A new mixed-use development project is being pitched for a 52-acre tract of vacant land in North Bellport.

The Crest Group has proposed creating a new community that would include a mix of rental housing, assisted living and some neighborhood retail on the site that lies north of Sunrise Highway and just east of Station Road.

Port Jefferson Station-based Crest Group is seeking approvals for a planned development district zoning overlay from the Town of Brookhaven for the property, which is currently zoned for light industrial uses. The project would bring 150 units of non-age-restricted rental housing, 60 units of rentals for people 55 and over and a 120-bed assisted-living facility. The development would also have a 100,000-square-foot self-storage facility and about 65,000 square feet of neighborhood retail shops.

Crest Group CEO Enrico Scarda says the plan includes preserving 8 acres of open space on site and at least 24 acres more in the core Pine Barrens area through the use of Pine Barrens credits.

“We tried to come up with a diversified plan that would be an economic driver for the area,” Scarda told LIBN.

Scarda added that the rental apartments would provide much-needed housing opportunities for employees of companies nearby, including Amneal Pharmaceuticals, which has big facility just a few blocks north of the development site and is expecting to expand its workforce. Several other companies are also headquartered in the adjacent industrial park on Sawgrass Drive.

The mixed-use development will create more than 350 construction jobs and nearly 100 permanent jobs, according to Scarda. The town is holding a public hearing on the proposed zoning change and the final environmental impact statement for the project on Thursday, Dec. 20.

John Rogers, a long-time Bellport resident and community activist, is a supporter of the Crest Group plan.

“I think it’s a good project,” Rogers said. “We need more rentals in the area. It will help the tax base.”

The development site had been in limbo for a few years after the former owner, Syosset-based developer Blumenfeld Development Group, decided not to pursue its development plans for the site. BDG had applied to the town to get 28.5 acres of the property rezoned to accommodate 172,000 square feet of mostly big-box retail and 160,000 square feet of industrial space.

Blumenfeld wanted to build a 90,000-square-foot store for BJs Wholesale Club and a 2,400-seat movie theater for Regal Theaters on a portion of the property.

Eventually, BJs signed a deal with RD Management and the Alrose Group for a store on 10 acres of the former Bellport Outlet Center property on the south side of Sunrise Highway, where the BJ’s store is now located.

Crest Group and its partner at the time, Matrix Group, acquired the parcel through a deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure deal worked out between BDG and note-holder Old Dock Associates, which retained an interest in a portion of the property.

The Crest Group, which purchased Danford’s Hotel & Marina in Port Jefferson in 2016, has been active in the retail, office and hospitality sectors in recent years. The company will soon begin redevelopment of the former Thatched Cottage catering hall in Centerport, which it purchased for $2.8 million two years ago.

Original article by David Winzelberg. View original article here.