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Brooke Pointe renters are Gibson's newest residents

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Kathleen Caiati moved out of Valley Stream in the late 1970s, but returned in 2011 to help care for her sick father. After he died in February 2013, her mother sold their house, and Caiati needed a new place to live. She applied for one of the Brooke Pointe apartments on Gibson, and moved in February.

“It’s wonderful,” she said of the building. “I pinch myself every day.”

Caiati, 61, who works at Trader Joe’s in Oceanside, called the apartments “beautiful” and said that the management is helpful. There are 19 one-bedroom and 20 two-bedroom units, each with one bathroom. Select two-bedroom apartments have an additional half bath or a bathroom without a shower. Each apartment has a dishwasher and a microwave, and some feature walk-in closets. There is also free parking for residents.

To Caiati, Brooke Pointe is an improvement from the vacant stores previously seen in the neighborhood. “This was an eyesore for a really long time,” she said. “I think it makes the town look better, I really do.”

Another 32-year-old Brooke Pointe resident, who declined to be identified to protect her privacy, also grew up in Valley Stream. She said she found out about the complex after driving down the street and seeing the construction. She entered the apartment raffle because she wanted to live independently of her parents, but still be within 15 minutes from them. “I was ecstatic when they told me I won,” she said. “I was really happy to stay where I grew up.”

The woman also talked about how much she enjoys the building’s amenities, including a gym, a rooftop garden and a laundry room. Gym access requires residents to sign a consent form. “I just recently got access to the gym, and the laundry room is right next door,” the resident said.

She emphasized that the building’s management keeps the building clean. “I never see any junk or anything near the building,” the woman said.

Not all residents come from Valley Stream. Cynthia Rosa, 32, lived in Jamaica, Queens, with her 8-year-old son, but apartments became too expensive. In Brooke Pointe, a one-bedroom costs between $925 and $1,500 a month and two-bedroom apartments go for $1,100 to $2,000. An apartment in Queens would cost Rosa about $1,475 per month, but at Brooke Pointe she only pays $1,122 a month.

“The location is very convenient to go to the mall and with the train station right behind us. If I don’t want to drive to work, I can take the Long Island Rail Road,” said Rosa, an associate at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.

All three women said that there are a mix of residents, including some families, young adults and senior citizens. But the women said they do not speak to the other residents often because most people work during the day. “People don’t come out of their spaces, and I don’t either, so the only time I meet people is in the hallway or the laundry room,” Caiati said.

Rosa said she enjoys the population even if she does not speak to other residents often. “The community … is absolutely amazing,” she said.

The Brooke Pointe apartment building is the third apartment complex to be completed in Valley Stream within the past decade. Construction on the building ended last summer, and residents began to move in at the end of January 2017 — a few months later than planned. The complex is already filled to capacity.