Developer hopes to ‘combat the housing crisis’

Residents gather to discuss East Patchogue development

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It’s not a shock to anyone that the Long Island real estate market is the highest and most competitive it’s ever been. Still facing the repercussions of a pandemic, rent and sale prices on apartments and houses are through the roof, and the waiting lines for open house tours wrap around street corners.

On Thursday, April 21, the Focus East Patchogue group held a public meeting at the Patchogue-Medford Library to give project updates and discuss potential opportunities to help further the progression of the town. One of the opportunities discussed was the concept for a $35 million total investment mixed-income housing development.

The proposed site would be located at the corner of Grove Avenue and Main Street at 400 E. Main Street, East Patchogue. This affordable housing project would consist of 55 units, spread throughout four separate two-story buildings, targeted towards the young professionals in the demographic of 18-to 34-year-olds, but also would be appealing to empty-nesters or retirees.

“This project is a game changer for East Patchogue that has been in the making for 20 to 25 years, way before I got elected in 2014,” said councilman Neil Foley. “What this will bring is new people, a boost to the economy; it will make East Patchogue look so much nicer. We’re going to make it [East Patchogue] into one of the best places to live on Long Island.”

The team behind this project is The NRP Group, an “experienced developer tasked with leading the development, construction, and financing of the project,” who will be partnering with Kulka., a “Long Island builder and developer with a 48-year history and 500-plus buildings completed.” Certilman Balin, BHC Architects, and Bohler are the other businesses that will also assist in the creation of this development.

Jonathan Gertman, Vice president of development at The NRP Group, and Devin Kulka, chief executive officer of Kulka., attended the Focus East Patchogue meeting and gave a presentation of the proposed development.  This will be The NRP Group’s first development to break ground on Long Island and it was important to the company to partner with local Long Island businesses to have roots in the community.

“We love coming to places that have already set a vision and we can help execute on that. That’s the kind of leadership that councilman Foley has shown, so that’s a great jumping-off point for us,” said Gertman. “We both pride ourselves on doing what we say we’re going to do. It’s a fantastic community, and we hope to add to that and just make everybody proud.”

During the presentation of the project, attendees were mostly in favor of the development, but voiced their concerns mainly about the increase in traffic the site will bring, especially during rush hour, and the affordability aspect of the concept.

The asking rent for a unit is determined based on the individual’s maximum income. If there were more than one individual sharing the space, it would be a combined income. The apartment unit types vary in size, averaging 896 square feet, and offer one to three bedrooms. The property is also children-friendly and the occupancy limit is one and a half persons per bedroom. Please see below for an example of the different financing options reflecting the 2021 area median income of $129,000.

Renters will sign an annual lease and the site will not offer leases for longer than one year. The individual(s) occupying the unit space will have to meet regular check-ins by the site that they still meet their minimum and maximum income rate. For example, if an individual was to get a promotion at work, resulting in a salary increase, the asking rent for their unit will increase as well.

A leasing office, gym, small community room, rentable space, retail shop, and bike storage are just some of the amenities this development would offer. Some of the apartment features include laundry in every unit, full appliance packages, sound barriers, pet friendly, and more.

In regards to the exterior of the property, the parking lot will consist of 130 spaces, roughly two spaces per unit, to help solve the potential issue of cars overflowing out of the lot onto the street. The lot will operate on a “one in and one out” system with one entrance and one exit. The parking situation will be resident parking, with limited guest parking, and every car will be registered with a sticker. The parking lot will offer electrical vehicle chargers and on site management. The site has been designed to be fully compliant and will also make improvements to the surrounding property, such as maintaining the landscaping and upgrading the sidewalks, crosswalk, crosswalk pole head, and street frontage.

John Quatrale, board member of Focus East Patchogue, stressed the importance of attracting people to the area to help the community flourish.

“To revitalize a community, we need to bring people into the community,” he said. “Some of the projects that we are looking at here will bring people in, and when people come in, then they start to spend their money in the community. That’s really what you need for revitalization, is people.”

The development team hopes to begin work in the beginning of 2023 and have the project completed 12 to 15 months after that. Three months before opening, the team plans to begin marketing and potential renters can ask for applications, which will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants will then go through a vetting process, such as a credit, background check, etc.

For more information about Focus East Patchogue and to get involved in upcoming meetings, please visit www.focuseastpatchogue.com.

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