Avalon Amityville has opened its complex with 317 new apartments and...

Avalon Amityville has opened its complex with 317 new apartments and 21 townhouse rentals in Amityville. Credit: Rick Kopstein

AvalonBayCommunities marked the opening of its latest Long Island development in Amityville this week, bringing 317 new apartments and 21 townhouse rentals to the village.

Avalon Amityville, located just south of Sunrise Highway on Route 110/Broadway, was built on the site of the former Brunswick Hospital, which closed in 2005. It is about half-a-mile from the village's train station. 

The $120 million development, which includes a pool and fitness center, is about 60% leased thus far, said Scott Fishbone, vice president of development at AvalonBay, a publicly traded real estate investment trust based in Arlington, Virginia.

“We took an underutilized, overgrown old hospital parking lot and turned it into a productive asset for the community,” Fishbone said.

The first tenants moved in last July but all units and amenities were completed earlier this month. AvalonBay said it expects all units to be leased by the end of August. 

Available apartments start at $2,091 to $2,178 for a studio, $2,480 to $3,237 for a one-bedroom and $3,128 to $3,395 for a two-bedroom apartment, according to the company’s website.

Those rents reflect a current promotion offering 1.5 months free. Without that discount, studios would start at $2,390 and one bedrooms would start at $2,835.

All 21 townhouses, which include garages, have been leased. 

Last year, AvalonBay had floated a second development across the street but ultimately scrapped the plan after facing opposition from residents and village officials.

“There’s nothing to discuss,” Fishbone said, about a revival of that second phase of the development. “As to whether or not there’ll be more in the future, I guess we’ll have to see,” he said.

Proponents of building more housing on Long Island have pointed to years of underbuilding that has led to demand outpacing supply and pushing up prices for both single-family homes and apartments. Nassau and Suffolk counties trailed nearly all large U.S. counties in housing growth from 2012 to 2022, according to a recent report.

Winning approval from towns and villages makes Long Island one of the hardest places to build, Fishbone said, noting it’s more difficult to get zoning changes here than in other suburbs, such as those in northern New Jersey.

“Getting any large-scale multifamily project approved in the Northeast, and in particular Long Island, is a pretty herculean effort,” Fishbone said.

Amityville was open to the project as part of its downtown revitalization effort, he said.

“You need a town that sees that and acknowledges that and is not afraid of a little bit of change,” Fishbone said. 

Amityville Mayor Dennis Siry said he supported the Avalon over several commercial projects that could have brought a big-box retailer to the site. He appreciated that Avalon manages its own properties.

Other recent apartment developments in the area include Greybarn Amityville, a 327-unit complex built in 2018, the recently renovated Broadway Plaza Lofts with 32 units and the 115-unit Village By the Bay built in 2020. 

The village will be monitoring the effect hundreds of new apartments have on police and emergency services, Siry said, but has yet to see any negative effect from Village By the Bay. He hopes the influx of new residents will help attract restaurants and cultural venues to Amityville to enliven nightlife in the same way as Babylon and Patchogue.

“We realized we needed the housing to revitalize our downtown,” Siry said. “To make things happen, we needed the feet on the street.”

Scott Cackett, owner of Krisch’s Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlour in Massapequa, and Michael Campanile, who owns Karl Ehmer of Seaford, who’ve known each other since childhood, both recently moved into the apartments at the complex. The friends, who are both divorced, say they plan to barbecue outside near the pool this summer.

Cackett, 53, moved into a one-bedroom loft with a balcony and 18-foot ceilings. He pays about $3,400 a month, plus about $400 in utilities.

“There was no nicer one here,” he said of the Avalon. “It’s expensive, but what am I going to do.”

Campanile pays $2,400 for a studio and says he appreciates the large closet. “It’s a little over budget, but it’s brand new,” he said. “A little bachelor pad is all I wanted.”

AvalonBay received tax benefits from the Babylon IDA for the project and agreed to set aside 34 units for people earning up to 130% of area median income. That is equal to $142,250 for an individual or $162,550 for a couple. Applicants certify their income to AvalonBay to qualify.

The developer reached a PILOT agreement in 2021 with the Babylon IDA to lower its property tax burden and receive certain sales tax exemptions. The developer will pay $19.2 million over the 15-year agreement, saving $17.2 million over that time. It received a $2.4 million sales tax exemption.

It agreed to pay $155,000 in property taxes when the PILOT agreement started in 2021 while the building was under construction, with its payments increasing each year. During the 2023-24 tax year it will pay about $431,000. By the tax year ending in 2036, it will pay $2.6 million.

Thomas Dolan, CEO of the Babylon IDA, said housing development kept workers from moving away from the area.

“The business community is very interested in these types of projects because it keeps our young, skilled workforce here,” he said.

Dolan defended the benefits offered to AvalonBay as necessary to attract financing for the project.

“The community will never see a dollar less than they were seeing prior to the building of this project,” he said. “When the new investment is made there’s a new assessed value. That’s where we give a break off the new taxes.” 

AvalonBayCommunities marked the opening of its latest Long Island development in Amityville this week, bringing 317 new apartments and 21 townhouse rentals to the village.

Avalon Amityville, located just south of Sunrise Highway on Route 110/Broadway, was built on the site of the former Brunswick Hospital, which closed in 2005. It is about half-a-mile from the village's train station. 

