Modera Mineola Filling Up

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Modera Mineola (Photo courtesy of Mill Creek Residential)
Modera Mineola
(Photo courtesy of Mill Creek Residential)

Modera Mineola, a 275-unit, $93 million luxury apartment complex on Old Country Road, opened 140 dwellings for move-ins last week. Developed by Mill Creek Residential Trust, apartments are ready after getting its permit from the Village of Mineola’s building department on July 31.

“We’re 45 percent leased,” Mill Creek Vice President of Development for New York and Connecticut Jamie Stover said, adding that move-ins will “continue in earnest over the next couple of weeks.”

Modera joins its senior housing component Hudson House that opened last summer and holds 36 units.

“They’ve received all requisite reports and inspections from my office and the [Nassau County] fire marshal,” village Building Superintendent Dan Whalen said of Modera. “The [140 units] are, I believe, half of those are rented.”

Modera residents will have access to a state-of-the-art clubroom, including a nine-screen media wall; parlor games, including billiards; a 24-hour club-quality fitness center, featuring top-of-the-line gym equipment and a yoga studio with fitness classes. Other amenities include a business lounge, pet spa, two outdoor courtyards, a resort-inspired outdoor pool, outdoor fireplace, outdoor kitchens with barbecue grills and bocce ball court.

Stover indicated the entire complex should ready by the fall.

“It’s going to take a little more time to have all of the apartments ready but our move-in schedule is accommodating to that,” said Stover.

Rent prices fluctuate with demand daily, Stover says, but as of last week, the rents start at approximately $2,125 per month.

The club-room at Modera Mineola (Photo by Anthony Alvarez)
The club-room at Modera Mineola
(Photo by Anthony Alvarez)

“Rents have been based upon availability and demand in the market,” Stover said.

Stover pointed to the boom in transit-oriented development on Long Island as a reason for the demand in living accommodations around train stations. The Mineola Long Island Rail Road Station is two blocks north of Modera.

“Our successful pre-leasing period has been wildly successful and I think that demonstrates the demand for well-located, transit-oriented development on Long Island,” Stover said.

The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency in 2012 approved payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) to help finance the development prior to the construction of the building. These tax breaks have been the subject of much contention between the Mineola Village and School District boards, most recently with the approved 266-unit Village Green at 199 2nd St. by New Hyde Park-based Lalezarian Developers.

The school district argued PILOTs strap school districts during budget season since PILOT revenue cannot count towards the tax base growth factor, stopping the district from raising the tax levy. They contend multiple apartment buildings could lead to student influx, further strapping district finances. This led to the school board hiring Wantagh-based Educational Legacy Planning to project student forecasts from proposed apartment developments.

“We’re not complaining about the PILOTs that were already given,” School District Superintendent Michael Nagler said recently. “I’ve said publicly and to [the village board], what’s done is done. I don’t have a problem with the [Modera and Hudson House] PILOTs. The [Village Green] building is what we’re asking about.”

According to the IDA, $68,621.38 in lieu of taxes is due next year, increastng to $120,328 due in 2034. PILOTs for Hudson in 2015 and 2034 are $12,471.76 and $21,869.30, respectively.

“Without this project the empty buildings and land on these sites would have been blights,” IDA Executive Director Joseph Kearney said at the time of the approval.

A sample apartment at Modera Mineola (Photo by Anthony Alvarez)
A sample apartment at Modera Mineola
(Photo by Anthony Alvarez)

Polimeni International LLC originally planned Modera and Hudson, but sold the developmental rights to Mill Creek in 2012 after prolonged subdivision squabbles with the Village of Garden City over condominium possibilities.

Polimeni changed the condo configuration to rentals, but noted at past Mineola Village Board meetings that it was due to the current economic climate.

“We congratulate Mill Creek on the successful completion of Modera Mineola,” Mayor Scott Strauss said. “We welcome all our new neighbors to the Mineola community. I know that [Modera] will find our village to be a warm and embracing community. [Modera] will play a special role in making our downtown one of the most vibrant and exciting places on Long Island.”

The ongoing issues Polimeni had with Garden City until Modera was officially changed from condominiums to rentals were deliberated in letters, board meetings, phone calls, voicemails and emails with a waning economy in its wake at the time.

“It’s been a long haul, a lot of cooperating parties and we’re thrilled we’ve started to move residents into the building,” Stover said.

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