Steel Equities hopes to purchase the former Pall Corp. headquarters...

Steel Equities hopes to purchase the former Pall Corp. headquarters in East Hills and renovate it. The redevelopment plan is valued at $25 million, and it will receive a 20-year property tax abatement and exemptions on the mortgage recording and sales taxes from Nassau County. (June 22, 2011) Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

The drive to revive downtowns by building affordable apartments for commuters and young people near Long Island Rail Road stations received a boost last night when a project in Great Neck Plaza Village won lucrative tax breaks.

The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency unanimously backed a proposed 93-unit apartment complex at 245-265 Great Neck Rd., which is a vacant lot with a very large hole in the ground.

The planned 100,000-square-foot building will employ 16 people upon completion in February 2013, according to developers Frank and Kevin Lalezarian. They said 18 of the apartments would have "below-market" rents and will be reserved for village employees, firefighters, police and other emergency workers.

The project, called Plaza Landmark, is valued at $28.4 million. The development agency is providing exemptions on the mortgage recording and sales taxes as well as a 30-year property tax abatement. "Long Island needs more affordable housing at or near rail stations to help redevelop our downtowns," said Joseph Kearney, the agency's executive director.

Also receiving assistance last night from Nassau was Steel Equities of Bethpage, which hopes to purchase the former Pall Corp. headquarters in East Hills and renovate it for offices. Kearney said the building at 2200 Northern Blvd. became dilapidated under the ownership of home-building retailer Lowe's, which paid about $40 million for it in 2007.

The redevelopment plan is valued at $25 million. It will receive a 20-year property tax abatement and exemptions on the mortgage recording and sales taxes.

Once renovations are completed in July 2013, St. Francis Hospital is expected to rent 200,000 square feet of the available 315,000. It will move 120 jobs from its Roslyn location, 72 from North Brookville and create another 150, Kearney said.

Other tenants include insurance giant MetLife Inc., which plans to use 39,000 square feet for a Long Island headquarters. That will mean the closing of other local offices and moving 200 jobs to East Hills.

Retail services provider Kliger-Weiss will occupy 31,000 square feet. Kearney said the Port Washington-based company, which employs 125 workers, had considered moving to Suffolk County or leaving New York State.

The development agency also has been offered the option of establishing a business incubator in 10,000 square feet. "This is something we've been talking about for a long time," said Jeffrey Seltzer, agency board chairman. "It would be nice if we could promote more innovation in Nassau County."

Other projects receiving county aid are:

A $19-million extended-stay hotel in Carle Place to be owned by developer Allan V. Rose. The 150-room facility, part of the Hilton Homewood Suites chain, will be located at 234 Westbury Ave. where a vacant lot now stands.

Sale and refurbishment of Pine Town Homes in Long Beach. The eight apartment buildings are being purchased by Christopher Collins, Anthony Nickas and Ed Lubitz, according to documents. They plan to refurbish the 100 units, which primarily serve low-income people. The project cost is $26.9 million.

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