The PJ Lobster House will be moving Down Port into the old Ocean 88 location at 88 Meadow Lot. (Check back at GreaterPortJeff for more details on that.)
Plans for the new apartments are still in development, but Rob Gitto, vice president of the Gitto Group, said the luxury complex will be slightly smaller than The Brookport project — a three-story and 46 unit apartment complex that will take over the landmark Cappy’s Carpets property.
Like many of Gitto’s other projects, this new development will also house a retail component.
Gitto said the PJ Lobster House’s property — located at 1 N. Country Road — is “an important corner” within the uptown area of the village.
The developer connected with PJ Lobster House owner, James Luciano, about buying out his share of the property.
Luciano and Gitto are both members of the Port Jefferson Business Improvement District Board and board directors of Port Jefferson’s Chamber of Commerce.
“We tried our best to help him,” said Gitto. “I’ve gotten to know him well, I respect him as a business person — it is unfortunate that he does have to relocate.”
Luciano will be moving PJ Lobster House to its new location at the permanently closed Ocean 88, located at 88 Meadow Lot in Port Jefferson.
“I do wish him the best and I am excited about his new location,” Gitto said. “For uptown its unfortunate to lose such a great restaurant that is so successful, but sometimes you have to take a step back, even when losing something great like that, to propel forward.”
The developer’s other projects in the village include the uptown, multi-family development The Hills, a proposed project for a blighted former boatyard on West Broadway, The Barnum House, The Port Jefferson Crossings, the Uptown Funk revitalization and more.
Gitto said he and his team are excited to expand their developments to uptown Port Jefferson and continue to “the master plan” for improving that area.
“The biggest thing is revitalizing uptown Port Jeff,” Gitto said. “It’s going to be important to have projects like this within the village to help defray the loss of property taxes that the village is going through.”
The development will make a positive, long-term economic impact on the village, which is struggling from a loss of tax revenue from the phased out LIPA power plant, Gitto said.
As hospitals like Mather Hospital continue to grow and expand, Gitto said he feels these developments are important in housing medical professionals.
“A project like this would be a great opportunity for people to live in our complex and be able to walk to and from work,” Gitto said.
He hopes to make the uptown area of Port Jefferson just as inviting as the village’s downtown.
“It’s a great location and we want to make sure it looks the best that we can make it,” Gitto said.
Continue to follow GreaterPortJeff for updates on this developing project.
Top: Rob Gitto accepting the Long Island Vision Smart Growth Award in August.