A Syosset parcel that was to house people will likely hold only their stuff instead.
After failing for five years to get approval from Oyster Bay for a residential project, a developer sold the land to an investment firm specializing in outdoor storage.
Woodbury developer Paul Laruccia sold the 5.7-acre plot at 80 Jericho Turnpike last week, Newsday reported. Simi Capital and Cerberus Capital Management purchased it for just under $15 million, five years after Laruccia paid STP Associates $10.1 million for the land.
The sale ends a frustrating saga for Laruccia, who sought to develop a 61-unit senior housing facility, 44 market-rate rentals and commercial space on the site.
The parcel was formerly the home of a mobile home park. The last residents were evicted in 2016, the same year Laruccia bought the parcel.
Laruccia claims he spent five years planning the development, culminating in a hearing in front of the Oyster Bay Town Board on Jan. 28, 2020, where the developer was seeking a special-use permit and zoning change.
Laruccia told Newsday that in November 2020, his attorney received an informal notification that the project would not happen.
“When we heard that, we figured, ‘You know what, it’s time to move on,’” the developer told Newsday.
A spokesman for the town claimed that the town attorney had questions for Laruccia’s attorney about a reduction in density and height differences between the two planned buildings. Laruccia countered that he already answered many questions and was not aware of any about height or density.
“We accounted for all their comments,” Laruccia said.
Left in limbo is a sandwich shop at the site. The owner of Village Heros, nearing its 50th year in business, expressed hope the new owner would keep the shop. Otherwise, it may have to relocate out of Syosset.
[Newsday] — Holden Walter-Warner