The Suffolk County Water Authority has sold 7.8 prime acres along the Long Island Expressway in Islandia for $1.56 million, the largest transaction to date in its push to dispose of surplus tracts.
The parcel, once slated to become the authority's corporate headquarters, is on the east side of Old Nichols Road, just north of Exit 58. It is part of nearly 11 acres the authority owns at the site.
The buyer is Exit 58 Islandia LLC, owned by Crane Neck Co. LLC, whose managing member is Cary F. Staller, a member of a prominent Long Island real estate family.
The authority is granting the buyer full access easements for another .786 acres, making the usable space 8.6 acres. The SCWA is retaining ownership of 2.4 acres as a possible site for a future well field.
The sale brings the total gained from the disposal of excess properties to more than $3 million. Five other tracts, totaling about 5 acres, have brought in $1.49 million. In all, the authority has sought to sell about 400 acres and 40,000 square feet of building space.
The initiative is aimed at holding down the need for future rate hikes, officials said. The closing comes in advance of a scheduled hearing last night on a proposed 4.2 percent rate increase, which would take effect April 1.
The sale went through despite opposition from Islandia Mayor Allan Dorman, who urged the SCWA to stop the sale and donate the land so that housing for veterans could be built. Authority officials say as a public authority, it is not legal for them to donate land for private use.