Developers get IDA tax breaks for two apartment projects in Westbury

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The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency has approved tax relief for two apartment projects in Westbury that officials say will expand housing options in the village over the next two years.

The IDA board voted last week to grant final approvals for the economic benefits package for a project proposed by developers Ornstein Fetner Development LLC and 249 Drexel Associates LLC, and for the second phase of a project by developers Terwilliger & Bartone Properties LLC.

“The best way to revitalize a town centre, like Westbury, is to create housing for people to settle there and eventually live in the village and revitalize it,” said IDA President Richard Kessel. .

Center Moriches-based developer Ornstein Fetner plans to build an 18-unit rental facility with a retail area to house an existing fish market on the property. The $7.5 million project at 249 Drexel Ave. will include studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments, including three units below market price.

For this project, the IDA granted sales tax benefits not exceeding $224,250 and an exemption of $37,500 on mortgage registration tax. A 17-year PILOT — payment in lieu of taxes — agreement, under which promoters will pay nearly $2.3 million in taxes, has been approved. This includes an initial two-year construction period during which owners will only pay property tax of about $45,000 per year, according to IDA.

“The developers are delighted that not only IDA, but also the Village of Westbury, are supporting this project and that they are able to move forward,” said Daniel J. Baker, the property attorney for the promoter.

Construction, which is expected to take about 18 months, is expected to begin after the summer, Baker said.

In a statement, Mayor Peter Cavallaro said the projects would add tax revenue to the village.

“We don’t just accept the initial terms offered by the applicant or IDA,” Cavallaro said of the tax breaks. “Rather, we carefully analyze and then modify the terms so that they make sense to our community.”

Farmingdale-based developers Terwilliger & Bartone plan to build a 58-unit apartment complex with eight units below market at 425 Railroad Ave., the site of a former cold storage facility. The development near the village’s Long Island Rail Road station includes studio, one and two bedroom apartments. But managing partner Anthony Bartone said many of the one-bedroom units will include an office or den to accommodate home workers – a change made in response to the rise in remote workforces. due to the pandemic.

The developers will pay the current tax of around $76,000 per year for the first two years of the project. Over the next 20 years, a PILOT will phase in taxes and developers will pay a total of $8.2 million.

Terwilliger & Bartone have already inaugurated the first phase of the project, a building of 72 apartments at 461 Railroad Ave. The project is expected to be completed in a year, with phase two a few months behind schedule, Bartone said.

“Although these are two separate buildings, they are so close together that they will operate as one development,” Bartone said.

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