The proposed Sutton Landing at Commack rental community for people...

The proposed Sutton Landing at Commack rental community for people age 55 and older. Credit: EB at Commack LLC

A Jericho-based development company wants to build 86 upscale town houses in Commack for renters age 55 and older, officials said.

B2K Development, which was formed last year by several principals of the Engel Burman Group, plans to spend $58 million on the project, according to an application for tax breaks from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency. The development would be located on 7.6 acres of vacant land on Hauppauge Road near the Gurwin Jewish Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and across from the Hamlet Golf & Country Club.

The project, to be called Sutton Landing at Commack, would consist of two-bedroom units with an attached garage spread over 133,736 square feet in eight buildings. Monthly rents for 74 of the units would range from $4,150 to $4,350. An additional six “affordable” units and six “workforce housing” units would rent for $2,600 and $3,950, respectively, according to an independent cost-benefit analysis paid for by the IDA.

The number of affordable units, and whether more could be included in the project, was debated at last week’s IDA meeting.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • The developer behind the Bristal assisted living facilities wants to build 86 town houses with garages in Commack for people age 55 and over.
  • Sutton Landing at Commack would be the fourth development of its kind from B2K Development, charging rents of about $4,000 per month.
  • The Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency board, in a 6-1 vote, awarded $7.1 million in tax breaks over 15 years to the developer.

“Other companies have come before us, and they saw that we were unhappy with the affordability aspect of the project,” recalled IDA treasurer Sondra Cochran. “So, they came back with a couple more affordable units and [the tax incentives] passed right away. Would you consider doing the same?”

B2K principal Steven Krieger responded, “Construction costs are out of control. Interest rates are out of control. It’s a two-edged sword that is cutting us. We lose money on all the affordable housing,” he said.

Krieger added that B2K has pledged to donate $400,000 to Huntington Town’s Affordable Housing Trust and Agency Fund in lieu of having four more affordable units. Town code sets the minimum number of affordable units in a 55-and-older project but allows for fewer units if the developer agrees to donate to the fund. Krieger noted that he serves on the board of the affordable-housing advocacy group Long Island Housing Partnership.

Asked about the age restriction on who can live in the development, Krieger pointed to the town, saying it doesn’t want younger people and additional school-age children in the area. “We didn’t want an age restriction,” he said.

The IDA board, in a 6-1 vote, gave preliminary approval for $7.1 million in tax breaks. The largest savings would be derived from $4.9 million off property taxes over 15 years, or 41%, and a sales-tax exemption of up to $1.8 million on the purchase of construction materials, equipment and furnishings.

Board member Joshua Slaughter, a union official, opposed the project, saying B2K is creating “high-end units for a wealthier population and we’re basically subsidizing the tax base for wealthier residents. But across Long Island, we know taxes are what is pushing the middle-class residents out.”

He continued, “This project falls short in that regard … I would love to see a higher percentage of affordable units.”

B2K also operates the Sutton Landing rental communities in Deer Park, Mount Sinai and Uniondale, which have received tax breaks from the Babylon Town IDA, Brookhaven Town IDA and the Nassau County IDA, respectively.

But the company is probably best known for its 24 Bristal assisted-living facilities, including 16 on Long Island, and the ongoing construction of apartments on Long Beach’s Super Block property.

Peter L. Curry, the company’s real estate attorney, said Commack’s Sutton Landing would seek to serve the 56% of the homeowners in Commack/Huntington Town who are over age 55. “Many of these residents have a desire to downsize from homeownership while remaining in the community in which they grew up and raised families,” he told the IDA board.

Besides town houses with attached garages, Sutton Landing communities offer an outdoor heated pool and clubhouse with a sports bar and gym, among other amenities, according to IDA executive director Anthony J. Catapano.

He said the Commack development will create two maintenance jobs, each with an average salary of $60,000. “The criteria for doing this is increasing the housing stock for the county, not necessarily the number of jobs,” he said last week.

The project is expected to open in late 2025.

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