Trailer City, along Jericho Turnpike in Commack, is the site...

Trailer City, along Jericho Turnpike in Commack, is the site of a proposed apartment project that cleared a Smithtown Planning Board review. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

A proposal for a 98-unit rental apartment complex in Commack cleared an early review hurdle Wednesday night, winning recommendation from the Smithtown Planning Board for a zoning change needed for development.

Woodbury-based developer TDG Realty Acquisitions is petitioning to change zoning of the 4.96-acre site at 1100 West Jericho Tpke. from residential and wholesale as well as service industry, to garden apartments. The developer proposes a three-story, 40-foot building with one- and two-bedroom apartments for renters 55 and older. The project would mirror the developer’s Fieldstone complex to the west, sharing its entry road and sewage treatment plant. 

“It’s a lifestyle — there’s a pool, a clubhouse, people get together, they play cards, they have little events by the pool,” said Rob DiNoto, the company principal. 

The Smithtown Town Board will vote on the Planning Board’s recommendation, but that vote has not been scheduled. Other necessary approvals and possible variance requests put construction a year away, town planner Peter Hans said in an interview. 

Trailer City, a trailer and parts store, currently occupies the site, which includes buildings left over from an earlier occupant that manufactured lawn statues. The buildings would be demolished before development, Anthony Guardino, a lawyer representing TDG, said at Wednesday night’s hearing.

“Our clientele has been happy with our services for quite a while, but the proposed use seems to be a great fit,” said Trailer City president Lewis Terowsky.

Terowsky’s company will sell its site to DiNoto’s if TDG gets the town approvals it needs to build, Terowsky said. He declined to give the sale price. The location of a new Trailer City site is “yet to be determined.”  

Rents would likely be comparable to those at Fieldstone, DiNoto said, ranging from about $2,350 to $3,200. The developer would seek Suffolk County tax breaks for the project, he said. Existing homes to the south would be protected by a 60-foot natural buffer. 

Smithown’s draft comprehensive plan, introduced in 2020 but still not finalized, also recommended changing the site’s zoning to allow for multifamily development, describing the turnpike’s current scenery as “a mix of visually uninviting uses.”

That document also warns of a need to diversify the town’s housing stock. About nine of 10 housing units in Smithtown are single-family detached or attached homes, and fewer than one in 10 units is renter-occupied.

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