The Boulevard in Yaphank has come so far but has got so far to go.
The Town of Brookhaven approved the master plan for the 322-acre, mixed-use complex adjacent to the Long Island Expressway and William Floyd Parkway a decade ago. Construction has been underway at the site of the old Parr Meadows horse track since 2014 and will likely continue through 2026, according to Brian Ferruggiari, executive vice president of AVR Realty Co.
The project boasts units available for rent and purchase, some of which are still being constructed at a time when the demand for housing on the island is booming. Town of Brookhaven Councilman Michael Loguercio said the project and its condominium amenities and services not only fulfill a need for housing on the island but appeal to a new generation of home buyers.
“Right now, in a typical family, you’ve got two working folks who are out from early in the morning until midnight,” Loguercio said. “And they don’t want to come home and mow the lawn.”
The councilman said the project created “a tremendous amount of jobs,” from construction jobs to permanent maintenance jobs. “Not to mention the tax base that this been brought in,” Loguercio added.
The project is unlike other developments on Long Island, according to Ferruggiari. “It’s a smart growth design, which is atypical for Long Island,” he said.
“Most of Long Island has residential development and commercial development with large buffers between them. Here, there are no buffers between the residential and the commercial. There are actually connections between, so people can walk across The Boulevard to get to the shopping center to go to a restaurant or go to a grocery store.”
Below, GreaterMoriches has broken down the complex into various sectors, for an easily digestible overview of the mammoth development that offers a lot more than just apartments and shops.
“This project brings everything you could possibly want to a community,” Loguercio said. “And it’s a nice-looking project. It’s beautiful.”
Rentals — AVR
The Reserve, developed by AVR, was the first portion of The Boulevard to open in 2016. The 240 rental units are broken up into one and two-bedroom luxury apartments, some of which feature dens and lofts, in three-story buildings. The section at the northeastern corner of the entire project boasts amenities like a resort pool and cabana area, a fitness center, a yoga room and a fitness-on-demand studio.
AVR’s other residential section, The Brio, is a stone’s throw away from the Reserve. With 295 units, it offers a few different options for prospective renters, like carriage and townhouses.
“Carriage house units are new to Long Island,” Ferruggiari said. “Basically, you pull into your garage on the first floor and you can walk up to your apartment on the second floor. Then we have two different types of townhouses, one with garages one without. Typically these types of buildings are for sale. We’re offering them in this complex for rent.”
Housing – Beechwood Organization
The entire northwest corner of The Boulevard is a single community: Country Pointe Meadows by the Beechwood Organization. According to Ferruggiari, the community is being developed in three phases, the first two of which are complete. He said of the 400 villa homes and townhomes, 320 are reserved for residents ages 55 and older.
Although AVR is not the developer of Country Pointe Meadows, Ferruggiari still admires the project. “I brag about our amenity packages and our clubhouses, both about 6,200 square feet,” he said. “But their clubhouse is somewhere in the vicinity of 11,000 square feet. It’s spectacular, with two beautiful pools in the back. It’s a beautiful development.”
Across Boulevard West from Country Pointe Meadows is a Chelsea Senior Living facility.
Ferruggiari said the project features a 44-bed independent living facility, which is already open, as well as a 77-bed assisted living facility. Although it has been constructed, he said, AVR and Chelsea are awaiting state approval before opening the assisted living portion of the project.
The Chelsea at Brookhaven, as it is listed on the senior living company’s website, “offers luxury one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments equipped with modern kitchens and many more amenities.” It also notes that its residents have “convenient access to local shopping and dining attractions and state-of-the-art medical facilities.”
Near the center of The Boulevard is a Hilton Home 2 Suites Hotel. Ferruggiari said it is a 146-key, all-suite hotel that will appeal “to both the business as well as the pleasure traveler on Long Island.”
Although it is not complete, some of the commercial portion of The Boulevard has already been planned.
The retail component, Ferruggiari said, will be anchored by a 197,000-square-foot Walmart Super Center. He said the full-service grocery is crucial for the project and will benefit the towns surrounding the Boulevard. “It has it all,” he said, which includes a home center, an auto care center, a pharmacy window, a garden center and a grocery pickup area.
In total, the executive said the project boasts 300,000 square feet of commercial space. While he could not say what other names may fill in those storefronts, he said a Ridgewood Savings Bank will be coming to the complex.
He also noted that the restaurants coming to the complex remain “in discussion.”
Councilman Loguercio said AVR reached out to him years before he was elected to office, back when he served as president of Longwood’s school board.
“They originally came to me and the vice president … because they knew we had our ear to the ground,” Loguercio said. “They knew the community respected us and that we knew what was needed in this area.”
Loguercio said they asked the developer for areas that could be shared by the community. “What was really important to us at the time was that we have a community center that the people could use if they wanted to,” he said. “A ballfield for the kids because there weren’t a lot of ballfields around, maybe a park.”
The councilman said AVR made good on his request.
Ferruggiari said the project features a seven-acre park dedicated to the Town of Brookhaven with a 3,000-square-foot community center and a 1,500-square-foot concession building with restrooms. The developer also created a regulation-size turf baseball field with multipurpose athletic fields in the outfield.
A pending modification
South of the Chelsea Senior Living facility was supposed to be office space for workers within The Boulevard, but AVR is hoping to scrap that plan, according to Ferruggiari.
“With COVID, the office market on Long Island is extremely weak, and doesn’t promise to get any better in a post COVID world with people working remotely,” he said.
“So, we’re going back to the town the amend our master plan, and we’re seeking to get approval for 162 townhouse units very similar to the Beechwood product that’s across the street. And we think that will round out the community and be a little more compatible,” he added.
Ferruggiari said AVR has an application under review by the town planning department.
“That will go before the town board as a covenant change and the planning board for a site plan approval,” he said. “We anticipate that would happen later this year sometime.”