A new, high-end rental complex is coming to Westbury, with a pool, restaurant, 24-hour room service, hotel suites — and monthly rents up to the high $4,000s for a two-bedroom apartment.
The Beechwood Organization is building the 195-unit, $85 million development to be called the Vanderbilt, after the early-20th-century Vanderbilt Cup auto races at the Roosevelt Raceway, the site of the project. It’s expected to be ready for occupancy by early 2018.
It will be the latest in a string of developments that seek to capitalize on affluent Long Islanders’ demand for apartments with fitness centers, social gathering places and trendy finishes such as stone countertops and stainless-steel appliances.
Rapid leasing at the new buildings demonstrates how strong demand is even for the highest-priced rentals, said Mitchell Pally, chief executive of the Long Island Builders Institute in Islandia.
“There is a market for them among people who want that type of lifestyle, with that type of amenities, and are willing to pay that price to get it,” Pally said. “People want to rent, whether it’s the young person just starting out or the older person who is selling their house and does not want to buy again. You have a confluence of markets and you have a lack of available units. For those people who can build, that is a very good combination.”
Indeed, Jericho-based Beechwood decided to embark on the Vanderbilt project when prospective buyers of condominiums and townhouses in its adjacent, 720-unit Meadowbrook Pointe age-restricted development kept asking whether Beechwood had any rentals available, said Steven Dubb, a principal with the development company founded by his father, Michael Dubb.
Monthly rents are expected to start in the mid-$2,000s for studios, the mid-$3,000s for one-bedrooms and the high $3,000s for two-bedrooms.
The new complex is likely to appeal mainly to affluent retirees who have sold their single-family homes on Long Island, Dubb said. Some might split their time between the Island and Florida, he said.
The Vanderbilt is expected to include 178 apartments and 17 hotel suites that will be available for stays of at least one month, although the exact split between apartments and suites will be flexible, Dubb said. In addition to a restaurant and pool, the complex will include a fitness center, library, movie screening and party room, business center and parking.
It is located about a mile and a half from the Westbury Long Island Rail Road station. That’s a departure from some other recent high-end developments, which tend to be located within a quick walk of train stations. Many affluent renters would actually prefer to be in a less-bustling area such as the Vanderbilt site, Dubb said.
To be sure, Long Island’s rentals get snapped up almost as soon as they become available.
The vacancy rate for Long Island apartment buildings with 40 or more units was 3.3 percent last year, compared with 4.4 percent nationwide, according to data provider Reis Inc. The median rent on Long Island was $1,728 last year, but in some developments the prices soar far higher.
In Mineola a 275-unit building that opened in October with rents up to $3,700 for two-bedroom apartments is 70 percent leased, developer Mill Creek Residential Trust said last month.
And the 154-unit Jefferson Plaza in downtown Farmingdale, which opened 15 months ago with two-bedroom units renting for up to about $3,500, is 90 percent leased, Farmingdale-based developer Anthony Bartone said.
“We really couldn’t keep up with the demand” for high-end rentals, he said. “There are just so few of them in Nassau County and on Long Island that demand outpaces supply all day long.”