The first floor common area at the newly developed Greybarn...

The first floor common area at the newly developed Greybarn apartments and shopping center in North Amityville, Oct. 11, 2016. Credit: Johnny Milano

A high-end apartment-and-retail complex in North Amityville will hold its official opening Thursday, about two weeks after tenants started moving into the first 50 apartments.

The 20-acre Greybarn complex will be the largest rental development in the Town of Babylon when it reaches its full complement of 500 apartments. Rents for one- and two-bedroom units range from $2,390 to $3,300.

The complex includes 40,000 square feet of retail space — including a Starbucks with a drive-through window — along Route 110 just south of the Southern State Parkway, on the site of a former mobile home park.

This is the first foray into residential development for cousins Mitchell and Gregg Rechler, whose Plainview-based company Rechler Equity Partners owns 6.5 million square feet of commercial real estate on Long Island. The complex was built by an affiliate, R Squared Real Estate Partners.

The Rechlers built the complex because commercial tenants told them employees had trouble finding rental housing on Long Island, Gregg Rechler said.

Greybarn includes a fitness center, screening room and communal spaces. Outdoor amenities such as pools, a boccie court and a garden are expected to open next year.

“The whole concept is to build a sense of community,” Rechler said. “We want both empty-nesters and the young workforce to feel like this is someplace to come home to and feel comfortable.”

Nearly one-third of the apartments are leased, and another five are expected to be rented soon, Rechler said.

Another 155 apartments are due to open in September. The development is expected to be complete by early 2019.

One-fifth of the units are set aside as affordable housing, at rents of $1,324 to $1,608. The Long Island Housing Partnership, which screens applicants, said it has received more than 200 applications. To be eligible, tenants can earn up to 80 percent of the local median income, or $76,450 for a family of three.

The 100 discounted rentals will help address Long Island’s “shortage of affordable rental housing,” said Peter Elkowitz, chief executive of the Hauppauge-based group.

The complex replaces the Frontier Mobile Home Park, which once included nearly 400 trailers. The park’s residents, many of them on fixed incomes, protested, and a civic association filed lawsuits seeking to stop the redevelopment. The lawsuits were dismissed. The developers have made relocation payments of $20,000 each to 163 residents. Nearly 100 residents remain on a portion of the site; many are eligible for relocation payments.

The former owner of the property, H. Lee Blumberg, previously told county officials he could not afford to fix health and safety violations at the mobile home park.

The relocation plan was “fair” for the park’s residents, Tony Martinez, deputy supervisor of the Town of Babylon, said in a statement.

“This is a perfect example of what can be accomplished when everybody works together,” Martinez said.

The Long Island Housing Partnership has been helping relocate the park’s residents, and some have used their relocation payments to buy homes, Elkowitz said.

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