The Superblock property in Long Beach

Long Island developer to buy Superblock in Long Beach

By: David Winzelberg August 20, 2019

The controversial Superblock property in Long Beach is being sold to a new developer that plans to build a multifamily apartment complex on the waterfront site, according to industry sources.

Garden City-based Engel Burman Group is planning to purchase the 6-acre site from iStar Financial, which had pitched a 655,000-square-foot mixed-use development that would have brought 522 apartments in two 15-story towers and about 11,500 square feet of retail space.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed and Engel Burman declined to comment. However, sources say the company plans to build over 400 residential units at the long-vacant Long Beach property.

Manhattan-based iStar had asked for $109 million in tax breaks for its project from the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency in 2016, however the IDA voted against providing the incentives.

Last year, iStar sued the City of Long Beach for more than $100 million for failing “to meet its contractual obligation to provide specifically agreed-upon support” for its Superblock project known as Long Beach Wayfarer. But last December, a Nassau County State Supreme Court judge upheld a decision by the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals to revoke the developer’s building permit.

The property was once home to garden apartments and a bowling alley. The buildings were razed in the 1960s after falling into disrepair. The city reclaimed the site for unpaid taxes in the 1980s and sold it to a developer group led by the Haberman family, which planned to build high-rise residential towers there.

In the 1990s, the city planned to acquire the property via eminent domain. They issued a request for proposals for a developer to build a hotel, catering hall, convention center, restaurant and an assisted-living facility, none of which ever materialized.

Engel Burman is no stranger to developing in Long Beach. Ten years ago, the company cut the ribbon on the Aqua, an eight-story, 36-unit condo building with ocean views from each residence. The complex features an indoor pool, outdoor dipping pool, fitness room, oceanfront clubroom and concierge.