNA) members who negotiated with Martell.

Martell did not return a Gazette phone call for this article.

Martell has long attempted to develop the former nursing home site. His most recent effort, dating back more than four years, proposed 29 condo units in 16 buildings.

Martell negotiated for years with the SNA and abutters on a memorandum of understanding (MOU), a legal agreement outlining various design and construction concerns.

In the interim, he demolished the nursing home and bulldozed the site. The fenced-in area drew controversy last year for having a water-filled construction pit for about three months before it was filled in.

After disputes over the MOU, including the design of a handicapped-accessible unit, the SNA and Martell engaged in a final round of negotiations last year.

“We signed off on those changes last fall,” said SNA co-chair Maureen Monks. She said the SNA hasn’t heard anything from Martell about the current status of the condo project and hasn’t discussed it as a group. “Individually, folks have talked about concerns,” she said.

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