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IDA sets ‘final’ vote on Long Beach project’s tax breaks

The Superblock property at the boardwalk between Riverside

The Superblock property at the boardwalk between Riverside Boulevard and Long Beach Boulevard in Long Beach is pictured on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. The Nassau IDA is to meet July 28, 2016 on controversial tax breaks for an apartment complex at the site. Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

Nassau County officials will deliver the final vote at the end of the month on a controversial request for $109 million in tax breaks for a Manhattan developer to build two oceanfront apartment towers in Long Beach.

The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency is set to vote July 28 whether to approve or deny plans by iStar Financial to spend $336 million to build two 15-story apartment towers overlooking the boardwalk.

IDA officials issued letters Tuesday to the Long Beach school district and Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano that the vote was planned at 5 p.m. at the IDA offices in Mineola.

Mangano said he still opposes the tax breaks iStar is seeking. Developers have said they cannot build on the Superblock site between Riverside and Long Beach boulevards without a PILOT, or a payment in lieu of taxes.

There have been no changes to iStar’s application for $99 million in property tax exemptions and another $10 million in mortgage recording and sales tax relief.

A vote on the project was canceled in May when the Long Beach Public School District raised concerns about its economic impact to the district, city and Nassau County, in addition to enrollment of students the 522-apartment complex would bring to the city.

School officials said they were not aware of the July 28 vote and said their concerns over the project remain. Superintendent David Weiss said the school district’s attorneys have reached out to iStar, but no meeting has been set.

“Nothing has been said so far to make the school district change its mind from the questions that were raised in the analysis,” Weiss said.

That economic analysis was commissioned by the IDA board for $25,000. It said that iStar would pay $35.5 million in taxes over 20 years to Nassau County, the City of Long Beach, and to Long Beach schools.

The report estimated the building would generate $17.9 million in property taxes over 20 years and $8 million for the life of the project for the Long Beach School district. The city also stands to gain $4 million in community benefit payments starting when the first tower is built.

IDA Executive Director Joseph J. Kearney said the board will not take any further public comment after holding two public hearings on two different versions of the tax package.

“This has been one of the most thoroughly examined and vetted applications that the IDA staff has gone through,” Kearney said. “I think everyone who has expressed an interest in being heard, has been heard and, frankly, the board is of the opinion it has to decide one way or the other what it is going to do with this application, out of fairness to the applicant and to the residents of Long Beach and Nassau County.”

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