iStar says it needs tax break

Will not move forward with Superblock project without PILOT


The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency has rescheduled a public hearing on the iStar development on the long-vacant Superblock property, as the developer seeks a 25-year property tax break and said it could not move forward with the project without such an incentive.

The meeting is now scheduled for June 3 at Long Beach City Hall at 6 p.m., as the IDA considers iStar’s application for a tax abatement for the development through the IDA’s payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT, program.

The Herald reported last month that construction was expected to begin last summer, and some officials said that iStar was waiting for approval from the IDA after the Zoning Board of Appeals granted the developer a six-month extension in December to file for building permits.

iStar’s attempt to seek a tax abatement and sales tax exemption from the IDA sparked criticism last month from County Legislator Denise Ford (R-Long Beach) and others, who said that Long Beach could lose out on the tax benefits of such a development, which could offset the burden on homeowners. The project will include 522 one- and two-bedroom rental apartments in two 160-foot-tall buildings, 11,000 square feet of retail space for shops along the boardwalk, and a promenade with café tables, benches and other amenities. The project is expected to create hundreds of jobs and more than $100 million in economic benefits for the city, according to iStar.

The apartments, expected to rent for $2,275 to $3,575, will be marketed to young professionals and empty-nesters. A local official with knowledge of the project, who declined to be identified, said that iStar recently brought on a developing partner, AvalonBay Communities, to invest in the project.

A spokesman for iStar said that representatives were not immediately available for comment. However, iStar Vice President Karl Frey told Newsday that if the PILOT application were denied, it would be “impossible” to move forward with the project. He said that the PILOT is in line with other tax exemptions the IDA has granted. If approved, work could begin this summer, and construction of the first tower could be completed by 2017.

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