In an effort to expand the diversity of Long Island’s housing opportunities, developers have focused on downtown, fueled by community demands for new zoning and revitalization of underperforming areas.
More than 16,000 apartments have been approved in downtown Long Island since 2006, with over 10,000 currently in the planning process, most of them located downtown.
The proliferation of new multifamily projects has created a lot of jobs for the region’s leading construction firms, who are tasked with designing buildings that will attract tenants looking for convenience and an active lifestyle.
“We believe that a key factor in improving downtown is not just building more apartments, but building better buildings specifically to anchor downtown and improve and beautify the surrounding area. We believe in it,” said design director Joe Jacobelis. For Greenvale-based Mojo Stammer Associates. “Especially when we look at our efforts to keep young professionals and new families on Long Island and encourage them to take root in the community, exciting buildings and creatively designed façades make downtown more accessible and dynamic for them. It helps you feel.”
Founded in 1980 by Thomas Mojo and Mark Stammer, Mojo Stammer’s early work included luxury homes on the North Shore and East End, as well as corporate interiors and office buildings such as the Ruby’s Building in Melville and the Luxottica headquarters in Port. was focused on. Washington.
The award-winning architecture firm has expanded into the multifamily sector over the past decade, as Mojo Stammer has worked on approximately 20 multifamily projects on Long Island, several of which are under development. Two properties currently under construction include a $50 million mixed-use project by JK Equities, which will feature 54 apartments on Roslyn’s Warner Avenue with over 6,600 square feet of retail space, and a $4,000 property project by developer McKinley Homes. It includes 40 luxury condominiums called $10,000 The Rose. Great Neck.
“We aim to create a level of architecture that adds value to the area,” Stammer said. “On Long Island, people are used to being too mundane when it comes to building design. We want to change that.”
For example, the company incorporated a large porcelain rainscreen into the exterior design of the Warner Avenue project, which the architects claim allows the building to breathe. But while Mojo Stammer is known for its high-end finishes, Stammer says it’s not necessarily expensive.
“Developers have a budget in mind and we work hard to meet that budget,” he said. “Because good design doesn’t have to be expensive.”
Creating unique and functional rooftops is also becoming a popular design element for Long Island apartment complexes. At The Rose, Mojo Stammer has set up a fitness center on a rooftop that is part indoor and part outdoor. The company is also designing a rooftop pickleball court for a yet-to-be-announced project in Nassau County.
“It’s great to have additional lounges and event spaces on the roof,” Jacobelis said.
Attention to detail is important. Jacobelis said that apart from planning the exterior of the apartment complex, the company focuses on the overall interior design of the amenity spaces, common areas and apartments themselves, down to the art on the walls.
“This is a really comprehensive project,” he said.
One of the most prolific companies when it comes to multifamily developments on Long Island is Beatty Harvey Coco Architects, which has designed dozens of multifamily homes throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties. The company began designing downtown in its Baltimore office nearly 30 years ago and applied that experience to downtown Long Island.
BHC’s impressive portfolio of multifamily projects includes Lindenhurst’s Well, Port Jefferson’s Shipyard, Bay Shore’s Shoregate, Riverhead’s Peconic Crossing, several buildings in the Wyandanche Village development, and more than a dozen others. It contains thousands of new apartments for many people. Up-and-coming downtown on the island.
The Melville-based company is currently working on several new projects, including the next phase of RXR’s Garby’s Point development, which will have two new buildings totaling 157 apartments in 2024. is.
“We strive to leverage the same level of design and planning quality in the future, and many clients have turned to us for that quality design and depth of knowledge,” he said. BHC Partner Salvatore Coco said. “Our downtown designs, whether traditional or contemporary, are meant to fit into existing contexts and persist for years to come.”
Coco said the introduction of apartments and mixed-use developments has contributed to downtown Long Island’s current success, and one of the biggest challenges is making projects appear as residential rather than institutional or commercial buildings. Stated.
“There are great examples all over the world of four- and five-story buildings with shops on the ground floor and apartments on the top. So we are not reinventing anything here on Long Island,” Coco says. said. “Whether it is a unified single design or a collage of multiple styles, the right choice of materials and blending of colors can make a home look like a home, whether the style is contemporary or traditional. It has to be something you can feel.”
In addition to designing individual multifamily housing projects, BHC has also acted as a consultant for Westbury Village in creating new downtown zoning to attract smart development around the Long Island Rail Station.
“The new code went through multiple iterations of conformance testing and looked at parking requirements based on similar types of projects,” Coco said. “This provides an informed view of density and is now part of the new zoning code.”
Koko added that there must be a balance between meeting the needs of today’s suburban lifestyle while maintaining the existing downtown character and charm.
“Downtown Long Island offers services, entertainment and social functions,” he said. “To remain relevant, it must be accessible by public transport, pedestrians and automobiles.”
Alex Badalamenti, CEO of Patchogue-based Building Architecture, said housing demand is changing across Long Island, with higher home prices, higher property taxes, higher renovation and maintenance costs, and higher borrowing costs. Rising costs are causing a paradigm shift, he says. .
“Young singles, couples and people living in burglars are undecided about where they want to live and how long they want to stay,” Badalamenti said. “Many people choose rental or condominium communities that have modern amenities and are flexible to change.”
Badalamenti’s firm is currently working on a total of about 2,000 multifamily housing projects across Long Island, including a $45 million, 54-unit royal blue luxury rental building in Mineola. According to him, today’s multifamily developments offer modern open-plan layouts, fully controlled heating and cooling, tons of natural light, and beautiful landscaping.
Many of these projects have building amenities close to luxury hotels, offering concierge services for deliveries and repairs, full WiFi and smart controls, wide corridors, and more.
“The focus is on social spaces with fitness rooms, meeting rooms, lounges for informal gatherings, private outdoor balconies and terraces with gardens, water facilities and landscaping,” Badalamenti said. “These communities are socially responsible, utilizing highly efficient equipment and using sustainable materials and practices to reduce their energy consumption.”
Elissa Kyle, Placemaking Director at Vision Long Island, says that in addition to creating an inviting living environment, good design also helps build public trust when pitching a project to the community. .
“These buildings are not just boxes for people to live and work in, but to form public spaces where social interaction takes place and where people want to go and spend time. It helps,” says Kyle. “So it’s not just about its use, or maybe its particular aesthetics, but about creating spaces that are really designed for humans on a very fundamental basis.”
Kyle said that where buildings and sidewalks meet is where the most interaction occurs.
“The amenities within the building may be great for residents, and there may be shops on the ground floor for the public to visit, but when you walk in front of the building, there is something about it that makes you want to go inside. Do you have any?” she asked. “I want things to be active. People like to be in places with other people. I hope things happen in
And when designed properly, multi-family and mixed-use buildings can be an integral part of downtown revitalization and revitalize surrounding areas.
“If they’re designed to play well with their neighbors, they can lift anything around them,” Kyle said. “This is not a competition between new buildings and old buildings, or suburbs and cities. increase.”