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Huntington Station revitalization project gets $2.6M tax break

A partner in an effort to revitalize Huntington Station received the Suffolk County IDA’s preliminary approval for $2.6 million in tax breaks over 15 years for a project planned on New York Avenue.

The tax breaks were awarded for a $21 million development at 1000-1026 New York Ave. to be built by Huntington-based JDJ Gateway JV LLC. The project is part of a plan for Huntington Station by Plainview-based Renaissance Downtowns at Huntington Station LLC, the hamlet’s master developer.

The Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency awarded the tax break, known as a PILOT or payment in lieu of taxes, Thursday.

JDJ Gateway JV has partnered with Renaissance to complete the project that is to include a 61,000-square-foot mixed-use building with 66 rental apartments, including 45 one-bedroom, 11 studio and 10 two-bedroom residences.

Developers also have proposed about 13,500 square feet of ground floor retail, restaurant and commercial office space and associated parking. An existing 11,000-square-foot building will be demolished.

“We’re very excited about the project and the opportunity for Huntington Station,” Gregory DeRosa, president of G2D Development, the lead developer on the Gateway project, said Friday. “We’re grateful to work with the IDA on this and it was imperative to work with them to make this deal happen.”

DeRosa also co-owns JDJ Gateway JV with his business partner, David Levine.

Under the 15-year PILOT, the developer will pay an estimated $137,144 in property taxes in the first year, with the benefit decreased by 4 percent a year until reaching full taxes of an estimated $329,145 in the final year, which would be a savings of $1.6 million.

IDA officials said the PILOT goes into effect once the building is constructed and is put into service, which likely will be in about two years.

The agreement also allows for up to $774,791 in sales tax exemptions and mortgage recording tax exemptions of up to $158,522.

Renaissance is in a 50/50 partnership with Uniondale-based RXR Realty in revamping Huntington Station. Renaissance was selected by the town to be the master developer in 2011.

Huntington Town Board member Ed Smyth has criticized the Gateway project after the town board’s vote earlier this month to transfer ownership of 1000 New York Ave. to Renaissance using a 2-year-old land appraisal. Smyth said he believes an independent, current fair market appraisal should have been conducted before the flat parcel of land on Route 110 — within walking distance of the Long Island Rail Road station — was “given away.”

“The lack of transparency on this particular project is growing more and more alarming every day,” Smyth said Friday. “I think a forensic audit should be done on the entire project and the town should have an independent group look at the Renaissance contract.”

Town officials have said the transfer of the land was in line with its agreement with Renaissance.

DeRosa said without the IDA benefits the project would not have been economically feasible.

Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci said economic development “has been stagnant and nonexistent in Huntington Station for decades, so there are certain government incentives that have to be looked at in order to help with revitalization.”

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