Newsday – A Nesconset civic group’s concerns over traffic and other impacts are holding up a developer’s request for $7.5 million in Suffolk County tax breaks for a proposed 180-unit 55-and-over apartment project in the hamlet.

Developer Jim Tsunis is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Cleary School in Nesconset with members of the We Are Nesconset group, said the group’s president, James Bouklas. Board members of the county’s Industrial Development Agency suggested the meeting. IDA board members, who must approve the tax breaks, tabled the matter twice this fall but could take it up again at their Dec. 19 meeting.

Tsunis’ Northwind Group seeks a payment in lieu of taxes as well as exemptions on sales and mortgage recording taxes on the $47 million project, The Preserve at Smithtown. Company representatives said in application materials that the project was not viable without the tax breaks.

The Preserve would be built on 24 acres of Smithtown Boulevard between Nichols and Gibbs Pond roads.

Tsunis has pledged to set aside 27 units for affordable housing in IDA application materials, and he said at a Nov. 21 IDA meeting that he would build a sidewalk connecting the project to a nearby shopping area.

Long Island “is behind every other metropolitan-area suburb in the number of rental units, especially for 55-and-over residents,” Peter Curry, a lawyer representing Tsunis, said at that meeting. “This project is critical to meeting that shortfall.” Curry declined an interview request.

By Nicholas Spangler. Photo credit: GIS Suffolk County