Nassau and Suffolk home sales decline, Westbury eyes downtown revitalization & more Long Island real estate news

Jul.July 08, 2019 05:30 PM

Clockwise from top left: An environmentally sustainable Sands Point home returns to market for $25M after listing for $38M four years ago, New York approves its first new Long Island Rail Road station in 50 years to supplement a massive mixed-use project near Belmont Park, the creator of the Pirate’s Booty snack food wants to use state law to push forward with his eatery plan in Sea Cliff and New York announces a $55M grant to promote energy storage efforts on Long Island.

Pending Long Island home sales slipped slightly in June
Having halted four consecutive months of gains in May, pending home sales in Nassau and Suffolk counties slipped again in June, Long Island Business News reported. The outlet, citing data from the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island, said that 3,004 homes were contracted for sale last month, a 1 percent dip from the 3,035 homes that moved in June 2018. The numbers also represented a 3 percent decline from May, when 3,167 homes were slated for sale in both counties. In Nassau, 1,317 homes were contracted for sale last month, 2.3 percent less than the 1,348 homes sold in June 2018. In Suffolk, homes sales were flat in June, at 1,687 set for sale, the same number as last year. Inventory, however, soared 13.2 percent year-over-year in Nassau, where 6,298 homes were listed for sale as of July 8. Suffolk saw only a 1.5 percent spike, with 7,262 on the market as of Monday. [LIBN]

Westbury prepares to release downtown revitalization plans
A long-awaited plan to transform a 50-acre former industrial zone in Westbury into a transit-friendly neighborhood for millennials and seniors will finally be released, Newsday reported. The plan comes three years after Westbury became the first community on Long Island to receive a $10 million downtown revitalization grant from the state. “Everyone is trying to figure out how to keep their community healthy and sustainable for the future,” Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro said. “From what we’ve seen, the transit-oriented development offers the best possible manner in communities that have train stations to spur economic development.” Westbury’s plan, which Newsday noted will officially be unveiled during a public hearing on July 11, will allow buildings in the train station zone be built up to five stories or 65 feet high. The village already has several condo buildings of that size, Cavallaro told the outlet, adding that he envisions “a primarily single-family residential community” that is “extremely diverse” taking over the site north of Westbury’s Long Island Rail Road station. [Newsday] — Brian Baxter

Sands Point estate returns to market after $13M price cut
What once claimed to be the largest environmentally sustainable home in the country is back on the market again at a steep discount from its initial ask four years ago. Patch noted that the 15,000-square-foot mansion at 88 Old House Lane in Sands Point is now listed at $24.8 million. The LEED-certified home has eight bedrooms, nine bathrooms, four half-bathrooms, a steel floating staircase, two chef’s kitchens, an elevator, an indoor pool and a golf green, according to its listing. The home also has geothermal heat, solar panels and a roof with gardens that use reclaimed water for irrigation, as well as exterior walls that are made from porcelain and zinc, according to a Newsday story from 2015, when the property hit the market at $38 million. But by 2017, the price for the home had been reduced to $29 million. The listing was removed and the property hit the auction block late last year, before returning to market in December at $28.8 million. Its ask was reduced again, to nearly $25 million, in mid-May. Sabreen Qaiyum of Coldwell Banker has the listing. [TRD]

New LIRR station bolsters $1.3B Belmont Park project
A $105 million deal to build the first new Long Island Rail Road station in nearly 50 years removes one major obstacle to a $1.3 billion mixed-use redevelopment around the Belmont Park racetrack in Elmont, Newsday reported. New York officials announced Monday that a private development group had agreed to pay $97 million of the cost for the new station, with state funds absorbing the rest. A long-awaited final environmental impact statement for the site was also expected to be accepted and approved Monday by the board of Empire State Development, which could allow for construction to start later this summer. The most recent plans for the site include a 19,000-seat arena for the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders, a 250-room hotel and a retail village with 435,000 square feet of space. Developers hope the addition of the Elmont LIRR station, which should be partially complete by 2021 and fully operational by 2023, is expected to appease the concerns of local community groups about an influx of traffic and a strain on public transportation. An economic analysis released Monday by ESD said that the redevelopment will produce $725 million in regional economic output and $50 million in new public revenue per year. [TRD]

