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Babylon IDA extends public comment deadline on project that could save developer $20M

Luxury developer AvalonBay Communities of Melville plans to

Luxury developer AvalonBay Communities of Melville plans to build 317 apartments and 21 townhouses on the former site of Brunswick Hospital in Amityville. Credit: KTGY Architecture + Planning

The Babylon Town Industrial Development Agency is keeping the record open on a proposed tax abatement for an apartment complex in Amityville after holding a public hearing that resulted in some criticism of the deal.

The IDA will accept comments on the proposed AvalonBay abatement until 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The 15-year deal, which would save AvalonBay Communities of Melville nearly $20 million, is for a planned development of 317 apartments and 21 townhouses on the former site of Brunswick Hospital which closed in 2005.

The proposed PILOT, or payment in lieu of taxes, starts at a 100% abatement that increases by 6.6% each year. The company would save $2.4 million in sales tax and $17.2 million in property taxes, for a total savings of $19.6 million.

“This project represents a very significant investment in the property and in Amityville Village as a whole,” said Tom Dolan, the IDA’s CEO, during last Wednesday's Zoom hearing. The company is investing $120 million, he added.

Dolan said current annual taxes on the property are $110,326 and that AvalonBay would pay $154,589 in the first year of the PILOT.

“Even with the financial benefits, the property will pay $17.5 million more in taxes than it would without the project over 15 years,” he said.

The only speaker at the hearing, Chris Connors, mentioned the Wyandanch Rising complex, which also received a tax deal, and concerns that this project would similarly bring “many schoolchildren” which would raise taxes. He also objected to the hearing being done over Zoom.

“This project will have an enormous impact and affect the village and all of Amityville for years to come,” he said. “This is how this thing is going to get jammed through?”

In a statement, Dolan said that the Wyandanch apartments have 22 children and that of those, 10 were already in the district prior to moving into the apartments. The IDA could not provide an estimate for schoolchildren regarding the Amityville project.

As of Monday, the IDA had received one other comment on the deal, which was in favor. Those wishing to submit comments can email them to info@babylonida.org.

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