The proposed Sutton Landing at Commack rental community for people...

The proposed Sutton Landing at Commack rental community for people age 55 and older. Credit: EB at Commack LLC

A town house development in Commack for affluent renters age 55 and older has won $7.1 million in tax breaks over 15 years from Suffolk County.

The board of the county’s Industrial Development Agency, in a 5-1 vote with one abstention, gave final approval last week for the tax-aid package for the Sutton Landing at Commack project by B2K Development.

The incentives consist of a sales-tax exemption of up to $1.8 million on the purchase of construction materials and furnishings; up to $346,740 off the mortgage recording tax and $4.9 million in property-tax savings over 15 years, or 41%.

B2K plans to spend $58 million to construct 86 upscale town houses on 7.6 acres of vacant land near the Gurwin Jewish Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Hauppauge Road. Two maintenance jobs would be created, each paying $60,000 per year, on average, according to IDA records.

The two-bedroom units will have an attached garage and are organized into eight buildings, totaling 133,740 square feet. There also will be a pool and clubhouse with a sports bar and gym, said Kelly Murphy, the IDA's acting executive director.

Monthly rents for 74 of the units would range from $4,150 to $4,350. An additional six “affordable” units and six “workforce housing” units would rent for $2,600 and $3,950, respectively, according to an independent cost-benefit analysis paid for by the IDA. Renters must be age 55 or older.

At last month’s IDA meeting, several board members pressed B2K executives to increase the number of affordable units. But last week, the developer’s real estate attorney, Peter L. Curry, responding to a question from IDA treasurer Sondra Cochran, said there would be no additional affordable units.

Curry also said B2K will donate $400,000 to Huntington Town’s Affordable Housing Trust and Agency Fund in lieu of having four more affordable units. Town code sets the minimum number of affordable units in a 55-and-older project but allows for fewer units if the developer agrees to contribute to the fund, he said.

Minutes later, Cochran, who leads the Wyandanch Community Development Corp., abstained from voting on the resolution granting final approval for the tax breaks. Board member Joshua Slaughter, a union official, voted “nay.”

The tax-aid package was also opposed by Legis. Robert Trotta (R-Fort Salonga).

At a May 15 public hearing, Trotta aide Greg Moran testified that the legislator “feels the project falls short in terms of affordability and [with] the majority of units renting for well in excess of $4,000 [per month that] should be enough of a profit margin” for the developer.

In the application for IDA benefits, B2K principal Steven Krieger wrote that "given the high development costs on Long Island, [the company] will deploy its assets in other locations [off the Island]" if the tax breaks weren't granted. He also noted that B2K has a development partner in Chicago and affiliates that have built projects in southern states. 

The other Sutton Landing rental communities in Deer Park, Mount Sinai and Uniondale have all received IDA tax breaks.

B2K was formed last year by several principals of the Engel Burman Group. The Jericho-based company is best known for its 24 Bristal assisted-living facilities, including 16 in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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