Ronkonkoma Hub (finally) gets its Brookhaven IDA deal

For openers: A rendering of Phase 1 of Tritec Real Estate's Ronkonkoma Hub project, proud recipient of a Brookhaven IDA inventives package.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

The ambitious Ronkonkoma Hub development project has at long last secured an incentives package from the Town of Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency.

The tax-abatement deal has been a long time coming: Phase 1 of Tritec Real Estate Co.’s $538 million, transit-oriented commercial and residential master plan actually earned unanimous approval in 2014 for a Brookhaven IDA economic-benefits package.

But the long-discussed project – “soon expected to break ground,” according to the IDA – required several approvals to close the IDA incentives deal, which also hinged on Tritec and partners snapping up various private properties within the proposed Ronkonkoma Hub zone.

With development agency directors satisfied by Tritec’s progress on sewer connections and other requirements, the closing of the delayed incentives deal “has been well worth the wait,” according to Brookhaven IDA Chairman Frederick Braun III.

“The developer now can begin working on The Hub and the revitalization of the downtrodden business district near the Ronkonkoma train station,” Braun said in a statement.

Robert Coughlan: Couldn’t have done it without you, Brookhaven IDA.

As designed, Ronkonkoma Hub is slated to feature as many as 1,450 residential apartments and as much as 545,000 square feet of retail and office space, spread over 50 acres surrounding the Long Island Rail Road’s Ronkonkoma station. The plan is to price the apartments in a range appealing to young professionals and seniors.

The $112.7 million Phase 1 – including the construction of 477,300 square feet of apartment space and other infrastructure over roughly 12 acres – is expected to create 977 construction-related jobs and, upon completion in approximately three years, 76 full-time jobs, according to the IDA.

It will now do so with an “enhanced payment-in-lieu-of-tax agreement,” according to the Brookhaven IDA’s 2014 request for a deviation from the county’s Uniform Tax Policy – a potentially 25-year arrangement in support of a redevelopment plan that will “revitaliz(e) an underutilized area” of the town and “extensively increase tax revenues in various taxing jurisdictions in Suffolk County and the Town of Brookhaven.”

“We are thankful for the Industrial Development Agency’s hard work and efforts in their support of this regionally transformative development,” Tritec principal Robert Coughlan said Wednesday. “Without their support, this project, and the tremendous economic benefits it will produce, would not become a reality.”