The Real Deal Tristate

Islanders expect to break ground on Belmont arena project this summer, late composer’s Sands Point estate has another price cut & more Long Island real estate news

By Aidan Gardiner | July 01, 2019 03:30PM

Clockwise from top left: Oleg Cassini’s Oyster Bay home in contract after price chop, build for New York Islanders’ Belmont arena expected to begin this summer, restaurateur buys Syosset property where he runs eatery for $4.15M and a hospital seeks a zoning change to construct a $40M medical building in Long Beach.

Islanders’ Belmont arena build still set to start this summer
Jon Ledecky, co-owner of the National Hockey Leagues’ New York Islanders, hopes to begin construction of the team’s new arena at Belmont Park this summer even as a long-awaited environmental review for the mixed-use project will most likely be delayed, Newsday reported. Officials from Empire State Development, the state agency coordinating an environmental review for the controversial $1.2 billion redevelopment, had hoped to conclude that process by the end of the second quarter of this year. July, however, is now the expected timeline to finalize the review, which ESD officials don’t expect will push back the start of construction. The ESD report is expected to address developers’ efforts to neighbors’ concerns about the project. Those who live nearby feared the proposed development, which besides a 17,500-seat arena also includes a 250-room hotel and 435,000-square-feet of retail space, will increase traffic and overload the Long Island Rail Road. The state plans to run additional trains to ease that potential strain and a development group may help build a new train station. Ledecky, founder of U.S. Office Products and the uncle of U.S. Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky, said he anticipates construction to be finished in time for the Islanders’ 2021-22 season. [Newsday]

Price for composer’s Sands Point home keeps marching south
The latest cut to the asking price for composer John Philip Sousa’s former home in Sands Point has brought it down to $8.995 million, Forbes reported. The waterfront property 12 Hicks Lane, which is known as Wildbank, hit the market last July for $9.85 million and had its price trimmed earlier this year to $9.45 million. The 6,000-square-foot home has six bedrooms, five-and-a-half bathrooms, a gym, loggia and Zuber scenic wallpaper. The property also holds a separate cottage and a deepwater dock on a beach with views of the sunset over the Long Island Sound. Soussa composed “Stars and Stripes Forever” along with many other military marches. He joined the Marine Corps Band at 13 and served as its conductor for more than a decade. He lived in the Sands Point home from 1915 until his death in 1932. In 1966, the home was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Maggie Keats of Douglas Elliman has the listing. [Forbes]

Oleg Cassini’s Oyster Bay home in contract after price cut
The nearly 44-acre estate of late fashion designer Oleg Cassini has gone into contract after its price was cut down to $13.5 million, Newsday reported. The Oyster Bay home at 313 McCouns Lane listed a year ago for $19.5 million. Cassini, who died in 2006 at 92, was the grandson of a Russian-Italian count and rose to prominence as a dressmaker for a dressmaker for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The potential sale of the nearly 44-acre estate, whose buyer is not yet known, comes as Lynx Asset Services, a lending company in Florida, started foreclosure proceedings on the Upper East Side townhouse from which Cassini previously ran his fashion businesses. In July 2018, Lynx sent Cassini’s widow a notice of default on a $9.5 million mortgage for the townhouse. Authorities are now in the process of auctioning off his estate, which includes artwork, furniture, hundreds of luxury cars and letters from Kennedy and the actress Grace Kelly. Philip Laffey of Laffey Real Estate is handling the sale of the three-story Oyster Bay home, which was built in 1915. It has 14 bedrooms, eight-and-a-half bathrooms and eight fireplaces, as well as a pool, a tennis court, two barns and a carriage house with four apartments. [TRD]

Zoning change sought for $40M Long Beach medical building
Officials with South Nassau Communities Hospital are looking to get the Long Beach Zoning Board of Appeals to rezone the former Long Beach Medical Center from residential to medical use, Newsday reported. The hospital hopes to build a $40 million medical arts building on the site, but Long Beach officials denied the hospital’s building permit in June because the property “formerly housed medical offices for outpatient services.” City officials said the proposed building meets its codes, but the variance needs to be granted before any construction can begin. The zoning board will meet to discuss the variance on July 9. Hospital officials hope to build an outpatient medical facility next to a $38 million emergency room that opened in 2015. The proposed 15,000-square-foot medical arts building will have 18 exam rooms and two new procedure rooms, as well as offices for internal medicine, OB-GYN, oncology, pediatrics, podiatry, primary care, radiology and rotating specialists. The hospital plans to construct the facility with $154 million in disaster relief funds it got after Superstorm Sandy from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which allowed the hospital to spend $40 million in Long Beach and use the rest to fortify its main hospital. [Newday]

Medical office building in Merrick trades for $11M
Capital Square 1031, a national real estate investment and management company, announced last week the $10.5 million sale of a fully-leased, 18,000-square-foot medical office building in Merrick. Glen Allen, Virginia-based Capital Square specializes in so-called 1031 exchanges, a real estate transaction that allows an investor to defer capital gains taxes if they use the proceeds from the sale of one property held for more than a year to acquire a second property within 180 days. Capital Square sponsors Delaware Statutory Trusts, or DSTs, a mechanism used by 1031 exchange investors. The property at 1728 Sunrise Highway in Merrick was bought by Capital Square’s DST investors for $7 million in 2014, giving them a nearly 18 percent annualized return on their investment, Capital Square said. The Real Deal reported in late May on Capital Square’s sale of a 37,500-square-foot building in Southern California fully leased by a 24 Hour Fitness. [Capital Square] — Brian Baxter

Restaurateur buys Syosset property where he runs eatery
Long Island restaurateur Anthony Scotto has dropped $4.15 million to acquire the Syosset property where he already runs his eatery Rare 650, Long Island Business News reported. Scotto’s firm had been leasing the 1.5-acre property at 650 Jericho Turnpike from its previous owner, the Lewis family. A real estate investor from Brookville had tried to buy the property, but Scotto took advantage of a clause in his lease that allowed him to match the $4.15 million purchase price. Anthony Ciafardoni and Chinho Park of Silber Investment Properties represented both Scotto and the Lewis family. Recently, Scotto put forth a $28.2 million plan to build a 130-room hotel on a Smithtown property where he runs his Watermill Caterers business. Local officials said in May that they still wanted to review the proposal before it can move forward. [LIBN]

Melville industrial property secures $4M refinancing
The owners of an 80,000-square-foot industrial building at 80 Ruland Road in Melville turned to Commack-based Racanelli Realty Services to finalize a $4 million refinancing, Long Island Business News reported. Assurant Real Estate, a unit of Assurant Asset Management, provided the loan for the 6.9-acre industrial property, half of which is owned by 180 Oval Drive Associates and N&J Realty, respectively. LIBN noted that some members of the Racanelli family, which has longstanding development ties on Long Island, own part of N&J. Cosmetics giant Estée Lauder has leased the Melville property has a warehouse for its products. [LIBN] — Brian Baxter