Thursday, June 18, 2009

Up From The Mold At Archstone

The Name May Change, But The Problems Remain The Same

We all remember Archstone at Westbury. Or was that Moldstone?

Well, the mold may be gone -- who knows? And some of those buildings in the Westbury complex, built under the less than watchful eye of the Town of Hempstead, are still under plastic wrap -- but the rentals are now open for occupancy, albeit under a new name: Archstone Meadowbrook Crossing.

So, maybe there's the smell of mold in the walls, unseen or overlooked as part and parcel of shoddy inspection practices by the Town's building department, but what's a little mold when you're living in the shadow of Nassau County's tallest structure (the Covanta incinerator); when you can't cross the street without taking your life in your hands; when you are landlocked amidst massive traffic jams, north, south, east, and west, stuck between Old Country Road and the Meadowbrook Parkway; when seeing a movie or shopping at Target, but blocks away, requires you to get in your car and drive.

Sure, its a trade-off. Quality of life for the discombobulated infrastructural nightmare manifested by a town's inability to plan, incapacity to zone, indifference to both design and function, and unwillingness to enforce.

To borrow a tagline from Ellis Henican, Asked and unanswered: Where were the Town of Hempstead building inspectors when the walls were going up at Archstone? Why was no one at the Town ever held accountable? How could the Town of Hempstead allow the Roosevelt Raceway redevelopment project to sprawl out of control, without regard for traffic flow, the environment, pedestrian access, aesthetics, and the suburban character of the surrounding community?

Rhetorical questions? Perhaps so.

Still, if and when the Town of Hempstead gets around to the approval of the long-debated Lighthouse Project -- an initiative so enormous in scale, yet so very vital to the sustenance of Nassau County and Long Island -- these questions must be asked, and beg to be answered.


  1. Your comments about Hempstead's lousy infrastructure and the Lighthouse project prompt me to comment. Over and over again, I've heard various of our Town leaders, as well as other local government officials, cite our lack of adequate infrastructure as a potential roadblock when it comes to Lighthouse. It's not that this isn't true - undeniably it is - but saying we don't have adequate infrastructure, and then saying nothing further - in other words, effectively using our lack of infrastructure as an excuse for not moving forward, is simply unacceptable. Whether you like the Lighthouse concept or not, whether you like Charles Wang or not, if we can't handle a project of this scope and scale because of our crummy infrastructure, then we won't be able to handle the next proposal or the one thereafter or for that matter any other opportunity that might present itself in the future. Repeat this kind of process enough times and for long enough, and we'll simply talk ourselves into becoming a second-tier economy.

    The lack of leadership in this area was best crystallized by Congressman King, who explained recently that he wouldn't pursue any possible federal infrastructure stimulus money as relates to addressing the infrastructure deficits Lighthouse has brought to light (so to speak...). His reasoning was that it didn't make sense to apply for any of this money simply because Lighthouse hasn't been approved.

    This totally misses the point. Our infrastructure problems exist today irrespective of Lighthouse. Meantime, what's the number one concern people have expressed about this project? Our lack of infrastructure. And by the way, what's the likeliest reason this project will get rejected? Infrastructure. But far be it from our local leadership to address this in any meaningful way, or in the case of Congressman King, to try to get available federal help that might actually ameliorate some of these problems. You can't make this stuff up.

  2. Charles Wang should build his Lighthouse in his own town. One thing Long Island doesn't need is 5000 more people living in a small area. They speak of affordable housing, but that is not a right of the people. Housing prices skyrocketed for many reasons - the mortgage scams, Section 8 & other affordable programs, and the lack of enforcing housing laws with illegals apartments.