The property at 227 Fourth Avenue in Bay Shore might be converted into apartment units following the approval of a zone change by the Islip Town Planning Board.
The applicant, represented by Joseph F. Buzzell of Melville-based law firm Buzzell, Blanda and Visconti, LLP, came before the planning board Nov. 12. The applicant requested a change of zone from Industrial 1 district to Downtown Development District to construct a mixed-use building with 22 apartment units. The application was approved with standard covenant and restrictions negotiated with the applicant at that meeting.
The application still needs to be approved by the Islip Town Board before construction can begin. A date for that meeting has not yet been set, Buzzell said Tuesday, Nov. 17.
The property, located on the southeast corner of Fourth Avenue and Cherry Street, is just west of Four Brothers Automobile Care and the former J.T’s Bar and Grill. That structure will be demolished if the site plan is approved by the town, Buzzell said.
Property owner, Samuel Glass, is the project developer. The property is expected to house eight one-bedrooms and four studios, with 52 parking spaces. The apartment units, which are between 500-750 square feet each, will welcome Bay Shore train station users, since the property is in close vicinity, Buzzell said.
“The site is now vacant and dilapidated,” Buzzell said. “This would be a very positive redevelopment of this property in downtown Bay Shore.”
Approximately 20 percent of the units will be affordable housing or workplace housing, as per Islip Town Code, Buzzell said.
The application first came before the board Dec. 12, 2019. At that time, senior planner Sean Colgan said, the primary concerns were the height of the building and the amount of parking provided.
The applicant has since provided a flat roof to reduce the height of the building. The number of units have been lessened from 30 to reduce the number of on-site parking spots, and the applicant agreed to provide decorative streetlights and money for the Downtown Development District. Those funds, Colgan said, will be directed toward improvements to the train station or downtown Bay Shore.
The parking ratio at the site is similar to the TRITEC project approved in September, Colgan said. That project will construct 418 apartments at the site of the former Touro College located south.
Board chairman Edward Friedland said board members continuously hear concerns that people walk to the train station and don’t use their cars. Therefore, the cars remain in the lot and retailers cannot use those parking spots.
“The only reason I want to make sure there’s enough parking spots there is the development directly to the north, which is my concern, which is if you drive down [Fourth Avenue] anytime during the day, it’s a tight run, because there are cars parked up and down on both sides of that street,” he said.
Colgan said the overall parking relaxation, if all vehicles were parked during peak hours, is 36 percent. While that’s slightly higher than traditional developments, it takes into consideration the close proximity to the train station.
Board member Michael Moriarty said he’s in support of the project and thinks it’s in a good location to make progress to improve the area north of the train station.
“We’ve done a lot of work over the last 10 years or so south of the train station, not as much to the north, so for that reason I’m supportive,” Moriarty said.