A proposal for a new apartment complex on Sandy Hollow Road in Southampton was once again reviewed last Thursday morning with David Gallo, a developer from Georgica Green Ventures, and David Gilmartin Jr., his attorney, on hand to discuss the site plan.
For several years now, the 2.5-acre vacant lot in Tuckahoe has been under consideration for housing a workforce apartment complex for residents. A newly furbished program was presented before the Southampton Town Board, and is now in need of an approval from the town to move forward.
The new plan features three buildings, rather than the originally planned four. A total of 28 units will inhabit the buildings with 14 studios, 12 one-bedrooms, and two two-bedroom apartments. The original plan called for 34, but due to the influx of criticism from neighbors last fall, it was reduced.
"We'd like to build something that works within the community and tries to mitigate any concerns," Gallo said.
According to Gallo, Gilmartin, and members of the Southampton Town Housing Authority, the town has a dire need not only for more affordable housing, but apartment style living in general.
"A lot of 21 to 34-year-olds are moving off Long Island," Gallo said. "Plus we have a workforce coming from other places. Southampton has the largest need for housing."
Gallo opined the loss of young residents is the culprit behind what he called a "trade parade," increasing traffic east of the Shinnecock Canal during the morning and evening rush hours for the better half of the year.
"It's startling, really," Gilmartin said, "the need this town has for housing."
Forty-six occupants would be able to live at the newly proposed site, with 47 parking spaces.
Gallo assured there would be strict guidelines to be eligible for living on the properties, with a dense application process including proper references, both from work places and landlords.
"We take this very seriously," Gallo said.
Installing a state of the art septic waste treatment system on the property was another topic discussed. Gilmartin said it would meet Suffolk County drinking water standards, as well as allowing for the apartment complex to have a less harmful impact on groundwater than single family homes.
"We're looking to put the best system in place," Gallo said. According to the developer, Georgica Green would foot the bill for extending the water mains. It's slated to cost as much as $200,000.
If approved, Georgica Green proposed to sell the Sandy Hollow property to the town's Housing Authority, letting it act as landlord and earn from the respective rents (slated to be between $850 and $950 per month). Construction could begin as early as spring 2015.
Georgica Green would also pay the construction cost, expected to be subsidized through a federal tax credit program. In order for qualify for tax credits, according to Gilmartin, the project needs to be approved by this November.