Work completed on Kings Park assisted living facility

EW Howell Construction Group has completed its work on a new assisted living facility in Kings Park. 

St. Johnland Assisted Living, located at 393 Sunken Meadow Road, is a two-story, 68,000-square-foot facility with 80 residential units and 100 beds. 

The new assisted living facility was built adjacent to the existing St. Johnland Nursing Center on the 100-acre complex owned by the nonprofit organization. Designed by KDA Architects, it has four wings of residential units, rather than the long, linear design found in many care facilities, enabling easier mobility for residents and nursing staff, according to a company statement. 

Amenities at the facility include a large lobby with library space, a full-service kitchen and dining room with access to exterior courtyards, and resident laundry rooms. The second-floor features areas for art and cultural activities, and a wellness suite which hosts physical therapy and fitness. Three-quarters of the residents will be Medicaid eligible, which opens the facility to people of all financial backgrounds. 

“In addition to a multitude of amenities and activities, residents have the added benefit of the facility’s proximity to the organization’s nursing center and other services,” EW Howell’s Giuseppe Iuliucci, who served as project manager on the Kings Park facility, said in the statement. 

In recent years, Plainview-based EW Howell has served as general contractor on several senior housing facilities, including Whisper Woods at Smithtown and Orchard Estate of Woodbury for Benchmark Senior Living, The Residences at Plainview for Capitol Seniors Housing, and communities for Sunrise Senior Living in Huntington and Summit, N.J. 


New distribution complex nears completion in Bay Shore

The Rockefeller Group is nearing completion of its new 172,622-square-foot distribution center in Bay Shore. 

Scheduled for opening in the spring, the new building at 55 Paradise Lane includes 36-foot-clear ceiling heights, 47.6-foot by 54-foot column spacing, 40 dock doors for trailers and two overhead doors and the property has parking for 270 vehicles. Rockefeller Group also has local approvals to build 7,317 square feet of office mezzanine space and 21,280 square feet of storage mezzanine space at 55 Paradise Lane if demand calls for the additional space. 

Rockefeller Group purchased the 55 Paradise Lane development site for $32 million in 2020 and bought two adjacent warehouses totaling 437,998 square feet at 145 and 158 Candlewood Road for $94.5 million from an affiliate of Rubie’s Costume Company last year. 

Leslie Lanne, Doug Omstrom and Max Omstrom of JLL are marketing space at the Rockefeller Group Logistics Park, which also includes fully leased warehousing and distribution centers at 145 and 158 Candlewood Road. 

“We are excited to be nearing completion on 55 Paradise Lane and bringing more than 170,000 square feet of new industrial space to Long Island, where vacancies are at record low numbers,” Meg Brod, senior managing director of Rockefeller Group, said in a company statement. “55 Paradise is part of our active pipeline of industrial projects across the country and Long Island is an important market for us. Working closely with JLL, we are seeing interest from a number of users, including Fortune 500 companies, third-party logistics firms and local businesses looking to expand.” 

Demand for industrial product on Long Island continued to see sustained growth in the third quarter, which has helped drive leasing velocity to 2.5 million square feet year-to-date, more than all of 2021, according to JLL’s 3Q 2022 Northeast Industrial Report. 

“The new Bay Shore industrial park perfectly meets a long list of criteria for a successful distribution hub, including its close proximity to major population centers and a strong workforce, a location with a low impact on residential neighborhoods, easy access to an array of transportation options and spacious modern facilities,” Lanne said in the statement. “The soon-to-be-completed distribution center at 55 Paradise Lane will allow for the quick, convenient, safe fulfillment of orders, meeting the growing demand for ever-faster local deliveries.” 

Aurora Contractors of Ronkonkoma is serving as the 55 Paradise Lane project’s general contractor, while KSS Architects of Manhattan is the architect and R&M of Huntington is the civil engineer.


Northeast industrial market still breaking records, but may have peaked

The Northeast market for industrial property has had its hottest year ever, even as concerns about economic conditions have grown.

Industrial tenants and owners have occupied a net amount of 44.5 million square feet in the region so far this year, the most in the market’s history, according to a new report from brokerage firm JLL.

And demand has continued to grow.

As of the third quarter, industrial owners and tenants were searching for 98.4 million square feet of facilities across the Northeast, a 17.6 percent rise over the past three years.

