Sep 02, 2016

Rental units, commercial space planned for Huntington

 August 29, 2016


A dilapidated Huntington building that once housed a lobster farm, and its adjacent lot, may soon be home to mixed-used three-story building with 12 rental apartment units and ground-floor commercial space.

Huntington-based Stewart Avenue Ventures plans to demolish the 3,649-square-foot vacant structure at 30 Stewart Avenue and construct a 19,177-square-foot building. The building would feature two one-bedroom apartments and 10 two-bedrooms. The apartments are expected to rent for the market rate of $2,700.

The ground-floor commercial space would be appropriate for an incubator space for emerging companies from such places as Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, or a financial services company, said Mark Hamer, a principal in the project.

To alleviate concerns of the Town of Huntington’s Zoning Board of Appeals regarding the building’s potential impact on village parking, the developer plans to purchase the adjacent parcel. That parcel would be used for parking by the building’s tenants, who then wouldn’t need to park in nearby municipal lots or streets.

Purchasing the lot would increase project costs by $541,000 to a total of more than $5.7 million. The costs include repairing a retaining wall, and environmental remediation caused by a leaking storage tank on the adjacent lot.

Hamer said the new development would “keep in character with the village” while also addressing a “great need on Long Island” for transit-oriented development and walkable communities that are “desirable for 25-to-40-year-olds who are not looking to own.”

The developer, whose principals also include Gregory DeRosa, is working with the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency, which recently voted on inducement resolutions to give tax breaks to assist with the property’s development.

The developer would receive $111,263 in sales tax exemptions and an estimated $73,500 in mortgage recording tax exemptions. The developer would receive a property tax abatement of $442,399 over the course of 15 years.

Asked about providing a unit of workforce or affordable housing, the developer said the return on investment for this project is so tight, it would not support it. IDA officials later said this aspect had been confirmed by National Development Council, a New York-based nonprofit that creates economic opportunity and affordable housing in undeserved areas.

The developer also said that because of the added costs of the environmental cleanup on the adjacent lot and the land costs, it likely would not move forward with the project without IDA assistance.

In addition to remediating the property, the project would add an estimated 40 construction jobs during the 18-month development phase, according to the developer.