The $120 million development, which includes a pool and fitness center, is about 60% leased thus far, said Scott Fishbone, vice president of development at AvalonBay, a publicly traded real estate investment trust based in Arlington, Virginia.

“We took an underutilized, overgrown old hospital parking lot and turned it into a productive asset for the community,” Fishbone said.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Avalon Amityville, a 338-unit development, marked the completion of all apartments and amenities during a ceremony this week with local officials.
  • About 60% of the units are leased including its 21 townhouses. Avalon expects units to be fully leased by the end of August.
  • Amityville Mayor Dennis Siry said the new complex, which received IDA tax benefits, would support the village’s downtown revitalization.

The first tenants moved in last July but all units and amenities were completed earlier this month. AvalonBay said it expects all units to be leased by the end of August. 

Available apartments start at $2,091 to $2,178 for a studio, $2,480 to $3,237 for a one-bedroom and $3,128 to $3,395 for a two-bedroom apartment, according to the company’s website.

Those rents reflect a current promotion offering 1.5 months free. Without that discount, studios would start at $2,390 and one bedrooms would start at $2,835.

All 21 townhouses, which include garages, have been leased. 

Last year, AvalonBay had floated a second development across the street but ultimately scrapped the plan after facing opposition from residents and village officials.

“There’s nothing to discuss,” Fishbone said, about a revival of that second phase of the development. “As to whether or not there’ll be more in the future, I guess we’ll have to see,” he said.

“We took an underutilized, overgrown old hospital parking lot and...

“We took an underutilized, overgrown old hospital parking lot and turned it into a productive asset for the community,” said Scott Fishbone, vice president of development at AvalonBay. Credit: Rick Kopstein

Proponents of building more housing on Long Island have pointed to years of underbuilding that has led to demand outpacing supply and pushing up prices for both single-family homes and apartments. Nassau and Suffolk counties trailed nearly all large U.S. counties in housing growth from 2012 to 2022, according to a recent report.

Winning approval from towns and villages makes Long Island one of the hardest places to build, Fishbone said, noting it’s more difficult to get zoning changes here than in other suburbs, such as those in northern New Jersey.

“Getting any large-scale multifamily project approved in the Northeast, and in particular Long Island, is a pretty herculean effort,” Fishbone said.

Amityville was open to the project as part of its downtown revitalization effort, he said.

“You need a town that sees that and acknowledges that and is not afraid of a little bit of change,” Fishbone said. 

Amityville Mayor Dennis Siry said he supported the Avalon over several commercial projects that could have brought a big-box retailer to the site. He appreciated that Avalon manages its own properties.

Other recent apartment developments in the area include Greybarn Amityville, a 327-unit complex built in 2018, the recently renovated Broadway Plaza Lofts with 32 units and the 115-unit Village By the Bay built in 2020. 

“We realized we needed the housing to revitalize our downtown”...

“We realized we needed the housing to revitalize our downtown” said Amityville Mayor Dennis Siry on Tuesday, speaking about the new Avalon complex. Credit: Rick Kopstein

The village will be monitoring the effect hundreds of new apartments have on police and emergency services, Siry said, but has yet to see any negative effect from Village By the Bay. He hopes the influx of new residents will help attract restaurants and cultural venues to Amityville to enliven nightlife in the same way as Babylon and Patchogue.

“We realized we needed the housing to revitalize our downtown,” Siry said. “To make things happen, we needed the feet on the street.”

Scott Cackett, owner of Krisch’s Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlour in Massapequa, and Michael Campanile, who owns Karl Ehmer of Seaford, who’ve known each other since childhood, both recently moved into the apartments at the complex. The friends, who are both divorced, say they plan to barbecue outside near the pool this summer.

Cackett, 53, moved into a one-bedroom loft with a balcony and 18-foot ceilings. He pays about $3,400 a month, plus about $400 in utilities.

“There was no nicer one here,” he said of the Avalon. “It’s expensive, but what am I going to do.”

Campanile pays $2,400 for a studio and says he appreciates the large closet. “It’s a little over budget, but it’s brand new,” he said. “A little bachelor pad is all I wanted.”

AvalonBay received tax benefits from the Babylon IDA for the project and agreed to set aside 34 units for people earning up to 130% of area median income. That is equal to $142,250 for an individual or $162,550 for a couple. Applicants certify their income to AvalonBay to qualify.

The developer reached a PILOT agreement in 2021 with the Babylon IDA to lower its property tax burden and receive certain sales tax exemptions. The developer will pay $19.2 million over the 15-year agreement, saving $17.2 million over that time. It received a $2.4 million sales tax exemption.

It agreed to pay $155,000 in property taxes when the PILOT agreement started in 2021 while the building was under construction, with its payments increasing each year. During the 2023-24 tax year it will pay about $431,000. By the tax year ending in 2036, it will pay $2.6 million.

Thomas Dolan, CEO of the Babylon IDA, said housing development kept workers from moving away from the area.

“The business community is very interested in these types of projects because it keeps our young, skilled workforce here,” he said.

Dolan defended the benefits offered to AvalonBay as necessary to attract financing for the project.

“The community will never see a dollar less than they were seeing prior to the building of this project,” he said. “When the new investment is made there’s a new assessed value. That’s where we give a break off the new taxes.” 

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