Tags Posts tagged with "The Northwind Group"

The Northwind Group

Rev. Demetrios Calogredes, a Greek Orthodox priest, above, blessed the lot during the ceremony as Supervisor Ed Wehrheim and Vincent Puleo, town clerk, look on. Photo by Julianne Mosher

A new 55-and-older rental apartment project has been in the works in Nesconset, and as of last week, ground has officially been broken with plans full speed ahead.

Town officials joined developers from Hauppauge-based The Northwind Group Oct. 15 to show their support for The Preserve at Smithtown. Alongside the recently cleared lot off of Smithtown Boulevard in Nesconset near Chestnut Street, several members from the We Are Smithtown civic group protested against the development. 

Protesters from the civic group We Are Smithtown, below, included James Bouklas and Phyllis Hart, president and vice president of the civic group. Photo by Julianne Mosher

“We saw data from the town about what people wanted in a master plan,” James Bouklas, president of the group said. “And it isn’t this project. The residents overwhelmingly want less development, not more, lower density, not higher, they want walkable communities and amenities, like a community center.”

“The town is interested in development for the sake of development,” he added. “Their mantra is, build, baby, build.”

The project is planned to cost about $47 million and should be completed within the next two years. But according to Town of Smithtown planning director, Peter Hans, there has been approval for the site since 1988, initially with another developer. That project called for 192 units, and now, under The Northwind Group development, there will be 180 units built on 20 vacant acres.

“It won’t be heavily visible from Smithtown Boulevard,” he said. “A lot of the wood will be preserved.”

And at last Thursday’s groundbreaking, the elected officials all agreed this new development, despite what the naysayers might think, will have a positive impact.

“Everything we’re doing here is to help our economy,” town Supervisor Ed Wehrheim (R) said at the groundbreaking. “Because of the high taxes, people are leaving. We want to keep our community thriving.”

Vincent Puleo, the town clerk and president of the Nesconset Chamber of Commerce, said residents of the project will bring $11 million in disposable income to the area. “Smithtown Boulevard will become downtown driven,” he said. “The positives outweigh the negatives 100%.”

“Smithtown Boulevard will become downtown driven. The positives outweigh the negatives 100%.”

—Vincent Puleo

Jim Tsunis, managing member of Northwind, said he and his team are looking forward to bringing the project to provide new housing for Smithtown seniors.

“They will move out of their houses, get an apartment here and spend their money downtown,” he said. 

“Turning that property into a senior-living development opens the door for Nesconset, which is a game changer,” town spokesperson Nicole Garguilo said. “Nesconset never had that centralized business district, but now Smithtown Boulevard will have that.”

But the peaceful protesters stood their ground.

“We are not against housing for seniors,” Bouklas said. “We are against density in our already dense neighborhoods, traffic on our congested roads and, most importantly, tax breaks for developers while the rest of us pay full price.”

by -
0 546
Long Island started its reopening process Wednesday, May 27, with construction projects like Overbay getting back to work immediately. Photo by Kyle Barr

With construction sites in Port Jeff put on pause due to the pandemic, Main Street has seen and heard a significant lack of hammers and power tools. But as Long Island begins the reopening process, with Phase 1 allowing for construction to start again, local projects are planning their restarts, though this time with additional precautions.

With its skeleton left exposed for the past two months, the Overbay Apartment Complex is now once again set for continued construction. Located along West Broadway next to the Shipyard complex, Overbay started its construction again Wednesday morning.

Overbay LLC, a subsidiary of Hauppauge-based The Northwind Group, has been in front of the project since the land was first purchased in 2013 for $1.8 million. 

Jim Tsunis, managing member of Northwind, said there are no site plan changes from what was finalized several months ago, though it will be some time before he can relate the new timeline for when construction will finish and for people to start moving in.

“It feels great to be back up and running — I’m hoping all other businesses will reopen soon,” Tsunis said. “It’s been an extremely tough time for all residents over the last couple of months.”

Otherwise, in terms of safety, he said his office has received reopening affirmation from the state and workers would adhere to the New York COVID-19 construction safety guidelines, where construction workers try to maintain some distance during operations.

The 54,000-square-foot “nautical style” apartment building will be on the now-vacant site of the former Islander Boat Center building, which was demolished in 2017. 

The complex is set to consist of 52 rentals with each expected to be 1,000 square feet each. Amenities include an 800-square-foot common room and a fitness facility. The complex will also contain an office area. 

Parking will consist of 83 parking stalls for residents of Overbay and their guests. Parking is expected to be located on the exterior of the facility to the side and rear. The property borders a small creek on its southern end.

