Latest Port Jeff apartment project moves forward with tax breaks
As one of the latest apartment complex project in Port Jefferson inches closer to construction, another apartment complex has received tax breaks from an IDA.
Last month, the Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency approved an economic benefits package, which includes a 10-year payment in lieu of taxes, to the apartment complex expected to be built out of the current Cappy’s Carpets building, to be known as The Brockport. Construction is expected to begin this fall.
The site plan calls for a three-story structure with a total of 44 one-bedroom units and two two-bedroom units. The $16.5 million project headed by Port Jefferson-based The Gitto Group, will have stores, office spaces and a restaurant on the first floor and apartments on the other two floors.
The current taxes on the property, which was once occupied by Cappy’s Carpets and a boat storage lot are approximately $35,000 annually, according to Rob Gitto of The Gitto Group. The 10-year PILOT would see taxes increasing to $99,183 in the first year and then gradually escalate until the last year when it reaches $213,360. According to Gitto, the retail portion of the
property will be fully assessed as it is not part of the IDA program.
“We are planning to commence the construction on the site within the next 30 days and we anticipate to be completed with the project by December 2020 — all of this is dependent on what type of winter we have,” Gitto said.
Paul Casciano, Port Jeff Superintendent of Schools, made it clear he and the district are not against the planned project.
“We just had concerns and questions,” the superintendent said. “As a district we have to do our due diligence to see if there is any potential impacts — this is what we do. It doesn’t mean we are against the project.”
As part of the response to the SEQR referral for the project in November 2018, the district sent in a letter outlining their questions and concerns.
With the construction site close to the Port Jefferson high school, the district had concerns over access to the driveway on Barnum Avenue. Also, due to the close proximity to the site there were concerns of potential dust, fumes and noise from the construction.
Though questions were raised about how many students this particular apartment complex will bring, Casciano said it’s routine to ask how new developments will impact the district. Other complexes in the village have offered more two-bedroom options. The Shipyard complex has 18 and The Hills has seven. The upcoming complex on Main Street will have two.
The district sent the same letter for the July 17 Brookhaven IDA public hearing.
Casciano reiterated that they support the project, adding the information is important for them to know for a variety of things including future planning of the district.
“I think this project will benefit us [the Port Jeff community],” he said.
Responding to concerns from the community about the impact of construction on the area, Gitto said they do not anticipate any major issues relating to the construction of the complex.
“The project does not include any road improvements that would require us to close down the road,” he said. “There may be some minor work that needs to be completed by the utility companies, but that would really be it. We are the owners of the adjacent office building to the north [414 Main St.] and the mixed-use property located to the south of the subject property [464 Main St./50 Barnum Ave.] which will enable us to stage any construction equipment or materials without impacting the surrounding areas. The early stages of the project will include typical noise associated with a construction project.”
The development group, which also owns and manages The Hills and the Barnum House apartments, said Brockport will have a minimal impact to the student population of local school districts.
“The two properties [the Hills and Barnum House] combined have 104 apartments [one- and two-bedroom units] and our records are showing that we only have two school-aged children within these 104 units,” Gitto said. “The majority of our units are one-bedroom apartments which typically do not work well with families with school age children.”
Once construction on The Brockport is completed, Gitto said they are estimating the one-bedroom units to be around $2,650 per month and the two-bedroom units to be $3,800 per month. The building will be more than 65,000 square feet and have approximately 2,700 square feet of retail space.