Patchogue River apartments plan draws crowd to Planning Board meeting

The article below was Published Jan 23, 2019 by Nicholas Esposito on

The seats and even the hallways of Patchogue Village Hall were packed for Tuesday night’s Planning Board meeting in Village Hall.

Most were there for the proposed luxury apartment complex called The Cornerstone being pitched for development along the east side of Patchogue River.

As previously reported, the site for the planned 50-apartment waterside building sits between the Watch Hill Ferry Terminal and The Oar Steak & Seafood Grille on the corner of West Avenue and Mulford Street.

The property is being developed by Terwilliger and Bartone Properties.

Instead of voting for or against the project, Planning Board chairman John Rocco announced the purpose of the meeting was to learn more information about the designs, and to give a recommendation to the Village Board.

Terwilliger and Bartone Properties, which was represented by attorney Kathleen Deegan Dickson, gave an opening statement addressing some of the adjustments the developers made since its last meeting in front of the Planning Board last fall.

“This is a stark contrast to the application that was submitted last year,” said Dickson. “We went back to the drawing board to reduce the number of units 74 to 50, reduced the height from five stories to three stories, we eliminated parking under the building.”

Other changes, she added, included public access to the river via Mulford Street by providing an underpass through the building that will lead to a public plaza with a brick pathway and benches.

“You’ll see the building, but you’ll also see the visual access to the riverfront,” she said.

There are also plans to convert the property’s current 1,200-square-foot marina building into an updated clubhouse for marina patrons.

After her presentation, Dickson invited the property’s architect and engineer to further explain the details of the complex.

“We like to refer to the style as Cape Cod meets Nantucket,” said the project’s architect, Glen Cherveny from GRCH Architecture. “We are presenting a much higher level of architectural design.”

That design includes 137 parking spaces, a mix of studios, one-bedroom, two-bedroom apartments, and 55 boat slips with residents having a right of first refusal.

Other proposed amenities include a rooftop club with fireplace and fitness area.

The developer is shooting for a price range starting around $2,500 per month for the 1-bedroom apartments.

“We expect this project will attract young professionals and empty nesters, who will enjoy the amenities of waterfront living with all the benefits of living in the Village of Patchogue,” said Dickson.

After the presentation, the proposal saw a mix of reviews from the public, mostly not in favor of the site.

Among the concerns included the traffic increase in the area, as well as the environmental impact during construction.

Residents like Kathleen Biggs, who lives on Mulford Street, questioned if a luxury complex fits the area.

“We bought this home due to its charming aesthetics and rich history,” Biggs said in the meeting. “… How will a luxury apartment complex keep up with the [historic] aesthetics of the neighborhood as it towers three stories high.”

Others are worried about their home value.

“We bought our home as a waterfront home, and now it is not going to be and that is concerning to me as an investor and resident,” said Casey Stewart, who lives next door to the property.

Tom Gilmore, a Massapequa native who works on South Ocean Avenue, believes the developers will help the area, as they did in other areas in which the developers created properties.

“I have been entrenched in the business community for the last 10 years,” he said. “I think a project like this is extremely important to be able to support the economic and business growth and just knowing the developer, and what he has done in Farmingdale — as I have family over there — I think he is the perfect man for the job.”

“We will take them into consideration and try to address everything that we can in future appearances,” said Dickson on the publics comments before the 90-minute meeting adjourned.

Please check back to find out when the next hearing regarding The Cornerstone’s development.