Valley Stream picks "The Alder" for new senior housing facility


In the village’s latest effort to tackle its shortage of available senior housing options, officials are planning to convert a roughly 47,000-square-foot lot, tucked between Payan Avenue and Hicks Street, into dozens of affordable apartments for moderate to low-income seniors.

Preserving affordable housing options for senior residents comes at a time when the village’s aging population is growing and demand for housing is high.

From 2010 to 2020, Valley Stream, whose population has steadily increased, experienced a nearly 28 percent bump of those aged 65 and older from roughly 4,500 to 5,800, according to 2020 U.S. census data. Those aged 65 and older also represent a larger share of the village’s population from 12 to 15 percent.

Village officials anticipate the baby boom population, those born between 1946 and 1964, driving up the demand for senior housing in the coming years. The village’s existing housing market is strained as a result of  “empty-nesters” looking to downsize from their longtime house to a smaller, lower-maintenance apartment or condo. 

“Seniors interested in Monica Village (the village’s sole senior housing facility) must wait several years on a list prior to being offered a unit,” said Tom McAleer, head of the village’s Community and Economic Development team. “There is a desperate need for affordable senior housing and affordable housing at different stages of people’s economic and social life.”

The village solicited project proposals for the senior housing facility in June of 2021, and of the seven applications received, three development projects were up for consideration. The village ultimately selected "The Alder" development by Harris Beach PLLC. Attorneys At Law, the Omni during their board of trustees meeting on Oct. 17.

The Omni is looking to build a five-story building with 120 apartment units. Amenities include a fitness center, rooftop garden, lounge, bocce and shuffleboard space, a walking trail along the stream, an art gallery to display local and youth art, a family connection center, and on-site services in partnership with Northwell Health.

This proposal will pay $7 million for the site and full village property taxes.

Before coming to a final decision, officials sought public input from residents on their preferred project via an online survey posted on their government website. As of press time, the village had received 20 feedback submissions, according to McAleer.

Some element of affordable housing is required for all prospective developers aiming to have their projects considered by the village.

In 2020, the average median income figure for a household aged 65 and over in the village was roughly $75,000, according to the U.S. 2020 Census, which currently sits around 50 percent below the Island’s current AMI of $146,400. 

“In general, affordable units have to be 60 percent of the average median income or lower,” said state House and Community Renewal spokesperson Brian Butry, which are those making $61,500 or less for a single applicant or $79,050 for a family of three. Therefore, apartments tailored for moderate-to-low-income seniors may precisely be what most seniors in the village could hope to comfortably afford. 

However, the developer, Harris Beach PLLC. Attorneys At Law the Omni, could not be reached to answer questions specific to apartment pricing after repeated requests for comment.

Here's a look at the two runner-ups:

Village Green

The Selfhelp Realty Group offered to construct a four-story building with 75 one-bedroom apartments.

Amenities include a walking trail along the nearby stream, a therapeutic sensory garden, a reading room with computers, an exercise room, a community room, and a partnership with the NY Horticultural Society that will provide programming.

This proposal would pay $2.85 million for the land, plus $275,000 in permitting fees, $124,000 in replacement parking revenue for a total of $3.25 million as well as annual payment for village services of $57,000 increasing 2 percent annually.

For the Village Green development, using 2021 rent levels, 19 of the units will be rented for $1,218 (50 percent AMI), 40 units will be rented for $1,462 (60 percent AMI), and the remaining eight units will be rented for $1,706 (70 percent AMI). Rents will increase slightly, tying to the rents for the year the project will close on construction financing.

Valley Dream Housing

Georgica Green Ventures and Valley Dream Housing proposed to build a four-story building with 23 studio apartments and 76 one-bedroom apartments.

Amenities include an interior courtyard with green space, a lounge/mailroom, a community room with a kitchenette, and a library. This proposal will pay $4 million to the village with 5 percent down at contract signing and the remainder at closing.

Dominick Minerva, attorney for the developer Valley Dream Housing, said that since the development was seeking funding from state affordable housing programs based on their own requirements for rental pricing, they could not obtain specific information at this time.

“Although specific information is not available, Valley Dream Housing Company is looking to expand its 45-plus year history of providing affordable rental housing to senior citizens 62 years of age and older in our community,” added Minerva.

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