Nassau County has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax breaks to a developer who plans to convert a shuttered Plainview hotel into high-end senior apartments, officials said.
The county’s Industrial Development Agency granted Capitol Seniors Housing of Washington a sales-tax exemption of up to $564,723 on the purchase of construction materials and equipment for 111 proposed apartments at 9 Gerhard Rd. The property until recently had been a 170-room Residence Inn by Marriott.
The IDA also agreed to freeze the property taxes on the site for three years, followed by increases of 2 percent in each of the following 17 years. The tax bill currently totals $1.1 million, according to Capitol Seniors’ attorney Daniel P. Deegan.
He said the $31 million project would not happen without the tax breaks. “It’s a very financially challenging project because the [property] taxes are very high,” he said at the IDA’s board meeting last week.
If the Capitol Seniors project moves forward, it would be the second time that the property has been used for senior housing. In 1988 Greenbriar senior housing opened with 100 units, but it was soon replaced by a hotel because the tenants couldn’t afford monthly rents that averaged $2,000 in 1989, according to news reports at the time.
In return for the IDA help, Capitol Seniors has promised to create 38 jobs that pay, on average, $39,500 per year.
The company will charge monthly rents of $4,000 for a studio, $4,750 for a one-bedroom apartment and $5,750 for a two-bedroom. The monthly rents are thousands of dollars less than those of two nearby competitors, according to comparisons supplied to the IDA by Capitol Seniors.
Residents will be provided with meals, transportation services, activities and staff who will check in on them, said Capitol Seniors executive Fred Moon.
He added the proposed development is independent living, not assisted living, for retirees.
The IDA board endorsed the project, citing a shortage of senior apartments in Nassau.
“We have a growing need,” said board secretary Timothy Williams. “These places fill up in record time after they open. They aren’t empty.”
Still, Nassau Legis. Arnold W. Drucker (D-Plainview) said his community has a glut of senior housing. “I would prefer the IDA to focus on attracting young people to the county by supporting mixed-use developments for young people and old people,” he said.
The property is owned by Plainview developer Donald Monti. In October the hotel's management company said it had lost the Marriott franchise, would close for renovations and hoped to reopen in about a year under a new name. Eighty people lost their jobs.