Another site, the Brookport apartments, is going where once sat Cappy’s Carpets. The area has remained cleared for weeks despite the original building being demolished and pilings already installed. 

Brooks Partners LLC, the company name attached to the project, is a subsidiary of Port Jefferson-based The Gitto Group. Rob Gitto, vice president of the group, did not respond to email and phone requests for comment by press time.

The apartment complex will include 46 units and a set of retail shops underneath. Designs intend it to fit in amongst surrounding stores including the neighboring CVS, whose property is also owned by The Gitto Group. The project is set to have 78 spaces of parking for its residents and for those working in the retail stores. 

Both apartment complexes have received a payment in lieu of tax agreement from the Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency. 

by -
1 1619
Barbara Ransome and Mary Joy Pipe of the Port Jeff chamber of commerce stand with Jim Tsunis and family at the groundbreaking ceremony for the developing Overbay Apartment complex. Photo by Kyle Barr

Developers planted a golden shovel in the ground at 217 W. Broadway. On its shaft, it read one word, “Overbay.”

Hauppauge-based The Northwind Group, owners of the Overbay Apartment Complex, hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Sept. 30. Jim Tsunis, CEO of Northwind, was joined by several members of the Tsunis clan in celebrating the start of construction. The CEO said construction should take about a year.

Pilings are already in the ground, Tsunis said. These had been screw-in pilings, which took around two weeks to put into the ground, compared to the several months of loud hammering for the neighboring Shipyard apartment complex.

Overbay LLC, a subsidiary of Northwind, has been in front of the project since the land was first purchased in 2013 for $1.8 million. 

The 54,000-square-foot “nautical style” apartment building will be on the now-vacant site of the former Islander Boat Center building, which was demolished in 2017. 

The complex is set to consist of 52 rentals with each expected to be 1,000 square feet each. Amenities include an 800-square-foot common room and a fitness facility. The complex will also contain an office area. 

Parking will consist of 83 parking stalls for residents of Overbay and their guests, Tsunis said in an email. Parking is expected to be located on the exterior of the facility to the side and rear. The property borders a small creek on its southern end.

The project is just the latest apartment complex in Port Jefferson, sitting alongside the Shipyard complex and down the hill from The Hills at Port Jefferson in Upper Port. At the same time construction begins at Overbay, demolition started and is expected to be finished shortly at the now-vacant Cappy’s Carpets building. Local developer The Gitto Group is planning for a 46-unit complex called The Brookport.

Alison LaPointe, the special village attorney for the Building & Planning department, said the planning board granted final approval for the Gitto project Sept. 12 and the department has already supplied a demolition permit. The developer has applied for a building permit, but LaPointe said it has not yet been granted as it is going out to an engineering firm for additional review. There is no current timeline on when a building permit will be granted for the project.

A representative of The Gitto Group was not immediately available for comment.

A rendering of the Overbay apartment complex. Image from The Northwind Group

By Kevin Redding

A new, 52-unit apartment complex being built in Port Jefferson Village this spring just got a financial boost from the town.

The $10.8 million project, which will be called Overbay, was recently approved for a package of economic incentives that includes sales tax exemption and payments in lieu of taxes, or PILOTs, by the Town of Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency.

During a Jan. 10 meeting, members of the IDA board announced the approval for the Hauppauge-based development company, The Northwind Group, to construct the 54,000-square-foot “nautical-style” apartment building on the now-vacant site of the former Islander Boat Center building on West Broadway, which was demolished by the company in February. The IDA received Northwind’s application in 2015.

Overbay would stand as the third new apartment complex built in the village in recent years. With the IDA’s assistance, it is expected to have considerably lower rent costs than the others in the area, according to Lisa Mulligan, IDA chief executive officer.

Prices for the units have not been established yet. When Northwind managing member Jim Tsunis received approval by the village building and planning department for the apartments in 2015, he estimated rents would range between $1,800 and $2,200 a month, Mulligan said.

“Just in general, the need for affordable rental housing in the Town of Brookhaven is well documented and significant, so our IDA board of directors felt this was a project that would help fill that need,” Mulligan said, adding Overbay will be especially helpful for college students and seniors. “The clientele is anybody who is looking to move out of their home and into something that’s a little easier to upkeep. There aren’t enough legal rentals that are [affordable]. A development like this one provides that option.”

Frederick Braun, chairman of the IDA, spoke of Overbay’s benefits in a press release.

