A 77-unit affordable housing community planned for Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station will begin construction this month.
The $25 million project developed by Concern for Independent Living will feature units specifically designated for Long Island veterans.
“All of the housing we develop is affordable,” the nonprofit’s executive director, Ralph Fasano, told GreaterPortJeff. ”In most of the developments we have veterans or people with disabilities in need of both housing and services.”
Concern for Independent Living specializes in developing affordable housing all across Long Island, with a special focus on providing homes for veterans and people with special needs. The idea is to help those individuals live independently.
But housing applicants don’t have to be a veteran, or disabled.
The units are also available to those making up to 60 percent of the median area income, provided they could afford the rent. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median income in Port Jeff Station is $92,174.
Sixty percent of that number would be $55,304.
According to its website, Concern for Independent Living currently serves over 1,100 individuals and families in over 240 locations.
Concern manages all the properties it develops, Fasano said.
Other projects the group has developed on Long Island include Renaissance Village, a 123-unit community in Middle Island completed in 2017, and Liberty Landing, a 59-unit development in Lake Ronkonkoma opened in 2016.
The Port Jefferson Station community will be built on an 11-acre plot on the east side of Route 112 across from Sagamore Hills Condominiums, north of East Grove Street (map below).
A company spokesman said that the site was originally zoned for business until 1996, when a town land use plan allowed the zoning to be changed to multifamily, with up to 10 units per acre.
The Concern group volunteered to reduce the density from the allowable 109 units to 77.
The development will have a 50-foot setback from Route 112, with a buffer and a 75-foot setback from East Grove Street on the back of the property, also with buffering. The only curb cut will be at the entrance, on Route 112.
There will be a 2-acre buffer on the north side of the community against commercial properties on Route 112.
Residents on East Grove Street spoke at a Brookhaven Town hearing in December to address concerns they had about buffering on the southern edge of the property that borders their home.
Town officials and representatives from the developer worked with the residents to adjust the buffer to preserve natural areas the existing residences would share with the planned development.
Fasano also said that a traffic light was approved by the New York State DOT on Route 112 between the new development and Sagamore Hills Condominium.
The traffic light is something that residents of Sagamore Hills have been asking for, citing safety concerns, especially now with the new development adding even more turning traffic to the area.
The development will consist of 1 and 2-bedroom units and include a community building. Rents will range from $500 to $800 per month for the 1-bedroom apartments to $1,100 per month for 2-bedrooms.
Concern is well-connected to the veteran community and will help market the units through the Northport VA and the Suffolk County Veterans Services Agency.
The agency started working with veterans specifically when a military base in Amityville was being decommissioned and they were approached about developing the land for housing.
“We thought it would be a natural fit for veteran housing,” Fasano said.
Fasano said serving the veteran community is important to him on a personal level as well.
“My father and six of his brothers served in World War II,” he said. “They all came back alive.”
The deal to close on the land will be completed next week and according to Fasano, construction will begin immediately afterward.
Help to fund the project came from a variety of sources including the NYS Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program, a $1 million grant from Suffolk County, a $300,000 grant from Home Depot, and additional money from the NYS Homes and Community Renewal program.
Fasano said the Town of Brookhaven and the Port Jefferson/Terryville Civic Association also provided support and comments that helped shape the project and bring it to fruition.
“We’re really excited that we have been able to get this far,” he said.