Town supports new Bellport development
During a public hearing last week, the Brookhaven Town board expressed their support for a new affordable housing project proposed near Montauk Highway in Bellport. The project would construct approximately 70 one- and two-bedroom units that are guaranteed to be “100 percent affordable housing.”
The applicant, Peter Florey of D&F Development Group, LLC, estimated that $32 million would be spent on construction, creating 100 jobs, and the project would create approximately two full-time jobs upon completion. The current tax revenues from the site are estimated at $30,000; post-construction, the number would be $106,000.
The property is located between Atlantic and Patchogue avenues, just a block north of Montauk Highway and adjacent to the Boys and Girls Club facility. It is consistent with the land-use plan adopted for the area in 2014, according to officials. The site plan includes nine residential buildings with parking on the outer perimeter. Access points would be on Atlantic Avenue and buffering would be provided to adjacent parcels.
Affordable housing generally requires the cost of housing to be at a certain rate that is reasonable for those making 80 percent of the area median income (AMI). Median income in North Bellport, according to 2016 data, is approximately $61,000, which is much lower than the Suffolk County median income, which is approximately $87,000. Prices were not given for what rent would be at the complex, but were estimated at 50 to 60 percent of the AMI. Councilman Michael Loguercio said it would be “nice” and also be gated.
Loguercio, who represents Bellport, has made this revitalization project a priority since his election. He said following the cleanup and paving of Montauk Highway, this is a major step forward for the area. During the public hearing and in an interview Monday, he said that several developers have looked at this area for possible projects, but none of them fit as well as this one. He and councilman Dan Panico praised Florey for connecting with the community and taking the associated risk with a project like this.
“I believe that this is going to be the catalyst for positive change in the area,” said Panico.
During the public hearing, multiple speakers approached the microphone, voicing support for the housing plan and stressing the need for more affordable housing on Long Island and more private investment in Bellport.
Clyde Parker, a Democratic candidate who lost his bid for the New York State Assembly this month, spoke as a resident of Bellport and said that during his door-knocking campaign this year, affordable housing was a major concern for voters. All speakers echoed this idea, saying that affordable housing was crucial to improving the community.
James Nemly, special projects manager for Long Island Housing Project, expressed his support as well, saying the project would allow people to stay in the community and afford a nice place to live.
“We will continue to work with the community, the town, and D&F to ensure that this project is a success and that it remains affordable to people in the community,” said John Rogers, head of the Greater Bellport Coalition. “The Greater Bellport Coalition firmly supports this project.”
Loguercio also stated that the community is in deep need of revitalization and by providing housing it will allow more connections to be made, hopefully forming a downtown around Station Road and Montauk Highway.
“It’s a combination of efforts, and I know this town board is behind your community,” Panico added. “We want to see you succeed.”
The project is expected to begin construction in the spring, after all of the necessary processes are completed with both the planning board and the building department. Construction is expected to take about eight months or so, with the goal to move people in next winter.
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