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Hempstead Town IDA denies tax breaks for Nader mixed-use project

Attorney Michael Cirrito addresses the Hempstead Town IDA

Attorney Michael Cirrito addresses the Hempstead Town IDA regarding tax breaks to Nader Enterprises for the renovation of a mixed-use building at 131 Fulton Ave. on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, in Hempstead. Credit: Howard Schnapp

The Hempstead Town Industrial Development Agency on Thursday denied tax incentives for a $1.3 million renovation of a mixed-use building in Hempstead Village.

The building’s owner, Nader Enterprises, wants to create 40 residential units and 10 commercial spaces to rent in the six-floor structure at 131 Fulton Ave. The dilapidated building, formerly office space, is currently vacant and squatters routinely break in, said Michael Cirrito, an attorney for Nader Enterprises.

The company’s owner, Reza Nabavi, sought a sales tax exemption and a 10-year payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT, from the IDA. The renovations would have created three permanent full-time jobs as well as temporary construction jobs, officials have said. “This is the first building that you really see when you’re traveling from west to east on Hempstead Turnpike” in the village, Cirrito said.

The IDA board — including two members from the village — voted unanimously against the application after a presentation and public comment period that lasted more than an hour.

IDA members raised concerns about the number of jobs the project would create, as well as the fact that Nabavi was planning to finance the project himself with some family investors.

“I didn’t think it was a good PILOT from the get-go,” chairman Arthur Nastre said after the meeting. “It’s not really much of an economic benefit to the village.”

Three village residents spoke against the proposed tax breaks. Caprice Rines, 49, called it “corporate welfare” and said the village doesn’t need more apartment buildings and the extra schoolchildren that would be added to the already overcrowded schools.

Cirrito said the IDA’s decision was “extremely shortsighted” and the building might fall into further disrepair because the tax incentives were denied, lowering the taxes even more.

He said village officials have told Nabavi that he must do something to clean up the building because homeless people have taken refuge inside. Previously issued building department violations have since been corrected, he added.

“I am in a very, very hard situation,” Nabavi said at the meeting.

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