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Conifer In The News

Tim Gannon, Staff Writer
Riverhead News-Review
riverheadnewsreview.com

"Two projects received tax incentives from the Riverhead Industrial Development Agency Monday, and two others began the process of applying for them.  

In addition to approving tax abatements for a hard cider facility on Sound Avenue and a proposed restaurant and hotel on East Main Street, the IDA heard informal presentations from two proposed downtown apartment complexes seeking tax abatements."

"PECONIC CROSSING

Representatives of Peconic Crossing — another proposed “workforce housing” apartment complex in downtown Riverhead — made an informal presentation at Monday’s IDA meeting.

In March, the project received site plan approval from the Riverhead Planning Board for a 45-unit affordable apartment complex, three less than originally proposed, at the site of the Long Island Science Museum. Peconic Crossing also plans to give leasing preference to artists and to have an art gallery within the building.

A joint venture between Conifer Realty of Rochester and the Community Development Corporation of Long Island, Peconic Crossing plans to buy the LISC building and demolish it.

The LISC would use the money from the sale to buy property elsewhere for the museum.

The museum would have nine months from the closing of the sale to find another location and Conifer Realty would assist in that search, according to Conifer vice president of development Allen Handelman.

An IDA public hearing on the project is set for June 6."


Nicholas Spangler, Staff Writer
Newsday / www.newsday.com

"Groundbreaking is scheduled for Thursday at the downtown Copiague site where developers plan to build a 90-unit affordable rental apartment complex, Copiague Commons.

Like other so-called transit-oriented developments in Ronkonkoma, Wyandanch and Patchogue, Copiague Commons will be within walking distance of the hamlet’s Long Island Rail Road station, a location that project backers and planners say has growing cachet with seniors, young professionals and commuters who are carless by choice.

Town officials say the $33.5 million Copiague Commons is expected to be finished next spring. It is the first and so far the only project under rezoning passed last year intended to encourage denser building and mixed commercial and residential use in the hamlet’s downtown, dominated by low-slung commercial buildings.

Ultimately, they say, redevelopment will bring jobs and services to an area where median income trails the rest of the town.

“This is going to kick-start other private investment into that downtown,” said Marianne Garvin, president and chief executive officer of the nonprofit Community Development Corporation of Long Island, one of the developers.

Copiague Commons will also alleviate a rental housing shortage so severe that many of the nonprofit’s projects have 10 times as many applicants as available apartments, she said.

“All over Long Island, there’s a severe disconnect between need and supply,” she said, with much of the new housing stock too expensive for all but the affluent.

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David Winzelberg
Long Island Business News / libn.com

Copiague Commons Copy

"Developers, business leaders and elected officials are slated to attend an official groundbreaking ceremony Thursday for a 90-residence apartment complex in Copiague.

The $33.5 million project being built by the Community Development Corporation of Long Island and Conifer Realty will add 56 one-bedroom and 34 two-bedroom apartments on the Railroad Avenue site just across from the Copiague Long Island Rail Road station.

Demolition of the blighted site was recently completed to make way for the two four-story buildings that will house the apartments that will be available to families earning up to the area median income ($106,200 for a family of four). Rents will range from $1,193 to $1,450 for the one-bedroom apartments and from $1,431 to $1,850 for the two-bedroom apartments.

Among the officials expected at the groundbreaking are Marianne Garvin, president and CEO of CDCLI; Joan Hoover, vice president of Conifer; Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone; Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer; Suffolk County Legislator and Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory; Sharon Fattoruso from the Copiague Chamber of Commerce; Kevin Law, president and CEO of the Long Island Association; Laura Bailey, a managing vice president of Capital One Bank; Tricia Yarger, vice president of Citi Community Capital; and Eric McClelland, president and CEO of Red Stone Equity Partners, which is helping to finance the project with $7.2 million in low-income housing tax credit equity.

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AHFtop50Owner

Conifer Realty ranked 13th on the Affordable Housing Finance Magazine's Top 50 Affordable Housing Owners
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AHFtop50Developers

Conifer Realty ranked 5th on the Affordable Housing Finance Magazine's top 50 Affordable Housing Developers. 
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Brendan Cunningham, Staff Writer
Lindenhurst Patch patch.com 

"Demolition of 54 Railroad Avenue in Copiague paves way for new housing complex.

Town of Babylon Deputy Supervisor Tony Martinez recently joined with Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone to witness the demolition of a blighted site in Copiague where 90 new affordable apartments are to be constructed. This is the seventh development on Long Island for Conifer Realty, LLC, which is overseeing the project in conjunction with the Community Development Corporation of Long Island (CDCLI). The construction of this transit-oriented apartment complex is a key component of revitalization plans intended for the downtown area of Copiague.

