Developers have completed the sale of the oceanfront Long Beach Superblock property to build 438 condos and apartments on the boardwalk.
The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency approved the sale from Manhattan-based iStar Financial to Uniondale developer The Engel Burman Group to build two nine-story condo buildings and a 10-story apartment building on the six-acre lot between Riverside and Long Beach boulevards.
The project ends a 40-year stalemate between past developers and the city to develop the property after decades of lawsuits. The company plans to break ground in September.
“This is an extraordinary chapter in the economic renaissance of a community and a county,” said Engel Burman president Jan Burman. “Through the cooperation of various parties, disciplines and sectors, there has been an unprecedented shared commitment to moving forward on this site.”
The IDA approved a tax benefit project with tax exemptions for mortgage recording tax, sales tax and tax breaks saving $49 million in property taxes on 238 apartments for Engel Burman for the next 25 years. The 200 condos will begin paying full property taxes as soon as they are built.
Developers said the project is expected to generate $130 million in new taxes over the first 25 years, including $32 million to the City of Long Beach, $75 million to the Long Beach School District and $13 million to Nassau County.
Nassau County IDA chairman Richard Kessel said the IDA is forming an oversight committee with Engel Burman, construction unions, Long Beach city officials and Nassau County Legis. Denise Ford (R-Long Beach) to review construction of the project.
“This is a huge project for the City of Long Beach and one of the biggest projects for the IDA that we’ve ever done. We want to be aware of what’s happening and if there are problems, how we can correct them,” Kessel said.
The $369 million project by Engel Burman will include 6,500 square feet of boardwalk-level retail and a restaurant and two levels of 1,100 parking spaces.
The property sale price from iStar to Engel Burman was not disclosed.
Developers will begin construction in the fall with drilling 2,200 concrete piles, pouring the foundation and $3 million in sewer and water improvements for the city to accommodate the project.
IDA officials said they have been meeting with developers to discuss construction, financing and using union labor. The first building is expected to be completed in about 30 months.
Long Beach officials approved a settlement in April that would dismiss a $105 million lawsuit iStar filed against the city that was contingent on the sale and Engel Burman collecting a $2.5 million credit iStar had paid toward building permits.
The lawsuit was filed in 2018 after the city revoked a building permit from iStar for not starting construction within the first year of the project. Officials also blamed the city for not supporting $129 million in tax breaks iStar had previously sought from the IDA and two benefits packages that were rejected.
“After 30 years of stagnation, the property is finally going to be put back into productive use,” Long Beach City Council President John Bendo said. “Advancement of the project also puts to bed the iStar lawsuit, so we’re pleased to no longer have a $100 million suit hanging over taxpayers’ heads.”