PROPOSED PROJECT 9000 apartments off of Commack Rd on the Deer Park and Brentwood border
The developer of this project Jerry Wolkoff passed away in July 2020 at age 83. He had many building accomplishments in the area. There has been no further action onthis project. Ground has not been broken according to the Islip planning dept.
Four Towns civic association represents residents from 4 Townships; Islip, Babylon, Huntington and Smithtown, because they all surround the Pilgrim state property. In March, 2017 this Heartland project was approved by the Suffolk County planning board. Then the Islip Town Board ,which controls local zoning of the former Pilgrim Psych center property, finalized their approval. The full proposal is to build 9100 apartments , 26,000 square feet of office space and 560,000 square feet of retail space on the land . Currently construction has been approved for 3500 apartments to be built between Crooked Hill rd and Commack rd.
Initially, the Islip Town zoning required one house per acre for this land, but this was modified on behalf of the development. HOWEVER THE PROJECT NEEDS A SEWER CONNECTION OR A SEWER PROCESSING PLANT. The Developer requested a reduced fee for the sewerage disposal from the Public works committee of our Suffolk County legislature.
HEARTLAND TOWN SQUARE . This follows 3 months of tabling votes on the issue , in order to do more research about the total impact on the area. At one of the legislative hearings an engineer pointed out that the land sits over a watershed.
There are questions about whether a new environmental impact statement is required because the original one is too out of date.
THe developer, Jerry Wolkoff, has filed a lawsuit in Riverhead Supreme Court arguing that the Suffolk County Public Works legislative committee was not required to hold public hearings and the Public works Commissioner could make his own decision about Heartland hooking up to the sewer plant at a lower cost than town residents pay.. The suit says the public works commissioner has the power to negotiate the agreement that “he deems appropriate,” and argues that county agencies should proceed with negotiations for a hookup that “is not subject to the review or approval of the county legislature.”
Suffolk County has a very open government and they offered hearings for their residents.
THE BRENTWOOD SCHOOL DISTRICT LAWSUIT
The Brentwood Board of Education, along with the
Four Towns Civic Association and a local attorney have filed a lawsuit in
Riverhead Supreme Court against the Town of Islip and Pilgrim East L.P. to stop
this project. You can follow the lawsuit on the NY "ecourts"
site case NO. 17-05732. The plaintiffs claim that the school
district cannot handle the amount of students that would move into the
apartments. They dispute the developers estimate of about 1500
additional students. The school estimates 7000 additional students based
on housing statistics available now.
THE HISTORY OF THE PROPERTY
All across New York state, state managed hospitals
were closed and the land put up for sale under the guidance of Governor Pataki.
The basis for selling them was to recover enough cash
to fully pay off the New York state bonds that were used to fund and maintain the
buildings. Thus most of the land was not set aside as public space,
however the Brentwood campus of Suffolk Community College was created from
a parcel of land from Pilgrim State in the 1980s. NY put 452
acres of Pilgrim State Hospital up for bid in the late
nineties.A developer bought the property and has developed plans for its commercial use.
Past defeated proposals included an intermodal
transfer station for tractor trailers that would pick up freight
delivered by LIRR trains running on the Deer Park train lines. The
trucks would then have headed out to Commack road and the LIE . The local
civics fought this land use and were successful in changing the location.