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Tax break for Farmingdale project on table

This is an artist's rendering of the Bartone

This is an artist's rendering of the Bartone Plaza development in downtown Farmingdale. (April 3, 2012) Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

Nassau County is to consider granting a 20-year property tax break for the $28 million first phase of a mixed-use, transit-oriented development planned in downtown Farmingdale.

If approved by the county's industrial development agency, developers of Bartone Plaza would make payments of about $166,000 in the first year, with the amounts increasing to about $1.4 million in the 20th year, for the first phase. Its groundbreaking is set for late May or early June.

The deal, called a PILOT, or payments in lieu of taxes, was to be considered by the county's industrial development agency Thursday night, but the decision was postponed until the agency's April 25 meeting.

Bartone Properties, of Farmingdale, has partnered with TDI, of Irving, Texas, to develop 115 apartments and 13,200 square feet of retail space near the Long Island Rail Road station. The firm is to build a smaller accompanying mixed-use structure across the street with 6,200 square feet of retail space and 39 apartments.

Developer Anthony Bartone Thursday said he did not know how the PILOT compares to actual taxes, but said he did not necessarily view it as a savings.

"Without it, the project's not viable," he said, adding that the payments would escalate over time and would be locked in as a matter of contract.

"We would never see TDI come into this area absent the PILOT," Bartone said of the national development company that has chosen Farmingdale as the site of its first Long Island project.

The industrial development agency's executive director, Joseph J. Kearney, said the delay on the PILOT decision was "simply ministerial."

Also Thursday, County Executive Edward Mangano's office postponed a morning news conference at the site meant to announce the deal.

Bartone said developers have applied for a PILOT for phase two, the smaller building, which received village approval earlier this month.

"This board firmly believes in increased density by the railroad," Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand said Thursday, in a nod to the village's push for "smart-growth" projects.

The entire complex is expected to create 178 construction jobs and 55 permanent jobs, Bartone said.

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