Glen Cove’s decadeslong transformation of its waterfront couldn’t have been timed better: the pandemic has boosted interest in the suburbs just as technology has made working at home the new normal for many employees.
About half of the 1,110 units of housing in the 56-acre Garvies Point development rising on the waterfront have been completed since ground broke in 2016, a spokeswoman for developer RXR Realty said. More than 80 condos have sold and more than 100 apartments rented, according to figures provided by RXR.
“While the coronavirus pandemic may have slowed construction, it actually made Garvies Point more attractive to New York City residents looking to leave the city,” Moody’s Investors Service said last month in a report on Glen Cove. “Given its location, easy access to New York City and available housing, Garvies Point is a very attractive option for those looking for alternatives to living in New York City.”
Another RXR project in the city, the Village Square, a 146-unit mixed-use development built around a 16,500-square-foot public plaza in downtown, is slated to start renting in September.
Kevin Law, president and chief executive of the Long Island Association, a business group, said Glen Cove offers “a relatively decent commute, the outdoors scenery aspect of things and a way lower density than Manhattan that's going to be attractive to many people.”
“Long Island is well-positioned to accommodate those who may want to work remotely a couple of days where you can go into the city a couple of days a week,” Law said.
A shift in work away from the office using technology like Zoom for online meetings could have happened gradually on its own, but because of the pandemic “it happened almost overnight” and has “lengthened the tether between home and work,” said Jonathan Miller, president and chief executive of Miller Samuel Inc., a real estate consulting firm. This has “helped make suburban locations surrounding the city more competitive.”
“It speaks to the COVID crisis phenomenon that we’ve seen in New York where there has been outbound migration,” Miller said. “We're seeing this reassessment of proximity to work, and Glen Cove would fall in that category.”
Glen Cove Mayor Timothy Tenke said the development is “expanding our tax base” and he welcomes transplants.
“We need to have a strong population that will support our downtown,” Tenke said, noting that development has to be done “smartly.” “We can’t expand so quickly that we overwhelm our infrastructure,” he added.
RXR’s investment in Glen Cove, more than $1 billion, is spurring additional development interest, Moody’s said in its report.
One developer has submitted a proposal to the Glen Cove planning board to build two 10-story buildings on industrial property adjacent to RXR’s development. Calls to Shahrokh Abiri, who is listed as the managing member of the towers’ developer in city filings, were not returned last week. The property is zoned for two-story buildings.
Tenke said the property should be converted to residential, but “just because they’re proposing 10-story buildings doesn’t mean that’s what they’re going to get.”
GARVIES POINT PLAN
541 rental apartments
75,000 square feet of commercial retail space
27+ acres of open space for public use
2,381 parking spaces
Source: RXR Realty