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A crumbling parking lot and two vacant commercial buildings in the shadow of the Hicksville Long Island Rail Road station are soon to be replaced by a new $130 million mixed-use transit-oriented development.
The project, from Manhattan-based developer Alpine Residential, is the largest so far to be approved by the Town of Oyster Bay in its ongoing efforts to revitalize Hicksville’s downtown.
The four-story, mixed-use development, which received the final go-ahead from the town’s planning board last month, will bring 189 rental apartments over 7,660 square feet of restaurant and retail space to the 2.1-acre site at 99 Newbridge Road.
Though it’s taken a few years, the Alpine project is exactly the type of smart-growth development that’s been sought by the town since it rezoned the area in 2021. The new Hicksville zoning was largely based on planning work done over the last several years by Vision Long Island, the Hicksville Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Hicksville Revitalization Committee.
The rezoning came three-and-a-half years after the town received a $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant from the state in August 2017. Alpine will get $1 million of that DRI grant money to assist its project. The developer is also seeking economic incentives from the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency.
“The Alpine Residential project in Hicksville was born out of the vision of the residents of Hicksville who wanted to improve their commercial downtown with new residences and upgraded street-level retail,” said attorney Bram Weber of Melville-based Weber Law Group, who represents the project. “The town board then took the lead and approved a zoning code which the Alpine project followed word-for-word. Working with the community’s vision, the town, and with the support of Vision Long Island, Alpine has created a transformative project which received unanimous support at the town’s public hearing. The Alpine project will be showpiece for Hicksville, the Town of Oyster Bay, and Nassau County.”
The new TOD will have two levels of underground parking to accommodate 338 vehicles. It will have a mix of 14 studios, 76 one-bedroom units, 88 two-bedroom units and 11 three-bedroom apartments. Monthly rents for the studios range from $2,000 to $2,275; from $1,967 to $3,411 for one-bedroom apartments; from $2,858 to $3,902 for two-bedroom apartments; and from $3,369 to $4,172 for the three-bedroom apartments.
Nineteen of the new Hicksville apartments will be designated as workforce housing and offered at reduced rents. Amenities at the complex will include co-working space, lobby lounge, yoga studio, fitness center, outdoor pool, a playground for young children, and a rooftop lounge and dog run.
Todd Schefler, managing partner at Alpine Residential, grew up in Roslyn and knows the Hicksville site is a prime candidate for redevelopment.
“Anything in Nassau County at a train station is special and that train station is really a busy train station. When you go by there at night it’s really desolate and it’s kind of a natural place that has so much activity,” Schefler told LIBN. “This will bring a lot of vitality to an area that’s gotten kind of bleak at night when you get off the train.”
The Alpine development is the second Hicksville project that’s gained traction under the town’s new zoning. Fieldstone at North Broadway LLC, an affiliate of Woodbury-based P7 Development, is planning to construct a mixed-use building that will bring 96 rental apartments over one level of parking and 3,500 square feet of retail space just two blocks north of the Hicksville LIRR station.
Dubbed Fieldstone at North Broadway, it will feature a clubroom, a fitness center, a business center and a raised outdoor courtyard. Ten percent of the apartments at the project, which is still in the approvals process, will be designated as workforce housing and offered at reduced rents.
The town’s efforts to revitalize Hicksville’s downtown have received strong support from the community, as residents and local business owners have been involved in the planning process from the jump.
“This second mixed-use TOD project in downtown Hicksville had community support because it was planned locally,” says Eric Alexander, director of Vision Long Island and co-chair of the Hicksville Downtown Revitalization Committee. “The Chamber of Commerce, local civics and municipal officials shaped the plan with the developer from the bottom up and that is the method for success not just in Hicksville but in communities across Long Island.”
Town officials say the Hicksville projects, which will add nearly 300 housing units, are examples of what can be accomplished to increase housing opportunities without mandates from the state, as Oyster Bay has strongly opposed Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed housing compact.
“This is a great example of local government and community working together to provide appropriate, responsible development and residential housing. This project went forward with extensive community input, a full environmental review process and several revisions to ensure it met the needs of all, while fitting within the character for the neighborhood,” said Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino. “The state’s plan to remove local zoning control not only ignores the voice of our residents but doesn’t address the need to affordable housing while attempting to turn our communities into urban centers.”
The Alpine project team includes Fogarty Finger Architecture, Bohler Engineering and Racanelli Construction, and Schefler says he hopes to begin construction in July. It will create about 370 full-time-equivalent construction jobs and take nearly two years to complete.
The bulk of Alpine’s portfolio has been developed in New Jersey, Connecticut and Florida and the Hicksville project will be the company’s first on Long Island. However, the developer has planned another TOD in Westbury, which will bring about 190 apartments to a site on Union Avenue across from the Westbury LIRR station. That project is currently in the site-plan approval process.
But first up is Hicksville.
“We’re very excited,” Schefler said. “As a developer, you want projects that you’re proud to show your kids as a before-and-after and this is a great example. To convert a run-down parking lot and boarded up office building into something beautiful is very exciting for those of us who do that.”
John Caravella Esq., is a construction attorney and formerly practicing project architect at The Law Office of John Caravella, P.C., representing architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors, and owners in all phases of contract preparation, litigation, and arbitration across New York and Florida. He also serves as an arbitrator to the American Arbitration Association Construction Industry Panel. Mr. Caravella can be reached by email: John@LIConstructionLaw.com or (631) 608-1346.
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An award-winning journalist who spent 20 years writing about Long Island for The New York Times, David’s work has also appeared in The Atlantic magazine, Forbes.com and has been featured on CNBC’s “American Greed.” A former adjunct professor of journalism and former editor of a weekly community newspaper, David is a frequent panelist and moderator at area business events.
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