07.28.2016 LIBN | Broadway bound
By David Winzelberg

A new mixed-use project on Broadway in North Amityville has its first two retail tenants.

Starbucks will open a new 1,800-square-foot location within the next few weeks and in a few months a GoHealth Urgent Care walk-in medical clinic will open in a 2,200-square-foot space in a freestanding retail building at Greybarn, the mixed-use redevelopment of a 20-acre former trailer park.

The 3,990-square-foot retail building is part of the project’s first phase, which will also bring 25 one-bedroom and 25 two-bedroom apartments over about 36,000 square feet of retail space in an adjacent three-story building. About 13,000 square feet of that ground-floor space will be occupied by the complex’s leasing office and the Greybarn’s clubhouse, which features a fitness center and multimedia screening room.

Residential tenants will be moving into the first 50 apartments in September, according to Mitchell Rechler, a principal of developer R Squared Real Estate Partners, a subsidiary of Plainview-based Rechler Equity Partners. Twenty percent of the apartments will be designated as workforce housing and priced below market.

The foundations are in for the project’s phase two which should be completed in about a year. Greybarn’s second phase includes 65 one-bedroom and 90 two-bedroom apartments in two buildings. Altogether the five-phase project, which will total 500 residences, should be completed in about three years, Rechler said.

The mix of residential and retail is a growing trend in many of Long Island’s newer development projects.

“In working with the Town of Babylon in conceiving what the project would be, we thought a retail component to serve the residential would be important,” Rechler told LIBN. “We consider the retail an amenity to help lease the residential portion.”

Jayson Siano, principal of Sabre Real Estate Group, the exclusive leasing agent for Greybarn, said mixed-use projects bring people together and create communities.

“Projects like these help to retain and attract millennials and empty nesters who are looking for exciting environments to live, work and play,” Siano said. “That’s what these mixed-use projects do for a suburban community.”

Sabre is also leasing retail space at two other mixed-use projects, including The Jefferson in Farmingdale and Wyandanch Village.

“As big boxes shrink, these mixed-use developments provide good opportunity for retailers and they don’t have to rely on a big anchor tenant,” Siano said. “Greybarn is a very desirable retail location. The fact that it’s on Route 110 with more than 50,000 vehicles a day, many national tenants are interested.”

The developers are also eyeing to add more neighborhood retail to the North Amityville project’s tenant mix.

“We’d like to see a small market or deli, a burger bar, pharmacy, hair salon, nail salon and cellular phone store,” Rechler said.

So far, Rechler said the Greybarn redevelopment has been well received by the area’s residents and business owners.

“We’ve gotten a tremendous response from the community since the buildings in phase one became closer to completion,” he said. “We have neighbors dropping in thanking us for changing the aesthetics of the neighborhood. It’s the northern gateway to the Amityville community and it will mean more customers for the village’s restaurants and merchants.”

Mostly known for its industrial and office properties, Rechler Equity has been making a concerted effort to expand into residential rental developments, especially considering the growing demand and lack of supply of new apartments here.

“We know from our history in owning industrial and office buildings on Long Island and in speaking with our tenants, that there’s a tremendous need for our tenants to hire young people and they need places to live,” Rechler said.

It’s likely that Greybarn won’t be the Rechlers’ last mixed-use project.

“We’re looking at different sites for the right residential project that a retail component might fit with,” Rechler said. “We think that’s important. It provides built-in customers and creates a sense of community.”

Siano and Sabre’s Russel Helbling represented the tenant and Sabre’s Doug Bomzer represented landlord Rechler Equity Partners in the Starbucks lease. Mike Stone of Cushman & Wakefield represented GoHealth, while Helbling, Bomzer and Sabre associate Jonathan Mehr, represented the landlord in its Greybarn lease.