PILOT agreement for Nyack apartments discussed
BY ROBERT KNIGHT
CITY EDITOR, ROCKLAND COUNTY TIMES
The Town of Orangetown is seeking a new tenant to operate the restaurant at the town-owned Blue Hill Golf Course in Pearl River, following the withdrawal, Paul Guarino, who had run the restaurant years ago and who had been in discussions with the town to take a new lease.
Guarino was one of three prospective restaurateurs who stated an interest in replacing Emmett Woods as proprietor of the business. Woods has run the restaurant for the past five years as Emmett’s Castle, and had sought a new three-year contract.
Woods was competing with Guarino, who submitted his own bid to gain back the facility he had run for several years prior to Woods, and a third vendor who was partnering with Appliedgolf, the New Jersey firm that recently won the contract to operate both the golf course and its pro shop for the next three years. The town solicited bids last fall from persons and firms interested in running any or all of the three component parts to the long-established Blue Hill Golf Course: the course itself, the pro shop and the restaurant. Bidders could submit offers on any one or two of the contracts, or all three.
After a month of negotiations, town officials indicated two weeks ago it would give the contracts for the golf course and pro shop operations to Applied Golf, which already holds a similar contract to run the town’s other, smaller, golf course, Broadacres, at the Rockland Psychiatric Center campus in nearby Orangeburg. The board held off on awarding the restaurant contract, however, saying it wanted to work out some final details in negotiations over the bid submitted by local resident Guarino, hinting strongly at the time that he was the favored bidder and likely winner of the contract.
That news was scuttled last week, however, when Pearl River attorney Donald Brenner appeared at a Town Board workshop meeting and said Guarino was withdrawing his bid because of “unreasonable” conditions placed on his client by the township.
Although he declined to discuss the negotiations in detail, as did town board members, both sides indicated that the dispute was over how much money Guarino would have to pay upfront to upgrade the building and the equipment inside to allow it to function as a full-service restaurant. Apparently Guarino felt the town should provide the upgrades, and the town felt that the RFP Guarino responded to had made it clear that the lessee was responsible. The two sides were unable to come to an agreement.
That leaves the town with Appliedgolf ready to start running the golf course and the pro shop as soon as weather permits, but with no operator on board for the restaurant. With the Town having failed to renew Woods’ contract to run the restaurant, that leaves only the unnamed partner of Appliedgolf in the running for the three-year contract.
Nyack Apartment Project
In other business at last week’s workshop meeting, Gerri Levy of the Rockland Housing Action Coalition discussed her request for a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement for a new 33-unit apartment building on upper Main Street in Nyack that is designed to provide efficiency, one and two bedroom apartments for mentally and physically handicapped Rockland residents in need of permanent housing. The project has already been given approval by the Planning Board for the Village of Nyack, and has already received approval for a PILOT from the Nyack School District and the Village of Nyack.
The coalition is acting as the sponsor for the non-profit venture, which is receiving state funding, and is seeking a long-term PILOT agreement from Nyack Village, Orangetown, Rockland County and the Nyack School District, which will reduce taxes the project would normally owe.
The three-story wood frame apartment building will be constructed at the site of an “underutilized commercial building” currently located at 263 Main Street in Nyack, just east of Route 9W.
The coalition will buy the property and demolish the existing structure, Levy said, and replace it with Nyack Point Family Apartments, consisting of 33 units of rental apartments “for persons with disabilities and low income families.” The site is approximately one acre in size, and will include tenant parking both behind and beneath the new apartment complex.
Levy said the RHAC is working closely on the project with Loeb House, a non-profit supportive service provider headed by former Rockland County Legislator John Murphy of Pearl River. In return, Loeb House will get nine of the 33 units for disabled clients and veterans.
Loeb House will provide rental subsidies for those nine units from the New York State Office of Mental Health, and will use the units and the subsidies to transfer persons with psychiatric disabilities living in substandard housing into Nyack Point.
Loeb house will also provide support services such as case management, transportation, medical services and employment training, “so these individuals can live as independently as possible,” Levy said.
Explaining the financing, Levy said the total cost of the project, including purchasing the site, demolition and construction of the new apartment building, is $10,086,646.
The Housing Action Coalition has already received a 9% tax credit award of $476,375 annually ($14,436 per unit); $1,926.055 in Housing Trust Fund subsidies ($61,606 per unit); $1,125,000 in Medicaid Resign Team funding; $200,000 from the Rockland County Office of Community Development; $67,000 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and $613,000 from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York.
“Our goal is to garget low income disabled individuals and families earning between 30 – 60 percent of the 2015 Rockland County median income of $98,800,” Levy said, adding that the project has already been approved for eight project based vouchers (PBVs) which will be used to house very low income individuals earning less than 30 percent of the Rockland medium income.
Describing the apartment complex, Levy said the three-story wood frame building would consist of 32,610 square feet and a 10,870 square foot parking garage under the building. The complex will blend in with the existing residential and commercial buildings in the neighborhood, she said, and each of the three floors will consist of 10,870 square feet, with 11 apartments. “The main floor will include an attractive lobby, management office, kitchen and community room for tenants, recreational activities such as holiday parties, birthday celebrations, educational and financial seminars, health screening and other social activities.”
Onsite laundry facilities will be available on the second floor. In addition, each unit will have ample storage space including walk-in closets in every apartment. There will also be new plantings, a small playground in the back, and a sidewalk in front of the building, to encourage pedestrian thoroughfare to shopping in the downtown area.
Levy said the nine efficiency apartments will each have 473 square feet, while the 12 one-bedroom apartments will have 702 square feet and the 12 two-bedroom units will have 967 square feet.
Since gas, electricity and water will be separately metered, the tenants will be responsible for the payments of all utilities. Five of the units will be fully accessible and adaptable to accommodate disabled individuals with mobility impairments or other health related issues. Since the building will consist of three levels, an elevator will be available for building residents.
The Rockland Housing Action Coalition, as project developer, owner and property manager, will work with Affording Housing Concepts, the general contractor, to actually construct Nyack Apartments.