Heatherwood Luxury Rentals and Hempstead Town officials broke ground Wednesday on...

Heatherwood Luxury Rentals and Hempstead Town officials broke ground Wednesday on a complex slated for the former National Wholesale Liquidators site in West Hempstead. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A longtime West Hempstead eyesore will be demolished to make way for more than 400 transit-oriented apartments and retail space just behind the hamlet’s underutilized Long Island Rail Road station.

Commack developer Heatherwood Luxury Rentals joined with Hempstead Town officials Wednesday as they broke ground on a two-building complex spanning more than 481,000 square feet at the long-defunct 9.4-acre Hempstead Turnpike property that was formerly occupied by National Wholesale Liquidators.

The $212 million development, which has already received approval from the town, would be the largest transit-oriented development project in the history of Nassau County, boosting low ridership at the West Hempstead LIRR station, Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin said.

“It won’t be underutilized in the near future,” Clavin said of the LIRR station. “You’re talking about hundreds of commuters on a daily basis coming in and out of the city at all hours. So this is a win for the development. But really it’s a win for the West Hempstead community.”

WHAT TO KNOW

The two-building complex spans more than 481,000 square feet on a 9.4-acre property on Hempstead Turnpike.

The development calls for 428 units, 5,575 square feet of retail space, parking for 740 vehicles in an on-site lot and basement garage and a 2-acre courtyard.

The apartments range from studios to three-bedroom units, costing between $2,000 to $4,000, according to Heatherwood officials.

The development, known as Heritage by Heatherwood, calls for 428 units, 5,575 square feet of retail space, parking for 740 vehicles in an on-site lot and basement garage and a two-acre courtyard. The apartments would range from studios to three-bedroom units, costing between $2,000 to $4,000, according to Heatherwood officials.

Amenities are expected to include an outdoor and indoor fitness center, a rooftop lounge, pool, outdoor barbecues and fire pits, according to the company.

Construction would take roughly three years to complete, and also calls for the demolition of the vacant 106,652-square-foot National Wholesale Liquidators building.

“We are investing over $200 million in revitalizing this blighted site in our home market on Long Island,” Heatherwood president Christopher Capece said.

The project is expected to generate 250 construction jobs and seven permanent jobs, according to the Town of Hempstead Industrial Development Agency, which previously granted the developer a 20-year PILOT, or payment in lieu of taxes, in which it would pay an average of $2.1 million annually to various taxing jurisdictions.

Annual PILOT disbursements would start at $771,088 — the current taxes on site — and after a three-year freeze would increase over the balance of the PILOT to $5,312,000, the IDA has said.

Maureen Greenberg, president of the West Hempstead Community Support Association, said the project was three years in the making and involved significant community input from a host of groups.

“While we have a couple of years in front of us until we have several hundred new neighbors, we have been given reassurances that the construction of this project will be mindful of neighbors on adjacent streets,” she said.

National Wholesale Liquidators Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and closed its flagship West Hempstead location — the retailer’s only Long Island store — in 2019, laying off about 140 workers.

The site, which has been vacant ever since, had previously been home to several other retailers, including Klein’s, a discount department store, E.J. Korvette, which operated another chain of bargain retail shops, Woolworth’s and Shoppers Village.

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