WEST ISLIP

Fate of Masera remains unclear

School district reps, third party engaging in preliminary discussions about Udall Road property

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An unknown party has expressed interest in leasing the Masera property owned by the West Islip Union Free School District.

At a Feb. 4 school board meeting held via Zoom, board president Steve Gellar said that he and superintendent Bernadette Burns received phone calls from the same party, “expressing possible interest” in leasing the property at 650 Udall Road and “doing work inside the building.”

Gellar said these interactions are “very preliminary” and don’t necessarily represent a potential sale.

This potential leaser, which was not named during the meeting, would use the structure as a school building, Gellar said. The West Islip School District would have access to the property’s fields and playground in some capacity.

“In terms of our community, it would pretty much look the same,” Gellar said. Discussions about a new renter came less than a month after West Islip residents widely rejected the $9.5 million sale of the Masera property from the district to Farmingdale-based Terwilliger & Bartone Properties LLC.

On Jan. 19, approximately 2,667 residents voted no and 796 residents voted yes on the proposition. If approved, the developer would have constructed a senior housing community on the 11-acre parcel with 26 for-sale townhomes and 100 rental units for residents ages 55 and over. The project was met with pushback from community members.

Talk of the future of the property began in 2019, when the school board began reviewing its options. The board had determined that senior housing would provide the best financial outcome for district residents. By September 2020, the board approved an agreement with Terwilliger & Bartone Properties.

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