Six years after superstorm Sandy destroyed a multifamily housing complex in Oceanside, 230 new apartments are slated for construction on the vacant site.
The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency last month approved tax breaks for Woodcrest Village Park Associates to construct the $60.5 million housing development on Rockaway Avenue near the East Rockaway Long Island Rail Road station.
The proximity to mass transit is central to the intended appeal of the project, say its backers, who hope it will attract millennials and empty-nesters less interested in the car-centric lifestyle of typical Long Island neighborhoods.
“We feel there’s a great need on Long Island to attract and retain [millennials] in communities, particularly those that have access to the city, but also have a dynamic quasi-downtown,” Michael Faltischek, an attorney representing the developer, said at an IDA meeting in September.
Woodcrest Village Park Associates’ application to the IDA lists Jeffrey Feil as a managing general partner. Feil is the CEO of the Feil Organization, a Manhattan-based real estate firm.
Feil Organization representatives did not respond to requests for comment.
Ten percent of the apartments will be affordable-housing units, Faltischek said at the meeting. In a subsequent interview, he said he did not know what the units would rent for.
The IDA voted unanimously to grant the project a sales tax exemption of up to $2,001,560, a mortgage tax reduction of up to $337,500, and a 15-year property tax break known as a payment in lieu of taxes. The PILOT payments will equal the property’s current annual tax bill of $113,792 at first, then increase to $1,882,523 by the 15th year, IDA records show.
“It’s vital that properties like this be redeveloped,” IDA chairman Richard Kessel said at the meeting.
“This is a superstorm Sandy site that was ravaged and is being brought back to life,” he said.
“The existing buildings on the site were knocked off their foundations” by the storm, David Mammina of H2M architects + engineers said at the meeting.
The Hempstead Town Board voted 6-0 in March to grant the developer a change-of-zone for the property to construct the new, denser building, said Hempstead Town Councilman Anthony D'Esposito, who represents the area.
Councilman Edward Ambrosino recused himself from the vote, meeting minutes show.
D’Esposito said he had concerns about the impact of the planned development on traffic.
Vincent Esposito, president of Bay Park Civic Association in neighboring East Rockaway, shared that concern, and said the proposed building height “takes away from the suburban feel of the community.”
Faltischek said a traffic study by H2M found that the impact on traffic would be "minimal," according to meeting minutes of a public hearing on the project held by the Hempstead Town Board last year.
Mammina did not respond to a question about how many stories the building will be.
Faltischek said at the IDA meeting that he expects construction to begin this fall and last up to two years.