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Apartment complex at Lynbrook motel site gets IDA’s preliminary approval

Developer eyes spring for construction

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The developer of a $23.9 million, 80-unit luxury apartment complex at the site of the Lynbrook Motor Inn is looking to start building next spring, after the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency granted preliminary approval for a payment-in-lieu-of- taxes agreement.

The Farmingdale-based Terwilliger & Bartone Properties will build the complex at the site of what was formerly known as the Capri Lynbrook Motor Inn, which is still operating at 5 Freer St. The village board approved the plan for the apartments, 4-1, at its Nov. 17 meeting.

“We are thrilled with how efficiently the process has been moving, both with the village and Nassau County,” Terwilliger & Bartone Managing Partner Anthony Bartone said, “and are hopeful it will continue on this pace so we can knock down the Capri this spring.”

Bartone said his firm sought a 20-year property-tax phase-in, with a contractual guarantee that taxes will not go down or be grieved over the life of the PILOT agreement. He said that taxes would start at $221,000 — the amount the motel owners now pay — and increase incrementally to more than $1 million by year 20.

Bartone added that now that the preliminary meeting with the IDA is complete, the agency must commission economic reports that will be prepared by a third party. Once that is complete and all approvals are granted, the IDA will host a public hearing on the project before granting or denying the PILOT.

Lynbrook Mayor Alan Beach said that he and the village board would be at the public hearing, whose date has not been announced. “Everything seems to be moving along nicely,” he said. “We’ll be there and ask questions at the public hearing. We’ll listen and have input. It seems like [Bartone] has done everything that’s been asked of him.”

Beach added that he was pleased to see the end of the motel, whose history includes a series of drug and prostitution arrests and drug overdoses there or nearby. Its managers, however, have denied any wrongdoing, and noted that the motel has never been prosecuted in court. General Manager Harry Wagner said that despite its clean legal record, he felt it was time to sell the business amid the village’s scrutiny.

Bartone has tried for years to build an apartment complex in Lynbrook, and noted that he thought the Capri was a good site for one because it has been a neighborhood nuisance that village officials have sought to close for many years. The project will create about 83 construction jobs, and then full-time roles of building superintendent and community manager within a year of being built. The razing of the motel and the construction of the apartments is expected to begin in the spring and take 18 months.

The Tudor-style apartment complex will be built on a site where the motel has operated since 1985. There will be 92 parking spaces beneath the building and extending to nearby Roxy Place. Following resident backlash over Terwilliger & Bartone’s previous project, the Cornerstone at Lynbrook, the firm hosted an open house at the Knights of Columbus in August to gather residents’ input on this newest project. The firm then developed a site plan, which it presented publicly at an Oct. 21 hearing.

The complex will comprise 28 550-square-foot studio apartments that will rent for around $2,400 per month; 44 750-square-foot one-bedroom units that will rent for around $2,800; and eight 1,150-square-foot two-bedroom apartments that will rent for about $3,400. Amenities will include a courtyard, a fitness center and a clubroom.

In responding to the IDA’s approval, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said in a prepared statement that she was happy to see momentum for new development in Lynbrook.

“It’s vital that blighted properties like this be redeveloped,” Curran said. “Transit-oriented development is the key to keeping our communities vibrant and growing. Transforming a property that has been detrimental to downtown Lynbrook into one that benefits the community, particularly local businesses, and provides much-needed rental housing that is accessible to our train stations is what should be happening right here.”