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New life for abandoned condo project on Hill Street

First phase of Breton Hills completed

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Nearly a decade ago, the land adjacent to Congregation Tifereth Israel, on Hill Street in Glen Cove, was cleared in anticipation of a new condominium development. But not long after several units were built in 2017, the developer, Landing Cove LLC, abandoned the project, leaving the buildings half-finished, and the land became an eyesore. Now, however, with a new developer, the first phase of the project has been completed, and several residents have even moved into their units at Breton Hills.

“This project here needed some loving care,” Joseph Iorio, a partner at the developer, Arcadia Asset Services, said, “and we’re very fortunate to have been able to acquire it.”

Breton Hills, at 38 Hill St., is a 72-unit development of two-bedroom, two-bathroom units for people 55 and over. The previous development, Landing Cove, was also intended for that age group.

“Our firm looked at the property four years ago, when it was owned by a previous developer that just left the property,” Iorio said. “We got our funding people together and thought we could do something with it. We took it from where it was — which was really run down — to where it is today.”

To date, 52 of the 72 units have been built, Iorio said, and 27 have been sold. Arcadia is now moving into the second phase of construction, and one major difference is that all of the units will have elevators, or the infrastructure to add them later for owners who want them. “Some were too far along to put elevators in,” he said, “so, thinking ahead, we decided to provide them.

“The whole project has been really well accepted by the neighborhood,” Iorio added. “They see it as a breath of fresh air, and, more importantly, it’s something that my family has always wanted to do.”

Arcadia Asset Services is a 52-year-old, family-owned company based in Long Beach. It shares that family mentality with its clients, Iorio said, with the goal of making the residents of the complex happy. “All the people here have become a part of our family,” he said. “They come here, they want to have comfort, security, to know someone cares, and that’s what we bring to the table. We built it and we manage it.”

His nephew Tim Sullivan, a partner in the company who oversees business development and asset management, discovered the abandoned project serendipitously. While attending a lacrosse game in Rockville Centre, Sullivan said, he met an investor who mentioned that he was looking to sell property in Glen Cove.

“Prior to that, I’d been driving through Glen Cove, because I’d heard about all the development with RXR at Garvies Point and Village Square,” Sullivan said, “and I drove down Hill Street, and happened to notice an interesting property that had been fenced off and overgrown with weeds. I [made] a mental note of it, so when I got the phone call, I jumped right on it.”

Sullivan said he was introduced to the previous developers, and sorted through all the records he could find about the project for about a year before making an offer. Arcadia went into contract in 2018 and closed on the property in June 2019.

At that point, they made some changes to the design. “We added a clubhouse, we redesigned the color scheme and we redesigned some of the newer buildings to make them friendlier to the population we’re targeting,” Sullivan explained. “This property has a long, storied history. At one point it was known as the Appleby Estate, and the remnants of the entrance to the estate are now in front of the temple. This area had a lot of trees on it, and we wanted to regenerate the tree line, so we put a lot of that back into the plan.”

The name Breton Hills is historic as well, Sullivan said, noting that he read up on the history of Glen Cove before closing on the project. “I wanted to pay homage to not only the city but the immediate area, which is in the Landing,” he said. “I had read something that struck a chord: The area where Morgan Park is had been known as Cape Breton prior to the founding of the city. Since we’re at one of the highest points in Glen Cove, and being that the topography here is a bit hilly, I took the name Breton and named it Breton Hills.”

Landing Cove’s plan didn’t have much in the way of amenities, Sullivan said, which was by design. “We call this community ‘organically affordable,’ meaning you’re not going to be paying a million dollars for a unit here,” Sullivan said. “There’s no affordable restrictions on the units, but the original plan was to make prices somewhat affordable.”

Breton Hills has a clubhouse with a lounge and a patio with fire pits and a grilling station, as well as bocce courts and seating areas. The development, Sullivan said, is attracting not only Glen Cove residents who want to downsize, but also people from the South Shore and Queens.

Joanne and Joseph Lianca, of Franklin Square, were in the process of selling their house, intending to buy something smaller, when they learned about Breton Hills. They closed on a unit and are hoping to move in in August. “It’s a beautiful complex,” Joanne said, “and I just fell in love with it when I saw it.”

Even Sullivan, who lives in Malverne, said he did not venture up to Glen Cove too often before. “I think that the people that we’re getting from the South Shore and the city are really discovering how unique Glen Cove is,” he said.

A ribbon-cutting took place at the property last month, where local officials and new residents celebrated the completion of the first phase. “Breton Hills is providing Glen Cove with a place that’s desperately needed  here,” Mayor Tim Tenke said. “It’s taken a while to get done, but it’s been done right.”