The demand drove under-construction stock to 70 million square feet, the highest level in the region’s history, with 54.5 million still available to pre-lease.

JLL’s Rob Kossar and Leslie Lanne recently brokered the largest industrial lease in New York City this year, as Amazon inked a deal for 568,000 square feet at Innovo’s massive Bronx logistics center.

The boom, however, may prove the peak for the industry, which was juiced by record e-commerce growth during the pandemic.

“The market has begun to see a normalization in leasing activity closer to their pre-pandemic levels,” the report reads. “The uncertainty across the economy has made occupiers more cost-conscious.”

Buyers of industrial space are also fewer, thanks to rising borrowing costs.

“Although there is significant dry powder across the asset class, the macroeconomic landscape and uncertainty has resulted in a slimmer buyer pool than years prior,” the report reads.

Still, the Northeast industrial market will remain favorable to landlords for years to come, JLL predicts, with leasing velocity still above pre-pandemic levels and vacancy rates at all-time lows.

The occupancy rate of warehouse, distribution and manufacturing facilities in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware has averaged 98 percent since the pandemic began.

“Given the hyper-low vacancy environment across the Northeast,” the report reads, “we expect region-wide vacancy to remain below 4 percent, barring a deep economic depression.”


$13.8M warehouse proposed for Long Beach; officials worry about truck traffic

A warehouse proposed for Long Beach’s North Park neighborhood has run up against objections from city officials who say it would overwhelm the area with trucks and air pollution.

Silver Rock Development LLC plans to renovate 750-790 Park Place for use as a distribution hub, with up to 50 trucks making daily deliveries to Kennedy Airport and destinations on Long Island, according to an application for tax breaks from the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency.

The Great Neck-based developer estimated the cost of purchasing the vacant, 75,100-square-foot building and making the necessary improvements will be $13.8 million.

The IDA voted 5-0 with one abstention to accept the application. But board chairman Richard Kessel said there will be no consideration of tax breaks unless Long Beach endorses the project.

“We have not approved one project [in the past five years] that was opposed by the municipality,” he said last week. “The city has some grave concerns.”

Daniel P. Deegan, Silver Rock’s real estate attorney, said the building is zoned for industrial use, though it borders a group of town houses. A self-storage facility is located to the west of the planned warehouse and an animal shelter is across the street.

Silver Rock “would bring [the building] into the 21st century and get a high-quality tenant that would provide jobs and be a good neighbor,” he told the IDA meeting.

Deegan and others said the building had been home to the pharmacy services business ChemRx, which announced in June 2020 that it was moving to Uniondale with tax breaks from the Hempstead Town IDA. The company employed about 125 people at the time.

Long Beach City Manager Donna M. Gayden said the proposed warehouse isn’t suitable for the neighborhood, which historically has been home to the city’s Black community.

“While we are very interested in this property being restored to productive use, the city has grave concerns about the project as outlined in the proposal to the [Nassau] IDA,” Gayden said on Monday. “Fifty trucks a day going past a playground, an early childhood center and through the streets of an environmental-justice residential community is simply not acceptable.”

The trucks would likely use Rev. J.J. Evans Blvd., East Pine Street and East Fulton Street to access the warehouse. They would pass Long Beach Head Start, which is run by the Economic Opportunity Commission of Nassau County Inc., the Christian Light Missionary Baptist Church and Long Beach Martin Luther King Center.

The developer plans to meet with Long Beach officials and will move the truck bays to the building’s north side to reduce activity near the town houses, its lawyer said.

The Long Beach warehouse joins 25 others that have been proposed for Long Island to serve retailers and others that are selling more goods online and whose customers expect same-day or next-day delivery to their doorstep. Together, the projects total more than 11 million square feet or about 25 Nassau Coliseums, according to data compiled by Newsday.

For the Long Beach project, the developer is seeking a sales-tax exemption of up to $98,600 and reduction in the mortgage recording tax of up to $67,275. It also wants 20 years of savings on property taxes, which currently total $341,725 per year, according to the IDA application.


Henry Schein to consolidate HQ from two buildings to one in Melville

Henry Schein Inc., Long Island’s largest public company, plans to consolidate its Melville headquarters  into a single building as more than half its office employees continue to work from home at least some of the time, officials said.

The distributor of dental and medical supplies will jettison 80 Baylis Rd., the larger of its two headquarters buildings,  by year-end. The 180,000-square-foot office is known internally as Melville East.  The company leases it from the We’re Group, owner of several buildings in the nearby Huntington Quadrangle.

Schein will house all of its headquarters work  at 135 Duryea Rd.,  a 105,000-square-foot facility known as Melville West. The company said it will make improvements to that building, which it owns.

Schein has 1,268 employees locally.

“This team shares many wonderful memories of our time together in Melville East, and we are certain to make new and lasting memories in our home in Melville West,” CEO Stanley Bergman said in a memo sent to employees Wednesday.

He continued, “As we’ve said many times before, Long Island is – and will remain – our home. That is as true today as it was when we established our corporate headquarters in Port Washington in 1978.”

The consolidation is necessary because “more than half of our office-based Team Schein members in the United States now work in a hybrid or remote model,” said company spokesman Gerard K. Meuchner.

He said Schein will fulfill the commitment it made to Suffolk County last year to invest $15 million in its headquarters and maintain 1,223 jobs. In return, the county’s Industrial Development Agency granted the company $3.1 million in tax breaks, including $2.1 million off property taxes over 15 years, or a 13% savings.

IDA records show Schein’s headquarters employees earn, on average, $131,400 per year. Pay for the largest group – 720 salaried workers but not corporate executives – averages $152,000. Hourly employees, which total about 470 people, earn $65,660, on average.

IDA executive director Anthony J. Catapano said the agency is “pleased to learn about [Schein’s]  continued dedication to Suffolk County” and pledge to keep the employment and investment promises it made last year.

“We will monitor this situation as it unfolds to ensure the company continues to meet its obligations to the county and remains a significant contributor to our local economy,” he said.

Schein reported a profit of $631 million last year on sales of $12.4 billion. It has about 22,000 employees around the globe.


Steinway & Sons moving its Long Island showroom

Piano maker Steinway & Sons will soon relocate its Long Island showroom to Manhasset. 

Steinway leased a 2,754-square-foot retail space at 1488 Northern Blvd. The new showroom is expected to open early next year. 

The company will be closing its current showroom at 505 Walt Whitman Road in Melville, where the recently sold property is headed for redevelopment. 

Steinway’s future home is located within a 12,928-square-foot retail center that has Huntington Learning Center and Sandro’s Italian restaurant as tenants. 

Robert Kuppersmith and Connor Sullivan of Cushman & Wakefield represented the tenant, while Stuart Bayer of Douglas Elliman Real Estate represented the landlord, Sol G. Atlas Realty, in the Manhasset lease transaction. 

“We are thrilled to have found a premier space for Steinway & Sons in this strategically located retail center that offers exceptional visibility along Northern Boulevard,” said Kuppersmith. 


REI, Just Salad among new tenants coming to revamped Huntington Shopping Center

Outdoors retailer REI and eatery Just Salad are among the new tenants that will be headed to Huntington Shopping Center next year amid the property’s approximately $75 million redevelopment.

The shopping center’s revamp will reduce the retail space by 25%, though two new outparcels will be added, to create a more upscale property that will total about 210,000 square feet when the project is finished in 2024, said Chris Fleming, a vice president of asset management for Federal Realty Investment Trust, the Rockville, Maryland-based owner of the Huntington site.

“But there will be certain parts to the redevelopment coming online at different times between now and then,” he said.

A Whole Foods Market also will be opening in the shopping center, which Newsday reported in May 2021. The Austin, Texas-based retailer and Federal Realty have declined to say when the store is expected to open.

What to know

  • Outdoor store REI and eatery Just Salad have signed leases to open locations at Huntington Shopping Center next year.
  • A Whole Foods Market also will be opening in the shopping center.
  • The approximately $75 million redevelopment of the shopping center should be finished in 2024, the owner said.

Built in 1962 on Route 110, at 350 Walt Whitman Rd., Huntington Shopping Center is still a desirable shopping area, but its loss of several major tenants in the past few years allows Federal Realty to revamp the property’s outdated layout. Demolition is planned in December for a two-level building that was occupied by a Michaels, Bed Bath & Beyond and BuyBuy Baby, Fleming said.

Struggling retailer Bed Bath & Beyond closed its store there in November 2018.

Fourteen Modell’s Sporting Goods stores on Long Island, including the one in Huntington Shopping Center, were among 134 locations that the retailer closed after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March 2020.

A Nordstrom Rack in the shopping center closed in May 2021 due to “economic reasons,” according to Nordstrom Inc.’s filing with the New York State Department of Labor.

“Those vacancies created an opportunity for us to reinvent the shopping center,” Fleming said.

REI will open a 21,100-square-foot store in Huntington Shopping Center next summer, the retailer said in a statement. The store will move into combined spaces formerly occupied by Modell’s Sporting Goods and Dressbarn.

Headquartered in Seattle, REI is a co-op with 178 stores in 42 states and Washington, D.C., including one existing Long Island store in Carle Place.

“We’ve long been interested in better serving the Long Island outdoor community and in complement to our existing tri-state stores,” Sean Sampson, REI regional director, said in a statement.

Founded in 2006, Just Salad is headquartered in Manhattan and has more than 60 eateries in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Dubai.

The chain plans to enter the Long Island market next year, with shops planned for Huntington Shopping Center, Westbury and Commack in the first quarter of 2023, followed by an Oceanside store in the second quarter, spokeswoman Nicole Natoli said. (The Oceanside store was supposed to open in the third quarter of this year, but the chain won’t say what is causing the delay.)

Just Salad sells salads, wraps, warm bowls and other items at its eateries with a focus on sustainability. With its slogan “Eat with Purpose,” the chain has waste reduction initiatives, including a reusable bowl program and bagless pickup and checkout, and a lower-carbon menu category.

The redevelopment of Huntington Shopping Center, a 21-acre property, will include updated facades, reconstructed parking lots, and new landscaping, walkways and outdoor seating areas at the center, which sits along Huntington’s main retail corridor, according to Federal Realty.

There are currently six tenants in the shopping center: Michaels and Visionworks, which relocated in the shopping center, as well as Verizon, clothing store Tillys, cosmetics store Ulta and PetSmart.

The largest building in the shopping center will be demolished and replaced by a building that is pushed back closer to New York Avenue to allow for more parking, Fleming said.

Two 8,000-square-foot outparcels also will be built for smaller retailers and restaurants, including Just Salad, he said.


RXR looks to cash in on NYC multifamily mania

With its sights set on expanding into new markets, RXR is siphoning off some of its residential properties across the tristate area.

The New York-based real estate firm is selling five of its luxury multifamily properties in New York and Connecticut, Commercial Observer reported.

Up for grabs is its 42 percent stake in two Extell-developed Manhattan properties, 555Ten in Midtown and EVGB in the East Village. The firm also put 475 Clermont, a property on the border of Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill and Fort Greene neighborhoods on the market.

The other two properties for sale are Harbor Landing at Garvies Point in Long Island’s Glen Cove and Atlantic Station in Stamford, Connecticut.

JLL and Cushman & Wakefield are leading marketing.

The properties are hitting the market after private equity firms have taken an increased interest in the city’s multifamily properties. The Real Deal previously reported big-ticket buys by players like Blackstone Group, KKR and Carlyle Group are part of the wave pushing investment in the sector to its highest point in seven years.

The company has made a streak of apparently prescient moves in the last few years that set it up for success in the wake of the pandemic.

It began its transition away from office properties in 2017 in favor of residential assets, five years before office values would hover at significant lows and draw predictions they’re set to plummet even further.

The company has been betting big on its multifamily portfolio, increasing its holdings by 85 percent since 2020. Prior to 2017, 58 percent of RXR’s activities were office-related; now that number is around 4 percent.

In 2019, RXR took out a “Special Perils Business Interruption” insurance policy which apparently covered ​​“infectious or contagious disease manifested by any person while on the premises of the insured.” After the obvious happened, the company filed a $60 million lawsuit in August against its insurers for failing to cover business interruptions during the pandemic.

The firm isn’t totally abandoning New York. Along with partner SL Green, RXR in September clinched a $1.3 billion loan to renovate its 5 Times Square office property.


$30M buys REIT another LI shopping center

After acquiring four Long Island shopping centers late last year, Regency Centers has purchased another. 

