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Assisted-living center wins low-cost electricity for $82 million expansion

Jefferson's Ferry plans to build three new buildings

Jefferson's Ferry plans to build three new buildings and is promising to add at least 41 people to its workforce of 350. Credit: Jefferson's Ferry

Jefferson’s Ferry, a nonprofit retirement community in South Setauket, has been awarded low-cost electricity by the state to support an $82 million expansion, officials said.

The independent- and assisted-living development for 400 senior citizens is the second on Long Island to receive ReCharge NY energy from the state Power Authority. The other is Peconic Landing in Greenport, according to state records.

Jefferson’s plans to construct three buildings totaling 165,000 square feet. They will include assisted-living suites for seniors with dementia, additional independent-living apartments, fitness and rehabilitation center, beauty salon and doctors' offices. In addition, the existing health center will be converted to art and community rooms, additional dining facilities and common areas.

Job growth promised

The nonprofit will receive 440 kilowatts in return for promising to add a minimum of 41 people to its workforce of 350.

A thousand kilowatts can power between 800 and 1,000 homes.

Jefferson’s was among three local businesses and nonprofits to secure power allocations last week. The allocations are for seven years.

The Jefferson’s allocation “directly supports a critical living facility on Long Island with a reduction to its bottom-line costs,” authority CEO Gil C. Quiniones said. 

Jefferson’s, opened in 2001, consists of 488,000 square feet of buildings on 50 acres. It's associated with the Mather Hospital, which is part of Northwell Health.

Suffolk County issued $83.47 million in tax-exempt bonds to finance the initial construction of the senior citizen development more than 20 years ago. Vivian Viloria-Fisher, former deputy presiding officer of the county legislature, leads the Jefferson’s board.

CEO Bob Caulfield said the low-cost electricity will reduce the nonprofit's expenses, helping residents age 62 and older with fixed incomes to pay their bills. "Reducing our energy costs through this program goes a long way in helping Jefferson's Ferry control the amount of fees we charge our members, giving them piece of mind about their future," he said.

Caulfield said interest in the proposed apartments and suites is high, with people putting down deposits that equal more than 70% of the deposits required for the nonprofit to secure construction financing. "The challenges of aging in place were magnified during the pandemic," he said.

Half of the ReCharge NY electricity is produced by dams near Niagara Falls and along the St. Lawrence River upstate.

Among the latest power recipients, Jefferson’s has promised to invest the most money and create the greatest number of jobs.

4 others win cheap energy

1025Connect, a data hosting company in New Cassel, received the largest allocation: 992 kilowatts. Its building on Old Country Road is the site of a fiber optic co-location facility, or relay point for international internet communications.

1025Connect, which has been owned by German company Ancotel GmBH since 2010, plans to spend more than $18 million on equipment and building improvements that will add 17 jobs to its payroll of three people.

Food distributor Crown I Enterprises Inc. received its third power allocation on Tuesday. The additional 276 kilowatts will support the purchase of refrigeration, processing and dock equipment valued at $5 million.

The Bay Shore business employs 130 people and has pledged to create 30 jobs.

In May, door manufacturer Karp Associates Inc. in Melville also won a third power allocation. The additional 56 kilowatts were in return for the company’s promise to retain 145 employees and invest $4 million in factory upgrades including solar panels on the roof.

Separately, in May, the state granted 136 kilowatts to Crescent Packing Corp. in Farmingdale in return for $1 million in building improvements and equipment purchases. The wholesale meat distributor has 51 workers and plans to add one more.

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