Friday, 10 August 2012 00:00
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) announced the approval of an economic development compact for a proposed $93 million complex in downtown Mineola that will provide much needed housing for working young professionals and affordable housing for seniors on Aug. 1.
The compact, approved by the IDA board on July 23, will allow Mill Creek Residential Trust (MCRT) to construct a five-story, 275-unit, apartment building at Old Country Road and Willis Avenue in Mineola known as “The Winston.” In addition, Mill Creek will build a four-story, 36-unit, building on Front Street and Roslyn Road in Mineola known as “The Churchill” with 36-unit senior affordable apartments. These projects, close to the Mineola LIRR Station and bus terminal, will replace several functionally obsolete office buildings and vacant land.
“These state-of-the-art residences will create much needed work-force and commuter housing for Nassau County’s young professionals and provide much needed affordable housing that will allow the community’s senior population to live out their golden years in Nassau County,” County Executive Mangano said. “This project, close to Mineola’s downtown shops and restaurants and Central Nassau’s dense concentration of employers, retail and cultural venues, will generate economic activity throughout Nassau County.”
Nassau County is expected to reap economic benefits from the project of more than $97 million over the 20 years following the completion of construction, which is expected to take 24 months.
In addition to providing new housing options at a time when many people are looking to rent due to the housing crisis, the project will create 338 construction jobs, six new permanent full-time equivalent jobs. The land is currently occupied by several two-story office buildings which are vacant and have often been used as campaign headquarters for various politicians, most notably Tom Suozzi and Kathleen Rice.
“We would not be able to do this deal without the assistance of County Executive Mangano,” said Maria Rigopoulos, a regional director at MCRT.
“Without this project the empty buildings and land on these sites would continue to be blights on the surrounding neighborhood,” said Joseph Kearney, executive director of the IDA.
Polimeni International LLC originally developed the project, but sold the developmental rights to MCRT in 2012 after prolonged subdivision squabbles with the Village of Garden City over condominium possibilities. Polimeni changed the condo configuration to rentals, but noted at past Mineola Village Board meetings that it was due to the current economic climate.
The ongoing issues Polimeni had with Garden City until Polimeni officially changed the main piece from condominiums to rentals were deliberated in letters, board meetings, phone calls, voicemails and e-mails with a waning economy in its wake. The current configuration of the rental project is 165 one-bedroom apartments and 110 two-bedroom apartments.
First reported in the Mineola American on Aug. 23, 2011, Polimeni’s Chief Operating Officer Michael Polimeni said he reached out to financial institutions for demographic analysis and backing, and affordable senior condos were not “moving at the time.” The senior community, according to Polimeni, is looking at rentals as “a much cleaner vehicle” to move into for their golden years.
The complex went from a 285-unit condo development and was finalized as a 275-unit rental property on two years ago. Changes to the senior housing component took place in October 2011.
The amenities package to Mineola included the construction of a 236-space parking garage with 40 spaces designated to the village. Approximately $3 million will be contributed to village improvements and the installation of 2,300 linear feet of new streetscape improvements around the site. The complex would consist of 28 one-bedroom and 8 two-bedroom units.
—Rich Forestano contributed to this story