The Brookport complex is now open and just a short stroll away from the heart of downtown Port Jefferson.
The developers, locally elected officials, tenants and others gathered Wednesday night to celebrate and mark the milestone with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting. (Scroll down for more photos.)
The project, by The Gitto Group, took five years to get where it is today: a fully leased, three-story, mixed-use residential and commercial project with amenities like a fitness center and a furnished rooftop overlooking the Long Island Sound.
The complex, where Cappy’s Carpets used to be located, is next to The Barnum House, also a project by The Gitto Group.
Rob Gitto of The Gitto Group, as he addressed the crowd, said he approached Peter Capobianco, the owner of Cappy’s Carpets, in 2016 about re-developing the site.
“Here we are, five years later, with quite a few meetings, conversations and we now have 44 apartments, two retail tenants,” Gitto said, adding that one of them will be Southdown Coffee. “But we got here…”
Though it was no easy journey. In fact, Tony Gitto, Rob Gitto’s father and a developer at The Gitto Group, called The Brookport one of the hardest projects he’s worked on.
“We lost time with COVID, the state closed us down for three months,” Tony Gitto said. “Then we finally finished it and hurricane Ida invited herself in.”
The tropical storm brought water into the first floor of the building and some of the tenant’s vehicles inside the parking garage were totaled by water damage.
Port Jefferson Mayor Margot Garant promised the Gitto’s, and the development’s tenants, that the village would work with the firm to prevent flooding from happening there again.
Such projects, Garant said, are crucial in developing Port Jefferson and bringing commerce to the many local businesses throughout the village, despite some pushback from residents who might prefer such things get built elsewhere.
“I’ve been mayor now for 13 years and every election cycle we get a little heat,” Garant said. “Because people don’t understand the importance of building and mixed-use apartment buildings like this on Main Street.”
Top: Rob Gitto of The Gitto Group (right) holds a proclamation from Brookhaven Town Councilman Jonathan Kornreich.
photos by Jessica Durso of Yellow House Images