Nassau County IDA approves benefits for $56 million apartment plan in Island Park


A $56 million project to transform a waterfront-catering complex into an apartment development was granted preliminary approval for economic incentives from the Town of Hempstead Industrial Development Agency.

Fred Parola, chief executive of the Town of Hempstead Industrial Development Agency said the IDA was granted preliminary approval to a package of economic development incentives that will assist John Vitale, a long-time developer in Island Park, to construct a 117-unit waterfront apartment complex on the site of his Bridgeview Yacht Club and Loft catering hall.

The project at 50 and 80 Waterfront Blvd. would replace a catering facility that opened more than a quarter of a century ago. Vitale told the IDA board flooding from storms that have hit Island Park had plagued the facility. The apartment complex is to be built 18 feet above sea level to mitigate water damage. The proposed project is a 4-story building with 74 one-bedroom units and 43 two-bedroom units built atop a parking garage.

“This project will add to the town’s growing stock of much-needed rental housing,” said Parola. “Moreover, the project will generate property tax increases that will significantly raise revenues for school districts and local governments.”

The IDA granted the preliminary approval for the incentives in the form of an inducement resolution for Ocean Avenue Marina Inc. on July 18. The developer does not plan to begin the project until its obligations to its catering customers are fulfilled.

Vitale owns 10 acres on the southern tip of Island Park, just over the Long Beach Bridge, where he once operated several restaurants including Paddy McGee’s and Coyote Grill, which were decimated by Hurricane Sandy in 2011. Vitale also owns the Barnum Landing shopping center, which is anchored by King Kullen, and is co-owner of the seafood restaurant, Jordan Lobster Farms.