Peconic Landing expected to break ground in summer

11/14/2013 1:00 PM |
RENDERING COURTESY OF PECONIC LANDING  |  In the site plan for Peconic Landing’s proposed $40 million expansion, the dark sections on the left show the proposed additions.

RENDERING COURTESY OF PECONIC LANDING | In the site plan for Peconic Landing’s proposed $40 million expansion, the dark sections on the left show the proposed additions.

Peconic Landing plans to break ground on its $45 million expansion project in July, pending site plan approval from the Southold Town Planning Board.

The Greenport life-care retirement community received Zoning Board of Appeals approval last month for a new three-story apartment wing that will include more than 75 units. ZBA approval was necessary because town code limits buildings to two stories and a basement.

Town planning director Heather Lanza says she expects Peconic Landing to come before the Planning Board this month and a public hearing on the proposal will likely be scheduled for December.

The proposal — which would add 46 senior apartments, 16 private skilled nursing accommodations and a 16-suite “memory care facility” for seniors with cognitive impairment — is the largest expansion in Peconic Landing’s 11-year history.

Currently, Peconic Landing’s 144-acre Soundfront campus comprises 250 residential units, 26 assisted living apartments and 44 skilled nursing accommodations. While pricing for the new units has not been finalized, Peconic Landing sales manager Laurelle Cassone said existing one-bedroom units range between $252,000 and $355,000 depending on amenities and square footage.

With the waiting list for these apartments continuing to stretch, Ms. Cassone said the new facility is needed to meet the demand.

“We had a demand for these apartments since before we built the original apartments,” she said. “There is a huge need for this on the East End.”

Even without the necessary permits from the Planning Board, Peconic Landing president Bob Syron said the number of people on the waiting list already exceeds the number of proposed apartments.

“This is something we started studying five years ago and now it looks like a reality,” he said. “We have a significant waiting list for the independent side of it.”

The independent living addition would be attached to the existing community center and have easy access to all fitness, social and cultural amenities, Ms. Cassone said. The pool area would be renovated to provide greater access, she said. Exercise facilities would also be improved and a separate fitness room will be created for group exercise, according to the application.

A new front entrance to the health care center will be created along with a new lobby area, training room and administrative space. Post-acute rehabilitation services will include upgraded physical and occupational therapies.

All phases of the expansion will start simultaneously, with construction of the memory care and skilled nursing additions likely taking 12 months, and the residential living addition — which includes underground resident parking — taking approximately 14 to 16 months, according to the application.

Mr. Syron said he expects the multi-million dollar project will also bolster the local economy. About 45 to 50 new jobs will be created, making Peconic Landing one of the largest employers on the North Fork, with almost 250 employees, he said.

“The addition of roughly 50 new staff members will boost the local economy as they shop, eat, explore and enjoy all the recreation and culture this region offers,” Mr. Syron said.

Peconic Landing is already one of the biggest sources of tax revenue in Southold Town, paying more than $1.3 million annually in property taxes, according to Town Assessor Bob Scott. If the expansion were approved it would generate roughly $500,000 in additional tax revenues, he said.

Eastern Long Island Hospital CEO Paul Connor, who sits on the board at Peconic Landing, praised the expansion plans.

“This is going to be great for the community,” he said. “It’s the senior population that seems to be growing the fastest out here. There is a need for more primary care and preventive and educational programs.”

The Planning Board is expected to discuss the proposal during its work session Monday, Nov. 18, at 2:30 p.m. in the Town Hall meeting room.