“The Town of Babylon has been working closely with the Copiague community through a visioning process in order to facilitate the creation of a new and vibrant downtown core,” said Deputy Supervisor Martinez. “I am happy to be standing here today to watch bulldozers begin the first step in this revitalization.”

Pictured from left to right are Deputy Supervisor Martinez, Kristi Reynolds (Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre’s office), Town of Babylon Receiver of Taxes Corinne DiSomma, County Executive Bellone, President and CEO of CDC Long Island Marianna Garvin, Vice President of Conifer Realty Allen Handelman, and Babylon IDA CEO Matthew McDonough."

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Nicholas Spangler, Staff Writer
Newsday www.newsday.com

"Demolition ended Friday at the downtown Copiague site where a developer plans to build Copiague Commons, a 90-unit affordable rental apartment complex.

With Babylon Town officials and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone on hand, a backhoe leveled the last of what had been the All-Pro Horticulture warehouse, a low cinder block structure steps away from the Long Island Rail Road at 55 Railroad Ave.

A block-long pile of rubble remained. Plans call for Rochester-based Conifer Realty to build two four-floor buildings with 56 one-bedroom and 34 two-bedroom apartments. Construction of the $33 million project is to be complete by next spring. The company closed on the two-acre parcel in December, with a sale price of $5 million, town officials said.

The income-restricted apartments will rent for $1,193 to $1,450 for one-bedroom units and $1,431 to $1,850 for two-bedrooms. Project funding comes from New York State, Suffolk County, the Community Development Corporation of Long Island and private sources.

Community reception has been mixed, with some residents worried about congestion and demand for services but broad support from business owners, civic groups and elected officials.

“This is a great step forward,” said Bellone, who began pushing for mixed-use development of the hamlet’s downtown years ago when he was Babylon Town supervisor. That type of construction, which combined apartments and businesses, were initially controversial but are now accepted, he said.

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Michael P. McKinney, Staff Writer
The Journal News www.lohud.com 

"NEW CASTLE - A controversial affordable housing project in Chappaqua has gained momentum after the Town Board unanimously approved permit changes sought by the developer.

The location — 54 Hunts Place — is a third of an acre bounded by the Saw Mill River Parkway, Route 120 and the railroad tracks close to downtown Chappaqua. The next step for the 28 units is to obtain town building inspector approvals, according to Randolph McLaughlin, lawyer for the Rochester-based developer, Conifer Realty.

"It certainly was a huge step in the direction of bringing the project to fruition," McLaughlin said.

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Martin Wilbur, Staff Writer
The Examiner, news.com 

"The New Castle Town Board approved last week the final six modifications to Conifer Realty’s special permit for 28 affordable units in downtown Chappaqua but the applicant must still address multiple conditions before it may begin building.

Board members unanimously agreed to the revisions dealing with mainly several safety issues that were needed to allow the project to move forward and be considered for a building permit.

Changes include a roof with a path and covering that will allow firefighters access to the top of the building; increasing the height of the fence separating the parcel and the MTA property from six to eight feet; extending the sidewalk on the left side of the building 200 feet; increasing the width of the pedestrian opening leading from the property to the Quaker Street bridge to six feet; and having a sliding gate or fence with a security key fob for residents to enter the property’s main entrance.

Conifer representatives said they have been unable to convince the state Department of Transportation, per the town’s request, to install a fence for the pedestrian walkway on the bridge.

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Marilyn Thomas, Regional Manager at Conifer Realty, LLC has officially retired after 46 years in the affordable housing industry.

Thomas MarilynDuring her tenure at Conifer, Marilyn oversaw a portfolio of 48 apartment communities in three states with over 1,500 apartment units for the past 33 years.

Mrs. Thomas was Vice President at Patterson-Erie Corporation where she was in charge of management from 1983 to 1998 of both the affordable housing and market rate apartments. Prior to that, she worked in the real estate industry for LaJohn, Realtors for 14 years.

Prior to joining Conifer in January, 2004, Mrs. Thomas served as Vice President of Home Properties and HP Resident services since 1999. At Home Properties, she was the Regional Leader for the Erie region, which consisted of 51 communities representing 1,588 units in four states.

She has had extensive training and experience in affordable housing including Low Income Housing Tax Credits, along with being a Certified Property Manager since 1988 and a Real Estate Broker in Pennsylvania.

“Marilyn has been such an outstanding leader at Conifer for nearly 20 years,” said Tim Fournier, President and CEO. “Her commitment, dedication and respect for the Conifer mission, her colleagues and her many residents were evident in how she led her team every day. We thank Marilyn for her many years of outstanding service, but more importantly for her kind, caring way and her friendship.”

We would like to wish Marilyn all the best in her retirement!


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