The LGBT Network begins senior housing project
The former LGBT Network Community Center at 34 Park Avenue in Bay Shore was knocked down on Monday to make way for affordable senior LGBT housing. In the photo are (left to right) Assemb. Phil Ramos, LGBT president David Kilmnick, New York State Sen. Phil Boyle, county executive Steve Bellone, and Assemb. Kimberley Jean-Pierre.

Courtesy photo

The LGBT Network begins senior housing project


On Monday, the LGBT Network Community Center on Park Avenue in Bay Shore came crashing down, a bittersweet event for LGBT Network president and CEO David Kilmnick. 

“It was home to tens of thousands of Long Island families over two decades,” Kilmnick said, “but we realize it will be the new home for LGBT seniors, who had to endure stigma and discrimination and felt they had to go back into the closet to secure housing.”

Out with the old, in with the new. With rainbow flags affixed to the demo machines, the takedown represented the start of the LGBT Network’s Senior Affordable Housing Project, the first of its kind in the entire tri-state area. The complex will offer 75 units, a $30 million affordable housing facility funded by state and federal tax credits, state loans and private investments.

Rent will range from $1,000 to $1,600.

“We’re anticipating the lotteries will come in about a year from now for a move-in date of 2021, about an 18-month project from start to finish,” Kilmnick said. “The D & F Development Group in Levittown is overseeing the construction.”

The project received the green light in October 2017 when the Islip Town zoning board approved the application, which sought a zoning change from Business District to Downtown Development District. Community leaders like Chamber of Commerce of Greater Bay Shore president Donna Periconi and Bay Shore-Brightwaters Summit Council president Mary Louise Cohen supported the project.

It will evolve on the northwest corner of Park Avenue and Mechanicsville Road.

The old community center was about 4,300 square feet. The LGBT Network has had a presence in Bay Shore for 27 years; the first decade on Main Street, the remainder at the Park Avenue site. 

“The knockdown was put together very quickly,” Kilmnick said. “We had to move out to prepare for it and opened the nation’s largest LGBT center in Hauppauge last week and had over 400 people there.”

An 8,000-square-foot community center has been planned for the first floor of the senior complex in Bay Shore, Kilmnick said. “We’ll keep the one in Hauppauge as well,” he added.

An 18,000-square-foot Patchogue LGBT Network location near Gateway Plaza in Patchogue will hopefully break ground this fall, Kilmnick said, opening in early 2021. It will provide a roster of services including health care, social services, and other programs for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.