Isaiah Moultrie Jr., left, with his parents, Eulah and the Rev. Isaiah...

Isaiah Moultrie Jr., left, with his parents, Eulah and the Rev. Isaiah Moultrie Sr., in front of the apartment building construction site on Bayview Avenue in Inwood. Credit: Linda Rosier

Construction of 48 apartments on Bayview Avenue in Inwood could begin in the coming weeks, fulfilling a father and son's dream of turning land where the father had preached into affordable dwellings for the community. 

“My father always wanted to have affordable housing for veterans, law enforcement, civil servants,” Isaiah Moultrie Jr. said in an interview last week. “He always wanted ... quality housing for people that otherwise maybe we could not be able to afford in the Five Towns.”

The site, where the Rev. Isaiah Moultrie Sr.'s church used to stand, combines four lots for the building and two lots for parking.

Last month, the Hempstead Town Industrial Development Agency approved an amendment to a previously approved tax break package for Inwood Property Development LLC, Moultrie's company that is building the $21.7 million project. The amendment reflected a change in the mix of apartments — the number of one-bedroom apartments was reduced while the number of two- and three-bedroom units was increased, records show.

Inwood affordable housing plan

  • 356-370 Bayview Ave. Inwood
  • 48 affordable units in a five-story, two-elevator building
  • The 52,600-square-foot building includes a 6,000-foot terrace
  • 46 parking spaces for residents

SOURCE: Project documents filed with New York State Housing Finance Agency

In August, the New York State Housing Finance Agency approved subsidized loans for some of the costs of the project, according to agency board materials.

The project, when first approved for IDA tax breaks in 2022, had been 25% affordable and 75% market rate. The project now will be 100% affordable, a requirement of the Small Building Participation Loan Program. The project will use a $4.3 million loan from the state Housing Finance Agency, which carries a 0.5% interest rate, according to agency documents.

The IDA tax benefits include exemptions on mortgage recording taxes and sales taxes as well as a 20-year payment in lieu of taxes agreement, or PILOT. PILOTs are used to reduce the cost of property taxes.

After his father, who is now 89, moved to South Carolina in the 1980s, Moultrie, 57, said he built a career as a real estate developer, building housing and commercial projects through his company, NY Construction and Contracting, on Long Island, in New York City and elsewhere, and managed properties through an umbrella company called Moultrie Realty Holding LLC.

The Bayview Avenue project will include one studio, 15 one-bedroom, 18 two-bedroom and 14 three-bedroom apartments, according to project documents. Rents will range from $1,727 to $3,287 and units will be available to people with income between 70% and 90% of the area's median income.

The project has gone through a lengthy approval process and was nearly killed by the Hempstead Town Board last year. In 2019, the town board approved a rezoning to allow the construction of apartments.

On May 21, 2019, the Moultries made their case to the town board for why the property should be rezoned from single-family homes to allow multifamily housing in Inwood.

The project attorney said the rezoning would be the first step to transform the "blighted site," which he described as "a jumble of different non-conforming and ... illegal or dilapidated buildings."

The Rev. Isaiah Moutrie Sr.spoke fondly of his old neighborhood.

"We had a beautiful time in Inwood and we want Inwood to stay that way," Moultrie said according to the meeting transcript. "Our family grew up there and they played together." 

Then-Councilman Bruce Blakeman was effusive in his praise of the father's service to the country as a Marine in the 1950s and the project, according to the transcript.

"Reverend, I just want to say thank you very much, that is one of the things that makes Inwood so special is that it is multi-cultural," Blakeman said according to the transcript. "I just want to say, God bless you. Thank you for your service to America."

Earlier in 2019, the town had created new zoning designations to encourage the building of higher-density transit-oriented developments near the commuter train stations in Inwood and Lawrence, but the Moultries' property was outside that zone.

By late 2022 the mood had changed. The town board imposed a moratorium on transit-oriented development.

In January 2023, Gov. Kathy Hochul's proposed budget included a housing measure that would have forced local governments to accept greater density around commuter train stations.

Town Supervisor Don Clavin, Newsday reported at the time, said Hochul's plan was an "attempt to really take the suburban dream and make it an urban nightmare.”

On March 14, 2023, the town board extended the moratorium by one year with a last-minute amendment tacked on that added Moultrie's project.

Town Attorney John Maccarone, according to a transcript, told the board they should include that zoning designation for Moultrie's project in the moratorium "as it also permits high-density zoning near the [Transit Oriented Development] and related Districts of North Lawrence and Inwood."

Moultrie sued the town, alleging it hadn't followed proper legal procedure with its previously unannounced amendment. The parties settled quickly and in May the moratorium was amended again, without the ban on developing Moultrie's property.

Moultrie said in an interview that the conflict had been a "misunderstanding" and that there were "no hard feelings."

Town spokesman Greg Blower explained the town's reversal in an email Monday: "Upon further legal research and opinion, the Town Attorney recommended that the Board not include the property in the designation."

Moultrie said construction is expected to last 16 to 18 months. Groundbreaking is planned for Feb. 23.

Last month the Hempstead IDA also approved tax breaks for Conklin Estates LLC, a market-rate apartment building at 37 Conklin Ave. in Woodmere. In 2022 the town board reauthorized a lapsed zoning change to allow developer Friedman Group LLC to build multifamily housing near the Woodmere LIRR station, records show. That project was not included in the town's moratorium.

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