A developer who two years ago was told by Babylon Town to go back to the drawing board on an apartment complex proposal in North Amityville, is now hoping for condominiums instead.
Bunt Development Corp. of Manhasset in 2017 had proposed building 98 one-bedroom rental apartments within 13 two-floor buildings spread out over a 5.7-acre parcel between Harrison Avenue and Steele Place. Residents loudly objected at two public hearings held on the project, saying the apartments would bring in more traffic to an already congested neighborhood, and that they preferred homeownership for the area.
When the matter came before the town board, Supervisor Richard Schaffer told Bunt owner Kadandale Shetty that he had "creatively figured out how to slam in as many buildings as you could . . . I think you have a lot of work to do."
In June, the developer met with the community and is now proposing 80 condominiums in 10 two-floor buildings for the site. The condos would be 1,000 square feet with one-bedroom, a den and one and a half bathrooms. Twenty percent of the units would be affordable housing, and there would be 166 parking spots.
“A lot of thought has gone into the redesign of the site,” Bunt attorney Nicole Blanda told the planning board at a public hearing last week.
“He did what he was supposed to do, which is interact with the community and listen to their concerns,” Schaffer said last week. “This fits better into the character of the community.”
Longtime community activist Rosemarie Dearing said the redesign “is the way we should do things. When the community and the developer come together, things work out much better.”
Some residents remain worried about aspects of the project, particularly the entrance/exit onto busy two-lane Albany Avenue.
“That is going to be a very, very, as the kids would say, extreme hot mess,” said Albany Avenue resident Darlene Miller, suggesting it be made into an entrance only. “It’s not going to work with them coming in and out.”
The proposal requires a zoning change from single-family homes to multiple residence and will come before the town board. Schaffer said the town will make sure all remaining issues are addressed by that time.
“What I heard then was rental versus ownership, density and traffic,” Schaffer said of resident concerns. “He’s already addressed two of the three and we’ll make sure he addresses the third.”