Rockville Centre AvalonBay set to expand

Former Rockville Racquet will be site of Phase II development


AvalonBay Communities has announced that it is expanding to the former Rockville Racquet site across the street from its apartment complex on Banks Avenue.

Though the plan is still in the preliminary stages, the new development, known as Phase II, will be about the same size as the current 349-unit Avalon complex, at 80-100 Banks Ave., and will be designed to match its aesthetics. In addition to the one- and two-bedroom apartments the Avalon complex has, Phase II will add studio and three-bedroom units as well.

“It’s very clear to us that there is still a great demand for rental space in Rockville Centre,” Matt Whalen, AvalonBay’s senior vice president of development, said in a release. “More and more young professionals are moving to Rockville Centre — young professionals who grew up here and want to stay in the village — [along with] empty-nesters looking for a viable housing option that will allow them to stay in Rockville Centre after selling their single-family homes. Avalon Rockville Centre meets all these needs.”

Rockville Racquet closed late last year, and AvalonBay purchased the property.

“Rarely on Long Island do we get a chance to really do a true Phase II,” said Chris Capece, the company’s development director. “And once the previous land sellers shut down the tennis center and decided to sell the property, it was a really unique opportunity for us. We’re excited to try to do a Phase II in a community where the property has been really well received.”

The AvalonBay community has proved to be quite popular, with openings filled almost as soon as they are posted. There is now a waiting list for apartments. Most of the residents are from the village, according to the company. Those who are not are usually from nearby communities like Oceanside, Lynbrook and Baldwin. The majority of residents are under 35, though a large number also fall into the 55-and-older demographic.

“This evidence suggests that the village is considered a prime location for both young people looking to begin their careers and retirees looking for more practical living space after their children have moved out,” Capece said. “It also suggests that the demand for high-quality apartment units isn’t going to ebb anytime soon.”

Capece could not say when construction of Phase II would begin. Unlike the Phase I property, the Rockville Racquet property is not contaminated and is not in need of remediation, which will make construction easier.

Capece said that the design of Phase II will be similar, with many of the design cues taken from the existing buildings. They will also be roughly the same height — though the Rockville Racquet property is slightly higher, so the new buildings will be as well. Because of that, Capece said, Avalon’s designers are exploring a flat-roof design for the new development, although nothing has been finalized.

Phase I of Avalon Rockville Centre was one of the company’s fastest-renting properties after it opened. Because of its success, AvalonBay has begun developing many other apartment complexes on Long Island.

“We’re very excited to have the opportunity to work with the Village of Rockville Centre again,” Capece said. “Our working experience with village officials has provided us with the insight to build a facility that truly represents the needs of the residents of Rockville Centre.”