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IDA delays decision on Huntington Station apartments because of no quorum

A rendering of the Northridge Square apartment and

A rendering of the Northridge Square apartment and office building proposed on New York Avenue near the Long Island Rail Road station. Credit: Blue & Gold Holdings

A real estate developer will have to wait to find out if he is going to receive tax breaks from Suffolk County for a proposed apartment building in Huntington Station.

The county’s Industrial Development Agency didn’t muster the votes on Thursday to approve or reject a resolution granting $760,400 in tax aid over 15 years to developer Blue & Gold Holdings in Huntington Station.

A quorum of four votes was needed for the seven-member IDA board to act on the resolution, which garnered three "yea" votes and one "nay" and one abstention. Two other board members were absent.

The resolution may come up at next month's IDA meeting.

Blue & Gold is seeking help for the proposed Northridge Square, a 20,337-square-foot building on New York Avenue near the Long Island Rail Road station. The $6 million project will consist of 16 one-bedroom apartments — three of them with below-market rents — and space for offices or stores on the first floor.

"Without the relief sought, this project simply cannot be built," Blue & Gold president Grant Havasy said, citing lower projected income from apartment rents compared with rents elsewhere in Huntington Town and higher prices for construction materials due to COVID.

Five years ago, the IDA board unanimously approved tax breaks for Blue & Gold’s first project in Huntington Station: The Northridge, which consists of 16 one-bedroom apartments and four stores. Both Northridge projects are part of a larger effort to revitalize the area.

Daniel J. Baker, the developer’s real estate attorney, said after Thursday’s IDA meeting, "We expect the application [for tax breaks] will be placed back on the April agenda and we are hopeful that the full board will vote to approve."

The one "nay" vote was cast by business executive Brian Beedenbender who recently was appointed to the IDA.

"What I’m struggling with is whether this agency is really empowered to help this type of development," he said, referring to housing not being mentioned in the 1969 state law that established IDAs.

An attorney for the Suffolk IDA said if Northridge Square is found by the agency to "promote employment opportunities and prevent economic deterioration" in the community, it is to "be considered a commercial project." Housing developments judged to be commercial developments are eligible for IDA aid, according to a 1985 opinion from the state comptroller who regulates IDAs.

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