Superblock apartment fight heads to public meeting

IStar Financial wants to build rental apartments on the now-vacant lot.

IStar Financial wants to build rental apartments on the now-vacant lot. (2/24/16)

LONG BEACH - A public meeting was held Wednesday night on a tax break for a developer's proposed luxury apartments on the long-vacant Superblock property in Long Beach.

As News 12 Long Island has reported, developer IStar Financial is asking for more than $109 million in tax breaks to build the two waterfront apartment buildings.

A large crowd filled the meeting place and more people lined up outside. Many were union workers who turned out in support of the project. But others voiced opposition to the project, saying it's unfair to offer such a large tax break.

Civic leader Sam Pinto says taxpayers in the area are not willing to foot the bill, especially after the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy.

"People are upset in a time when we are struggling to get by," says Pinto. "Why are these big developers getting a break when we are not?"

The developer's tax break application is still under review by the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency.

City officials say they want the Superblock site developed, but they are waiting for the IDA to release a cost/benefits analysis.

IStar Financial tells News 12 Long Island that it will not move forward with the project without approval on the tax abatement. It says the project is not economically feasible without it.

But in defense of the project, Executive Vice President Karl Frey says that the project will contribute more to the local economy than the tax break would remove.

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