Long Island Cheat Sheet: Suffolk County senior housing development gets $57M construction loan, construction employment spikes … & more

<em>Clockwise from top left: Mount Sinai senior housing development gets a $57M building loan, construction employment in Nassau and Suffolk counties rose 13 percent in 2018, Brookhaven to target out-of-date accessory apartments after death and a developer tries to allay traffic concerns around an apartment project in Copiague.</em>
Clockwise from top left: Mount Sinai senior housing development gets a $57M building loan, construction employment in Nassau and Suffolk counties rose 13 percent in 2018, Brookhaven to target out-of-date accessory apartments after death and a developer tries to allay traffic concerns around an apartment project in Copiague.

Mount Sinai senior housing development gets $57M building loan
M&T Bank has loaned $57 million to the Engel Burman Group to build a 225-unit senior housing complex in the hamlet of Mount Sinai, near Brookhaven in Suffolk County, a spokesman for the bank told The Real Deal. The development, known as Sutton Landing, will have 196 villas, 29 duet units, a 9,750-square-foot clubhouse and an outdoor pool. The units are restricted for those 55 and older. The 225-unit complex, which is adjacent to a new Bristal Assisted Living facility, is due to be completed in the summer of 2020. Late last year M&T Bank provided $47.5 million in construction financing for Engel Burman’s Wellbridge Addiction Research and Treatment facility in Calverton. Northwell Health is a partner with Engel Burman on that project. M&T Bank, which is based in Buffalo, also recently financed the purchase of the Uniondale Marriott, RXR Realty’s Village Square complex in Glen Cove and Terwilliger & Bartone Properties’ various rental projects in Hauppauge, among others. [M&T Bank]

Long Island construction employment jumped 13 percent in 2018
Nassau and Suffolk counties gained about 10,100 construction jobs between December 2017 and December 2018, according to numbers put out by the Associated General Contractors of America. That represents a 13 percent increase, which brings the total number of those employed in construction for both counties to 89,700, Long Island Business News reported. Local gains matched a nationwide trend that saw 273 metropolitan areas expand construction employment, according to the Arlington, Virginia-based AGC. The trade association found that another 48 metro areas remained steady, while 37 saw declines. New York City, a hot spot for construction hiring, added 2,900 construction jobs over the same period, a 2 percent rise from the year before. Texas saw some of the largest gains in the country, with Houston adding 19,400 jobs and Dallas bringing on 17,700. Phoenix (16,200 jobs) and Orlando (11,400 jobs) also saw sizeable gains. In California, the areas around Anaheim (-2,800) and San Diego (-1,900) saw some of the nation’s steepest declines, along with Honolulu (-1,500). All three regions, however, only experienced drops of 5 percent or lower, according to the AGC. [LIBN]

Developer tries to allay traffic concerns over Copiague apartment project
Lindenhurst-based developer Mitchell Giannini told concerned Copiague residents that he’s trying to secure more parking options for a 16-unit apartment building being erected along Montauk Highway, Newsday reported. Many locals at a town planning board meeting last week expressed worry that the project will exacerbate traffic issues in the area. Gianni already paid for a traffic study that found there would be little local impact, but some residents at the meeting want him to do another study during summer months to better reflect the higher traffic volume at that time of year. Gianni owns at least two other apartment complexes in Copiague, a hamlet that is part of the Town of Babylon. Giannini tore down a vacant two-story building when he bought the half-acre site where he plans to build his Gail Grace complex. The planning board expects to vote on the project during its Feb. 25 meeting. [Newsday]

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Brookhaven to target out-of-date accessory apartments after fatality
An amnesty program is being offered to homeowners in Brookhaven to bring their accessory apartments into compliance ahead of a local crackdown, Newsday reported. Town officials have identified more than 2,578 accessory apartments inside of homes with expired permits that will be subject to enforcement measures, including fines. Records show there are 5,906 accessory apartments registered in Brookhaven, more than 3,000 of which have a current license or pending application. Officials have cited the December fire death of a Farmingville man in an illegal basement apartment as a reason for the crackdown. The amnesty program will run until April 30, when out of compliance homeowners will start facing fines. Homeowners will be mailed accessory apartment applications and can also file those applications online. [Newsday]

NYC firefighter fights to save treehouse that violates Babylon building codes
The ongoing battle over a suburban treehouse in Babylon could be moving toward resolution. A federal judge in Central Islip ordered John Lepper to get a survey and engineering report for a treehouse he built for his two children that town officials deemed illegal, Newsday reported. When Lepper, a New York City firefighter, began building the treehouse in his family’s backyard, he filed a building permit application that he said was accepted by a clerk with the local building department. But Lepper didn’t file a required engineer’s report or survey and wasn’t issued a building permit. Officials then fined Lepper and ordered him to demolish the treehouse, but Lepper refused, paying $475 in fines and disputing the order. Town code dictates that playgrounds and gyms of more than 90 square feet need permits, but Lepper claims the treehouse does not qualify because it’s only 86 square feet. While a judge disagreed, Lepper is appealing on First Amendment grounds and plans to get both the survey and engineer’s report within two weeks. [Newsday]