In 2019, Westbury village officials rezoned the commuter parking lot...

In 2019, Westbury village officials rezoned the commuter parking lot on the south side of the Long Island Rail Road station and will turn the area into a mixed-use housing, retail and transit-oriented development. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has selected Mill Creek Residential Trust to develop a mixed-use housing and retail transit-oriented development in Westbury, joining several new projects in the works since the pre-pandemic creation of a downtown zoning district.

The development will be built on the 1.6-acre parcel, which was the former site of the Long Island Rail Road commuter parking lot. In 2019, the village rezoned the area, allowing for higher and denser buildings in the 50-acre zone that is bounded by Railroad, Post and Maple avenues, and School Street. Those changes paved the way to accommodate a multifamily, transit-oriented development such as Mill Creek’s proposal.

“We are pleased that Mill Creek has been selected by the MTA as the developer for the MTA’s property adjacent to the train station,” Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro said Thursday in a statement. “Mill Creek has completed a number of very successful projects in the region and is one of the leaders in T.O.D. [transit-oriented development] development on Long Island and beyond.”

Cavallaro said the village has not received an application or specifics from developers but added that he looks forward to partnering with Mill Creek and the MTA to ensure that “a project is crafted that is beneficial to the community and that fits within and achieves the goals and intent of our T.O.D. zone.”

The application would require the village board’s approval under the transit-oriented development zoning code sections and would entail at least one public hearing, Cavallaro said.

In September 2020, the MTA completed the construction of a parking facility on the north side of the station, which has 683 parking spaces, an increase of approximately 180 slots.

Mill Creek, based in Boca Raton, Florida, beat out seven other developers, according to MTA documents, because its proposal would “provide the highest economic value compared to the other proposals.”

The developer proposed two scenarios, including a 250-unit, 255,000-square-foot complex with an annual lease payment of $650,000 for the first year, escalating at a rate of 2% per year over a 99-year lease. A “fallback” proposal would call for a 200-unit, 215,000-square-foot building with an annual lease starting at $610,000 in the first year and increasing at the same rate over the same term as the other proposal, according to the MTA.

Officials with Mill Creek Residential Trust did not respond to a request for comment.

The developer must complete the required environmental quality review process and negotiate other terms with the transit-oriented development team before the MTA and LIRR boards approve the project for the design phase.

The development is feet away from a multiphase project, by developers Terwilliger & Bartone, that will bring 130 apartment units to the area.

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