CRE sector to reap benefits of $55M Long Island energy grant
New York state will give $55 million to fund energy storage efforts in both commercial and residential storage projects on Long Island, Long Island Business News reported. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will initially roll out about $15 million in incentives. The money is meant to help bring the state closer to its target of creating 3,000 megawatts of energy storage by 2030. Reaching that goal could make the electrical grid more efficient and potentially make renewable energy resources like wind and solar power more beneficial to property owners. The state will make the initial $15 million in incentives available to residents and businesses through its Retail Energy Storage Incentive Program. The incentives will be for customer sites that have systems paired with solar or standalone systems. The remaining $40 million in state funds will be paid out over the next three to five years. “These incentives for energy storage will help Long Islanders grow their clean energy economy and create jobs,” said a statement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. [LIBN]

Pirate’s Booty creator’s Sea Cliff eatery odyssey continues
Robert Ehrlich, the businessman who created the Pirate’s Booty line of snack foods, is trying to collect enough signatures to force the Village of Sea Cliff to potentially allow his plans for a restaurant to move forward and bring more accountability to local government, Long Island Business News reported. If Ehrlich gets signatures from 5 percent of local voters in the last gubernatorial election, he could begin a permissive referendum against the village, which under state law could overturn or uphold specific decisions from a local governing body. For nearly two decades, local officials and the courts have thwarted Ehrlich’s efforts to open a new restaurant in Sea Cliff. In 2000, Ehrlich bough two vacant buildings on Roslyn Avenue for about $525,000 in order to open a cafe called the Sea Cliff Coffee Company in the smaller of the two, which has 1,200 square feet. Three years later, Sea Cliff officials told Ehrlich that a 12-year-old agreement barred cooking there and would force the cafe to close at 3 p.m. each afternoon. Ehrlich moved ahead with an eatery anyway, only to be shut down in 2008 for not having the right permits. The years that followed have been marked by more squabbles with village officials. Ehrlich told LIBN that his legal battles have cost him more than $2 million. He has repeatedly butted heads with Sea Cliff’s administrator, Bruce Kennedy, who Ehrlich hopes to unseat with his referendum plan. In an effort to collect more signatures, Ehrlich started a website where residents can attach their names to referendums that challenge village rulings. [LIBN]

Laurel Hollow’s Harewood Estate relists at a discount
After first hitting the market in 2007 with a $14.5 million ask, an 8,000-square-foot home in Laurel Hollow has been relisted at nearly $6 million, Newsday reported. The Colonial style, brick façade mansion at 45 Moores Hill Road, known as the Harewood Estate, was built in 1932 and renovated and expanded in 2000 by Manhattan-based modern classist architect Oliver Cope. The main house has seven bedrooms, five full-bathrooms and three half-bathrooms, as well as floor-to-ceiling Palladian windows and a pine-paneled library. The 7.66-acre property, whose current ask is a nearly 60 percent discount from a dozen years ago, includes a heated gunite pool with a three-bedroom, two-bathroom pool house designed in the 1960s by the famous architectural firm George Post & Sons. The pool house, which is also in the Palladian style, has a kitchen and a fireplace. The Harewood Estate returned to the market in July 2015 with a nearly $7 million ask, according to a Newsday report at the time. Paul Mateyunas of Douglas Elliman has the listing for the property in Laurel Hollow, which is a hamlet within the Town of Oyster Bay. [Newsday] — Brian Baxter

Developer wants storage facility for Roslyn Heights property
Blumenfeld Development Group has applied the Town of North Hempstead’s Board of Zoning Appeals to build a storage facility on a contaminated property with a vacant building in Roslyn Heights, the Island Now reported. The Syosset-based developer wants to tear down the vacant structure and build a 98,000-square-foot Extra Space Storage facility with 690 storage units on the site at 71 Jane Street, which is zoned for both industrial and residential use. Blumenfeld, which is in contract to buy the property, applied for the New York Department of Environmental Conservation’s Brownfield Cleanup Program after finding soil gases. The state approved the application in June and now Blumenfeld is coordinating cleanup with the DEC. Preparation for the cleanup will take months and the developer plans to keep locals abreast of how they plan to tackle it before work starts. Those who live in the area have said they are concerned that a storage facility will increase traffic, but Blumenfeld doesn’t believe that will occur. The next building would have 31 parking spaces and the developer expects only about 17 to be filled at any given time. The project requires 23 zoning variances for things like height, floor area and signage. [The Island Now]

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