A proposed Bellport warehouse is facing opposition from residents who say too many such facilities are flooding the community.
Opponents of the plan, proposed by international real estate giant Ares Management Corp., told Newsday they also oppose the developer’s request for tax breaks from the Brookhaven Town Industrial Development Agency, saying that this could result in lost revenue for the South Country School District and other agencies. .
“Applying for IDA takes money away from libraries, schools, roads, our public use of space,” East Patchogue’s Lisa Sevimli told Newsday. “The amount [of jobs] they bring is not enough to pay the taxes they will not pay. It doesn’t stick.”
Ares wants to construct three buildings totaling 523,100 square feet on vacant land at the intersection of Station Road and Sunrise Highway. The $121.4 million facility, which will open in April 2024, would employ about 130 people with an average annual income of $37,000, according to the company’s IDA application.
The application did not identify any potential tenants. A spokesperson for Ares declined to comment.
The company, a publicly traded affiliate of Denver-based Ares Industrial Real Estate Fund, holds $334 billion in assets, according to a Sept. 28 company press release.
Ares is applying to IDA for a 15-year payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT. Ares would pay $90,588 in each of the first five years, rising to $250,000 per year for the next five years. Payments would increase by 20% per year over the past five years.
IDA could reject the application or modify it to increase PILOT payments. Proponents of PILOT plans say they help encourage economic development and job creation.
The date for the IDA vote has not been set. IDA executive director Lisa Mulligan declined to comment.
The warehouse requires approval of the site plan by the urban planning council. Approval from Brookhaven City Council is not required as the site is zoned for industrial purposes.
In a statement to Newsday, South Country School District Superintendent Antonio Santana took no position on the proposal, but said district officials would review the plan “to determine its potential impact.”
Bellport-area residents said the Ares plan adds to a deluge of warehouses and distribution centers proposed or built in the community in recent years.
“I think it’s not a good fit for the community,” North Bellport’s Dennis Nix told Newsday. “This company will only bring more trucks, more traffic, just more dangerous stuff to the community.”
Kerim Odekon, a doctor and community activist from the hamlet of Brookhaven, said fumes from trucks serving the warehouse could aggravate high asthma rates in the area.
“It’s up to the city to protect the residents,” Odekon told Newsday. “The idea that this is an industry that needs all kinds of [financial] help is senseless.”
Joann Neal, co-chair of the Greater Bellport Coalition, a civic group, said she liked the warehouse to create jobs, but said there “needs to be more dialogue about this whole tax exemption issue.” .
“It’s something we can negotiate,” she said. “If they are flexible, then we are flexible.”
Bellport Warehouse Proposal
Owner: Ares Industrial Real Estate Fund/Ares Management Corp., doing business as AIREF Station Road Logistics Center
Location: Northeast corner of Sunrise Highway and Station Road, Bellport
Cut: Three buildings totaling 523,100 square feet
Tenants: Company says in Brookhaven IDA application that it has “no proposed lease for the site”
Average annual salary: $37,000
Construction schedule: January 2023 to April 2024
Project cost: $121,392,427
SOURCE: City of Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency