Green light for Great River assisted living modification
Artist rendering of Westbrook Village in Great River.

Courtesy photo

Green light for Great River assisted living modification

Story By: RICK CHALIFOUX
8/31/2017


At the latest Islip Town change of zone meeting, the board made a final decision on a longstanding application in Great River.

The board unanimously approved an application seeking a modification of deed covenants and restrictions in order to construct an 89-unit assisted living facility within the Great River Planned Development District on the north side of Montauk Highway – northeast of the Long Island Rail Road – through a lot to Connetquot Avenue. The development will be named Westbrook Village.

The applicant, Westbrook LLC, had already received approval from the Islip Town Board for a mix of non-age-restricted apartments, senior apartments and condominiums back in 2006. Construction of the site – located near the Islip Little League ball fields – began approximately two years ago. Phase 1 of the project – which consists of 180 apartment units – is complete, with 93 percent currently occupied. Phase 2 (80 senior apartments) is in the midst of construction, while Phase 3 will consist of 100 senior condominiums.

Local developer Larry Gargano also spoke on behalf of both the applicant and Connecticut-based Benchmark Senior Living – which would be running the home. He noted that the addition of such a facility would be welcome to the area and benefit all parties involved.

“By all accounts, it’s one of the nicest properties in the Town of Islip and all of Long Island,” said Gargano. “The residents that are living there continuously provide us with support and praise of the way the project came out.”

“As Westbrook moves towards completion, [this proposed facility] would be a tremendous asset for the East Islip area and the residents who live there,” added Gargano. “It’s a win-win-win for everyone involved.”

Gargano also stated that after meeting with groups of residents prior to the planning board meeting back in June, the chief concerns he heard were regarding traffic and parking.

“Regarding the assisted living facility in evaluating the potential addition to the Westbrook overall development, I can’t think of anything that has a softer impact,” said Gargano. “It generates very little traffic, generates tax dollars, no children, and becomes both an interesting and complimentary housing stock to the overall Westbrook building.”

However, one resident, Jerry Schnell – who lives on Connetquot Avenue nearby – was not entirely convinced.

“I’m certainly not against assisted living, although I don’t necessarily agree with the idea that there’s not going to be much traffic,” said Schnell.

Supervisor Angie Carpenter noted that there are “a lot” of other assisted living facilities around in town, including the Bristal Facility on Lakeland Avenue in Sayville, and one in Bay Shore for the past 12-13 years “that’s as impeccably kept as it was when it first opened.”

The nearby Sunrise Business Center also has an obligation by protected covenants to open up their southeast lot directly across from the East Islip soccer fields, which has approximately 300 extra parking spaces.

“It’s a tremendous traffic improvement at the soccer fields,” said Gargano. “Once we add signage to direct patrons to parking by the Sunrise Business Center, it’s going to alleviate some of the congestion currently on Wheeler Road. All in all, we’re presenting a very responsible application.”