A public information session on a proposed 16.5-acre mixed-use development in Islandia drew dozens of residents Wednesday night, many of whom expressed concern about traffic and if there is a market for the proposed upscale apartments.
PMG Development Group LLC, based in Woodbridge, Virginia, is behind the more than $100 million development planned off the Long Island Expressway, which promises a high-end apartment complex, restaurants, storefronts and a 110-room hotel. The development is named the Islandia Village Commons.
About 80 people attended the information session, which was organized by the development group, at the Hyatt Regency in Hauppauge.
“We have abandoned houses and now he thinks he’s going to get $2,600 a month to live in Islandia Village,” said Robert Hyde, 56, who was born in Islandia and still lives there.
Hyde was referring to a presentation made by Tad Anderson, a development partner with PMG, who told village residents the average cost of apartments would be about $2,600 a month, with studio units starting at $1,650 per month and one bedrooms for $2,100 a month. The 325-unit, four-story apartment building would offer amenities such as a pool and a sun deck, natural lighting inside the units, quartz countertops and wood-planked floors, Anderson said.
Businesses such as CVS, Chick-fil-A, Cracker Barrel and a host of local chains have expressed interest, he said.
"We are prepared to make a sizable, long-term investment in this property," Anderson said at the meeting. He later said in a statement: "The development site is currently home to a service station, two abandoned buildings and seven residential properties. ... I believe we can do a lot better, our hope is to revitalize this prominent corner into something Islandia can take pride in."
Two of the seven homes on the property were sold to the developer at market value, Anderson said. PMG hopes to purchase the other five. His company has not been offered tax abatements, he added.
The property is off the Long Island Expressway at Exit 58, near Expressway Drive North, and is flanked by Old Nichols Road and Dewey Street.
PMG submitted a rezoning proposal to Islandia officials in November to consolidate the individual parcels into one development zoned for multiple uses, Anderson said. No formal meetings have been held, and potential construction is years away, he said.
Village officials could not be reached Thursday. But Mayor Allan Dorman indicated mixed feelings during an Oct. 2 board meeting when he brought up the development while giving updates about the village.
"I'm not 100 percent on board," Dorman said. "It's an awful lot to squeeze into a certain amount of space."
Rosemary Speciale, a 45-year resident of Islandia who attended Wednesday's meeting, said she is concerned about the development's long-term viability.
"It looks beautiful, and on paper it's gorgeous," she said. "We want to see real nice stuff in our village. We just don't want to see something get built and then sit there empty."
With Rachelle Blidner