The Jacksonville, Fla.-based real estate investment trust bought East Meadow Plaza, an 11.16-acre retail complex at 1900 Hempstead Turnpike for $30 million. The property has 132,332 square feet of retail space and a five-story, 72,816-square-foot office building. The retail portion is 64 percent occupied, while the office building is 51 percent occupied.

At the end of 2021, Regency purchased four Long Island shopping centers from Serota Properties for $130 million. Those included the 90,000-square-foot Wading River Commons on Route 25A in Wading River; the 99,000-square-foot King Kullen Shopping Center on West Merrick Road in Valley Stream; the 45,466-square-foot King Kullen-anchored center on Eastport Manor Road in Eastport; and the 140,000-square-foot Stew Leonard’s Plaza on Front Street in East Meadow, which borders the East Meadow Plaza property. 

Regency plans to reposition East Meadow Plaza by connecting it to Stew Leonard’s Plaza. The new owner’s plans could include razing the existing office building, sources say. 

Built in 1971, East Meadow Plaza was owned by the Weiss family, which runs Kurt Weiss Greenhouses, headquartered in Center Moriches. Wayne Weiss, a company vice president and fourth generation member of the business, said the East Meadow center was once a farm owned by his great grandfather Otto Muller that grew azaleas and other landscaping flora dating back more than 100 years. 

When he was a child, Weiss lived in a farmhouse on the property, which briefly raised chickens during the 1940s to support the war effort. Besides their main location in Center Moriches, the family owns land in Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and about a half-dozen sites on Long Island, which have wholesale greenhouse operations that produce bedding plants, flowers and poinsettia for the Christmas season. 

Besides its most recent acquisitions, Regency already owned several Long Island retail properties, including the 104,616-square-foot center called The Point at Garden City Park; the 141,382-square-foot Lake Grove Commons; the 312,316-square-foot Gallery at Westbury Plaza; and the 52,729-square-foot Hewlett Crossing. The REIT owns more than 400 retail properties totaling more than 58 million square feet in 24 states and Washington D.C.   

The East Meadow Plaza sale was brokered by Kyle Burkhardt, Patrick Ciancimino, Dan Abbondandolo, Joegy Raju and Victor Little of Cushman & Wakefield, who represented seller 1900 Hempstead Tpke LLC. 

“Thanks to our well executed marketing campaign and bid process, we were able to identify the most secure buyer in a very fickle market,” Abbondandolo said. “Regardless of volatile debt markets and rising inflation rates, the asset’s location and reposition potential made this a very accretive acquisition for Regency.” 


Developer pulls proposal for Greenlawn multifamily project

Engel Burman has withdrawn its proposal to build a 260-unit condo development in Greenlawn, while the company seeks further input from the community. 

The move comes after the Huntington Planning Board was expected to reject the plan at its meeting Wednesday evening, according to a draft resolution on the board’s website. 

The project, which requires a zoning change, would transform the 24-acre Greenlawn Equestrian Center, located on Wood Avenue just north of Pulaski Road opposite the Greenlawn Plaza shopping center, into a condo community called The Seasons at Greenlawn. The property is currently zoned to accommodate 19 single-family homes. 

“There has not been a single residential development in our portfolio where we did not have a thoughtful, comprehensive, and productive discussion with the community before submitting a proposal for governmental review and approval,” Engel Burman principal Steven Krieger said in a written statement. “In Greenlawn, we are in the throes of doing exactly that and our decision to postpone a hearing allows us more time to review the community’s comments and input and further engage our neighbors.” 

According to the planning board’s draft resolution that would have been presented for discussion Wednesday evening, the condo proposal “has an urban character which does not match the suburban character of the neighborhood.” The resolution also raises concerns about increased traffic and the lack of open space in the plan. 

However, the developer says a traffic survey undertaken in coordination with the Suffolk County Department of Public Works, included an analysis that local traffic can accommodate vehicles that would come from the proposed community and any increase was determined to be diminutive, according to the statement. 

The proposed residential structures would be two stories, which the developer says is consistent with neighboring homes. The plan includes 225 feet and 270 feet setbacks from Pulaski Road to the closest residential building. 

The developer will be resubmitting its Greenlawn plan after gathering additional comments from the surrounding community. 

“Our role to review the comments and engage our Greenlawn neighbors is consistent with who we are as a Long Island developer, our long-standing corporate culture, and our commitment to communities where we build,” Krieger said. 


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