“This project will bring much-needed rental housing to an area near to Stony Brook University and Port Jefferson’s Mather and St. Charles hospitals and spur additional spending in the village and the town,” he said.

The complex is also expected to create two permanent jobs — Mulligan speculated perhaps a rental agent and a building superintendent — and 150 construction jobs over a two-year period. IDA financial incentive agreements typically require the creation of jobs, both permanent and construction related.

Tsunis said the incentives will help Northwind offset the Islander Boat Center building’s $200,000 demolition costs.

“It’s going to enable me to spend more money on the building, so the end result is there will be a better product for the residents of Port Jefferson,” Tsunis said. “It’ll definitely bring people into the downtown area that will spend money at the local shops.”

Community response has long been mixed on the project, even within the village board.

Overbay’s eastern neighbor, The Shipyard apartment complex, which was constructed by Tritec Development Group, opened in January. That project secured a financial assistance package from the Suffolk County IDA and will make PILOT payments to the village for 15 years in lieu of property taxes.

The influx of new village residents without the benefit of increased property tax revenue has been a point of contention for property owners.

“I think it’s a real disaster for the village that they were able to get this financial assistance,” 30-year village resident Molly Mason said in a previous interview, referring to The Shipyard. “It’s like we’re giving away the store.”

Village Mayor Margot Garant and the board of trustees previously opposed the financial assistance granted to Tritec.

by -
0 4220
A rendering of the Overbay apartment complex. Image from The Northwind Group

By Alex Petroski

Construction of a third set of apartments is slated to begin in the spring in Port Jefferson Village after demolition of the vacant Islander Boat Center building on West Broadway began last week. This comes after ground was broken in June 2016 on a 112-unit apartment complex by TRITEC Real Estate Company adjacent to the Islander Boat Center property called The Shipyard luxury apartments, as well as the opening of the 38-unit complex by Rail Realty called The Hills at Port Jefferson in upper Port, which will grow by 36 units upon completion later this year.

Demolition of the Islander Boat Center building is nearing completion. Photo by Alex Petroski

Hauppauge-based building company The Northwind Group owns the site of the new project, which will be called Overbay apartments. A Conditional Site Plan and Conditional Use approval were granted for the property by the village building and planning department in May 2015 for the construction of 52 apartment units, according to Special Village Attorney for the department Alison LaPointe, and Northwind managing member Jim Tsunis confirmed in a phone interview that is still the plan. LaPointe said in an email several other conditions laid out by the department need to be met by the property owner prior to the issuance of a Final Site Plan and a building permit. Tsunis declined to give a reason why demolition began nearly two years after receiving board approval.

Demolition of the original structure began Feb. 10 but was not complete as of the morning of Feb. 13. The new building will overlook Port Jefferson Harbor.

“It’s a cute little nautical style building — I’m looking forward to building it,” Tsunis said. He added he’s excited to be a part of the expansion and beautification process going on in the village.

“Hopefully within the week that building will be down, which is good news,” village Mayor Margot Garant said during a board meeting Feb. 8 after the demolition permit was issued.

Another board member shared his positive outlook on the future of the site.

“It’ll improve the western entrance to the downtown area,” Trustee Bruce D’Abramo said during the meeting.

At least one trustee is concerned about the impact all of the changes in the village will have for long-time residents.

“This is a Victorian village but we’re turning it into hodgepodge lodge here,” Bruce Miller said. “There’s just no cohesion here.”

Garant added the village board has no jurisdiction over the building and planning department, and the new apartment buildings all meet standards set in the village code. According to the village code, structures are not permitted to exceed 35-feet at their highest point.

Demolition of the vacant Islander Boat Center building is nearing completion. Photo by Alex Petroski

A member of the community who lives on Beach Street shared similar concerns to Miller, and voiced her displeasure during the public comment period of the meeting.

“I’m sick to my stomach when I look at it,” the resident said of The Shipyard building, which is under construction, adding she’s not looking forward to another building going up next to it. “I’m sick to my stomach when I drive down the hill. I feel bad for every other resident in the area who’s going to be looking at this massive structure.”

Barbara Sabatino, a village resident and business owner, as well as a member of the building and planning department, was at the meeting and expressed regret over approving the building of the large structure.

“We had a lot of discussion about this at planning board, we’re restricted to what they can build by code,” she said. “If the code says you can build ‘x’ amount of floors with ‘x’ amount of square footage, we’re kind of stuck. We can’t say ‘no you can’t build something,’ if legally in the code they can. What we can do is learn from this is that this looks a lot bigger than we had anticipated.”