A Rocky Point developer is proposing an apartment complex in the hamlet that he says will address a shortage of housing for senior citizens — and give some veterans new homes.
The 38-unit development — to be called On the Common @ Rocky Point — would be restricted to residents who are at least 55 years old, said developer Mark Baisch of Landmark Properties.
About a quarter of the units would be reserved for veterans, said Baisch, who called the development “the most exciting project I’ve done to date.”
“I don’t do anything without doing something for the veterans,” Baisch said during an Aug. 31 public hearing before the Brookhaven Town Board. “This is a very, very important project.”
The town board unanimously approved Baisch’s request to rezone several parcels covering 3.2 acres on Broadway between King and Prince roads, in Rocky Point’s business district.
The properties, which were vacated last year when Thurber Lumber closed, previously had been zoned for business and residential uses. The board rezoned the parcels for multifamily development.
Baisch said 40 people have submitted applications for apartments. Building permits and other approvals are required before construction can begin.
One applicant, Dominick Losquadro, 95, a World War II veteran from Rocky Point, said he struggles to care for his current home, adding the complex would be an “ideal place” to live.
“This house to me is a blessing,” Losquadro said. “I will be the first to move in there.”
The project drew support from members of Rocky Point’s civic association and historical society, who said it would help revitalize the hamlet’s struggling downtown business district.
Baisch plans to renovate a former Long Island Rail Road station, which had served as an office for the lumber yard, and turn it over to the civic association to be used as a museum.
Some residents opposed the project. Anita LoPiccolo said downtown was a poor location for a housing development, adding that town officials should instead rehabilitate vacant homes in the hamlet.
“We don’t have a plan that is in any way a 21st century plan,” she said, adding that senior housing “can go somewhere else.”
Supporters of the development said it would provide badly needed housing for seniors who live alone or can no longer take care of large houses.
“There aren’t that many rentals for seniors in the Rocky Point area,” Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said. “Some seniors don’t want to live in a house they find difficult to maintain as they get older.”
Joe Cognitore, commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6249 in Rocky Point, said the development would have open space where residents could meet to socialize, play boccie and drink coffee.
“That whole area will be vibrant,” he said. “That whole area will have people there.”
On the Common @ Rocky Point
3.2 acres, on Broadway between King and Prince roads
38 apartments; one-quarter reserved for veterans
Monthly rents: $1,025 to $1,500