The Glen Cove IDA has approved $1.24 million in mortgage...

The Glen Cove IDA has approved $1.24 million in mortgage and sales tax exemptions for RXR Realty, which will develop an apartment and retail complex in downtown's Village Square, seen Dec. 9, 2016. Credit: Steve Pfost

Uniondale-based RXR Realty will receive more than $1.2 million in tax breaks to build a downtown Glen Cove apartment and retail project, the Glen Cove Industrial Development Agency decided Tuesday night.

The IDA unanimously approved $1.24 million in mortgage and sales tax exemptions for Village Square, which, in addition to 146 apartments and 15,000 square feet in retail space, will include a 16,000-square-foot plaza deeded to the city for public events.

The board also approved 18 years of payments in lieu of taxes, or PILOTs, that will start at $183,062 for the first three years and increase 2 percent annually for 15 years. The value of that property tax break is undetermined.

All seven candidates in the Sept. 12 Democratic City Council primary and the Democratic mayoral candidate, Councilman Timothy Tenke, attended the meeting and said afterward they support redeveloping the 2.8-acre site, most of which is comprised of vacant buildings. But they oppose the tax breaks.

“I believe they should pay the full rate like everyone else,” said Councilman Roderick Watson, who is running for re-election. “People that move to Glen Cove and purchase homes don’t get the same breaks.”

Alluding to previous IDA-approved tax breaks, Tenke said, “We’re giving away too much of the city. The taxpayers are giving away too much.”

RXR Glen Isle Partners, of which RXR Realty is majority owner, received more than $200 million in tax breaks last year to build Garvies Point — with 1,110 condos and apartments, parks, offices and retail — about a half-mile away.

But IDA chairman and Glen Cove Mayor Reginald Spinello said during the meeting that the site has languished undeveloped for years, and the tax breaks are needed to make the $49 million project viable.

The first-year PILOT is nearly $30,000 more than the current property taxes on the site, he said.

IDA vice chairman Vincent Hartley said the current site is a “sewer pit” marring the heart of downtown, making it more difficult for nearby building owners to attract tenants.

RXR owns most of the property but has yet to reach a final agreement to buy a parcel from All Island Real Estate Holdings LLC, whose principal, Dr. Joseph Onorato, has a dermatology office on the site.

Frank Haftel, RXR first vice president, said he expects a final, signed agreement within days.

Village Square has underground parking, but RXR needs 64 more spaces to meet zoning requirements.

Councilmembers are to vote in the future on a proposal for RXR to pay the city $192,000 to use 64 spaces at the adjacent municipal parking garage, Spinello said.

Separately, RXR is negotiating with the city to make those 64 spaces — and 11 additional ones not required by zoning law — assigned parking for Village Square residents. The proposal is for RXR to pay the city $65 a month for those 75 spots, Milan Tyler, an attorney for the IDA, said before the meeting.

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