After several failed attempts, developers of the Dutchgate senior complex in North Valley Stream finally got what they wanted — a reduction of the minimum age from 62 to 55 by the Hempstead town board.
The complex was first proposed in 2005, and approved as a 62-and-older development by the town. About halfway complete, it is being built on the site of the former Wayside Home for Girls on Dutch Broadway. Developers can now market half of Dutchgate’s nearly 350 units to residents in their late 50s. Only one person buying a unit will have to be at least 55; other members of the household can be younger, but no school-age children will be allowed.
Doug Partrick, owner of Heatherwood Properties, which is building Dutchgate, said he was pleased by the town board’s decision, in a unanimous 7-0 vote. “I’ve been waiting on a decision for over a year now,” he said.
A public hearing on the change was held in December 2010. Developers’ previous attempts to lower the age to 55 were denied.
Town Councilman Ed Ambrosino (R-North Valley Stream) said that in allowing the change this time, board members based their decision on a demographic study and consideration of the current economic climate. “It was the right thing to do at this time,” he said.
Fellow Councilman Jim Darcy (R-Valley Stream), whose district includes the development, said he voted in favor of the change because the developer agreed to some other changes, including the removal from the plans of some second-story decks that would have overlooked neighboring backyards.
Darcy added that there was community support for the age change, with several petitions submitted to the town.
Lori Thomas, the director of sales for Dutchgate, said that the approval by the town greatly expands the number of potential buyers. While not many people who are 55 are looking to move in, Thomas said, there is a higher demand among those who are closer to age 60.
There will be a total of 348 units when Dutchgate is complete. So far, about 100 units have been sold, and about 75 are occupied. As a concession in return for the relaxed age restriction, the developers offered to reduce the number of units by 40 — the town initially approved 388.