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Developer behind Patchogue's rebirth envisions large residential complex in Lindenhurst

Tritec Real Estate of East Setauket's co-owner Bob

Tritec Real Estate of East Setauket's co-owner Bob Coughlan, center, presents his company's proposal for a rental development in Lindenhurst before the Economic Development Committee at a public meeting, Wednesday, June 24, 2015. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

The developer behind some of the most ambitious projects on Long Island wants to build what could be the largest residential complex the Village of Lindenhurst has seen.

Tritec Real Estate of East Setauket late last month revealed publicly its preliminary vision for a prime chunk of property located across from the village's Long Island Rail Road station on East Hoffman Avenue. Tritec co-owner Bob Coughlan said his company is in contract with Lakeville Industries Inc. to purchase 7.1 acres of the property. The company seeks to build 260 multifamily rental units on the site: 13 studios; 144 one-bedrooms; 91 two-bedrooms; and 12 three-bedrooms.

Tritec is the developer behind Patchogue's revitalization and the planned Ronkonkoma Hub. In his presentation to Lindenhurst's economic development committee, Coughlan pointed to the company's $110 million investment in Patchogue, with 45,000 square feet of retail space, 291 rental units and 18,000 square feet of office space. Most of this has been leased, he noted, including 80 percent of the rental units. Commercial space is 95 percent occupied, he said, up from a 45 percent vacancy rate when the project started.

"We don't want any empty space; you don't want any empty space," he said. "It's in our best interest to make this a success."

Coughlan said there is a dire need for rental housing on Long Island.

"We were the first suburban community and now we're playing catch-up to a lot of other people around the country," he said.

Target incomes for residents in the Lindenhurst units would be $45,000 to $90,000 a year, Coughlan said.

"We're investing a lot of money," he said. "We're not building Section 8 housing. Not that there's anything wrong with Section 8 housing, but that's not what we're doing."

The project would be roughly twice the size of any existing housing complex in the village, officials said, most of which are senior communities. Unlike other projects Tritec has done, there will be no retail space in the complex, an aspect that "impressed" village Mayor Thomas Brennan. "They don't want to take away from our downtown," he said.

The village's downtown has been struggling with a high vacancy rate and low foot traffic, leading to the creation of the economic development committee last year.

Committee chairman and village Clerk-Treasurer Shawn Cullinane said after the meeting that the complex's residents "ultimately will be using the downtown. If nothing else, . . . [the project] will bring a core group of people into the downtown."

The company has not yet made an application to the village. Coughlan stressed that plans are still in their infancy and that he will continue to meet with community groups to get feedback. However, if all permits are granted, construction could begin as early as mid-2018, he said. In the meantime, residents are encouraged to submit questions and comments in writing to the village.

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