Floral Park OKs community benefit agreement with Centennial Hall site owners

Floral Park OKs community benefit agreement with Centennial Hall site owners
A rendering of the proposed development of Centennial Hall. (Photo courtesy of the Village of Floral Park)

The Floral Park Board of Trustees Tuesday night approved a host community benefit agreement between the village and developers of the apartment complex currently being built at the former site of Centennial Hall.

Community benefit agreements are contracts between developers and local municipalities to mitigate the impact of infrastructure projects.

Centennial Holdings LLC, the owners of the property, are building a $11.9 million, 30,512- square-foot, 24-unit apartment building at the corner of Carnation and Tulip avenues. The group was also given preliminary approval for economic incentives in late October by the Town of Hempstead Industrial Development Agency.

Floral Park Mayor Kevin Fitzgerald said the village will receive payments directly from the property owners once the project is complete in addition to the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, otherwise known as PILOT, from the IDA.

The mayor added that municipalities have little ability to oppose whether or not tax breaks are given to developers and that the cost of providing services to the property should not be put on the taxpayers.

“These combined payments will roughly equal over the term of the proposed PILOT the Village tax payments projected for this property,” Fitzgerald said Tuesday. “In this way, under the host community benefits agreement, this project can move forward towards completion while, at the same time, this development will bear its fair share of the costs for essential services it receives.”

Centennial Holdings’ IDA application in October was for a 20-year PILOT agreement, sales tax benefits of $517,000 and a $70,500 exemption on the mortgage recording tax.

Centennial Hall, a 20,921-square-foot property at the southeastern intersection of Tulip and Carnation, was purchased from the village by Hewlett-based Friedman Group in July 2018. The purchase was part of a contract that would preserve the facade of the former Masonic temple and restrict it to residential uses only for 30 years.

Prior to the village owning it, the 1925 building was owned by Floral Park Lodge No. 1016 Free and Accepted Masons. The group sold it to the village for $1.5 million in 2004 and it housed the Floral Park Historical Society from 2005 to 2015.

The village’s zoning board last year granted a variance request from developers to remove three rental apartment units from 27 down to 24. The decision eliminated three studio apartments of 503 square feet each from Centennial Holdings’ original variance request of 27 units. Along with cutting down three units, six parking spaces were removed from the original request of 54, now making it 48, two for each unit.

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