December 19, 2012 | 884 views
Dutchgate seeks lower age, again
After public outcry, developer drops plan to rent units
For the third time since the project was approved in 2005, developer of the Dutchgate senior housing complex in North Valley Stream, on the border with Elmont, has asked the Town of Hempstead to lower the minimum age to 55. This time, however, there was a new twist — the developer wanted to be able to rent unsold units.
The residents of Dutchgate and the surrounding neighborhood weren’t having any of it, and came out in force to oppose the requests at a public hearing at Hempstead Town Hall on Dec. 11. At one point, Town Supervisor Kate Murray, trying to gauge public opinion, asked those who were against the changes to stand up and say “opposed.” Nearly everyone in the audience, with the exception of the few who were there for other town business, did so.
Person after person came up to the microphone to blast the plan of developer Broadval LLC to rent units that have not been sold. William F. Bonesso, an attorney for the developer, explained that it would still be Broadval’s goal to sell every unit, but rentals would be a way for the company to recoup some of the money it has invested in the property.
“It has been very difficult selling these units,” Bonesso said. “They are still going to be marketing these properties for sale. The developer sees this as a necessary, and hopefully temporary, situation.”
After hearing the criticism, however, Bonesso said that the developer would drop the rental request if the town board would still consider lowering the minimum age for those buying units to 55.
Dutchgate was approved seven years ago as a “golden age” complex open to residents 62 and older. In 2008, the town denied its request to lower the age to 55. Last year, after another attempt, the town board approved the marketing of half of the development’s units to those 55 and older.
In exchange, Dutchgate agreed to reduce the number of units from 388 to 348, and to exclude school-age children from the complex. Bonesso said that Broadval LLC now wants the entire complex to be open to those 55 and older.