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Suffolk IDA OKs some tax exemptions for Smithtown senior complex

The Siena Village Section-8 senior apartment complex in

The Siena Village Section-8 senior apartment complex in Smithtown is seen on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015. The complex is made up of 20 buildings with 299 apartment units. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

A California-based developer that plans to purchase and renovate a low-income senior apartment complex in Smithtown as part of a $90 million project received preliminary approval Thursday of up to $606,225 in sales and mortgage recording tax exemptions from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency.

But the IDA board also unanimously voted for a 30-year PILOT, or payment in lieu of taxes, structure that would result in Siena Investors LLC -- an affiliate of Sherman Oaks-based GHC Housing Partners -- paying $373,750 the first year. That is more than the site's current property tax of about $340,000.

Siena Village, a 39.5-acre complex of 20 buildings and 299 apartments at 2000 Bishops Rd., is not on the tax roll because it is owned by Catholic Health Services of Long Island, a not-for-profit company.

The board approved a PILOT property tax structure that will increase 3 percent each year of the 30-year term.

"That differential between what the developer offered to pay and what the IDA is recommending is $5.4 million additional tax contributions over the 30 years," said Kevin Gremse, director of the National Development Council, a national nonprofit community development organization that advised the IDA on the project.

Grant Hendricks, vice chair of the IDA board, said the plan sounded like a "win-win-win" by "helping preserve quality, affordable senior housing . . . [and] significantly increasing the amount of taxes that this property will pay on the town, county and state level."

R.J. Miller, GHC's senior vice president of acquisitions and development, said in a statement Thursday that the company was "pleased to have a compromised structure that will keep this preservation project on track, while also increasing the economic benefits to the local community."


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