Lindenhurst Mayor Michael Lavorata admitted publicly Thursday that he had been skeptical of Tritec Real Estate’s plans several years back to build a massive apartment complex on East Hoffman Avenue.
“Tritec came to us with a proposal that seemed so monumental at the time that I was a bit concerned,” Lavorata said. “This was the largest project ever contemplated in this village.”
He was speaking before a crowd Thursday celebrating the project’s opening after two years of construction —with the grand entrance to what’s now called The Wel standing high as his backdrop.
“I can safely now say my trepidations were incorrect,” he continued. “You see, even a skeptic can have a change of heart. Not only did Tritec keep their promises, they exceeded expectations.”
One more thing that he added:
“My own daughter, who at one point vowed to move away, has taken up residence right here in The Wel. If that’s not a ringing endorsement I don’t know what is.”
Lavorata, other Village Board members, Tritec principals and several other elected officials along with business leaders spoke during Thursday’s ceremonial ribbon-cutting to mark The Wel’s full arrival to downtown Lindenhurst.
The $103 million project, which broke ground in 2019, consists of 260 residential units, over 70 percent of which are already spoken for. The median age in the complex is 34. The median household income is $125,000.
Tritec principal Robert Coughlan rattled off those numbers Thursday to big applause.
Tritec’s big deal with the village was to not include commercial space, so it wouldn’t compete with the downtown area’s merchants. Not only that, it was repeatedly noted Thursday that 18 new businesses have opened on Wellwood Avenue since the project started, 13 during the pandemic, including nine restaurants.
“Many of these businesses told us they came here and invested here because of the investment we made in this project,” Coughland said, “And the people who are living here are going to visit their establishments.”
“The benefits involved with projects like this are well-documented,” he added. “I want to applaud the Village of Lindenhurst and thank them, particularly its elected officials. Their partnership, their professionalism, their persistence, that’s what brought this project to fruition.”
“The results of our combined efforts speak for themselves. Our corporate motto is ‘have fun, win, be nice.’
“I think we nailed it here. And we had a lot of fun.”
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, who also spoke, said The Wel project and everything the county, village and Tritec did to get it built, is a “perfect example” of what needs to happen across Long Island.
“Our economic development plan is called Connect Long Island, and the heart of it is leveraging our downtowns,” he said.
Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer made mention of Tritec being named master developer in downtown Amityville Village.
“Amityville can’t wait to see there, what we see behind us here.”
Top: Tritec executives, elected leaders and supports cut the ribbon outside The Wel. (Credit: Yellow House Images)