Residents this week have begun to move into the first apartment building constructed as part of a massive revitalization effort in Wyandanch.
Developer Albanese Organization Inc. of Garden City last week unveiled the finished building at 40 Station Dr. just north of the hamlet's Long Island Rail Road station. It is the first of two apartment buildings that are part of the Wyandanch Rising redevelopment. Started nearly 15 years ago, the estimated $500 million public-private endeavor is an attempt to revitalize the economically distressed community.
"It has been a challenging but very exciting project that we can all be proud of," said Russell Albanese, the chairman of the Albanese Organization.
Albanese executives last week gave a tour of the building, pointing out its energy-efficient features, such as LED lighting. Also noted were aesthetic touches, such as a wooden banister for the lobby staircase, an attempt, Albanese said, "to create a sense of warmth" and make it a "non-institutional building."
In an effort to make the development pedestrian friendly, each apartment also comes with a built-in bike rack. Albanese said he wanted to give the development, called Wyandanch Village, more "character over a typical development" and create a "real village feel."
The building has 61 units that are income-restricted, with rents starting at $985 per month. George Aridas, executive vice president for Albanese, said prospective tenants have been identified for those apartments, but final approval is pending. Of the 30 market rate apartments, Aridas said five had been rented. Market rate rents range from $1,550 for a one-bedroom and one-bath, to $2,600 for a three-bedroom, two-bath unit.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, who began to develop Wyandanch Rising while Babylon Town supervisor, praised Albanese for doing "an amazing job."
"He was willing to take a chance and he had a vision," he said.
The building also has 17,500 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. In December, Albanese announced that Roslyn Savings Bank had signed a 10-year lease for 1,600 square feet of that space.
A second apartment building with 86 units is under construction, and plans to start work on a third commercial building, which will house the Long Island Music Hall of Fame, are underway, town officials said.