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Conifer In The News

Kristine Wolf, Publisher
New York Real Estate Journal

"Woodbury, NY The 15th Annual Long Island Smart Growth Awards took place this June at the Crest Hollow Country Club, honoring individuals and organizations and advancing successful downtown initiatives. Over 900 of Long Island’s civic, business, development and government leaders took part in the program for the best in class for 2015-2106. NYS comptroller Tom Dinapoli was the keynote speaker.

Of Long Island’s 100 downtown business districts 60 have revitalization plans and 40 are actively moving projects forward. All told over 12,000 units of transit oriented development housing have been approved over the last ten years along with countless other downtown projects.

Vision Long Island received over 40 deserving nominations and the project and organizational honorees awarded include: Scott Rechler for regional leadership; Hon. Don Barbieri for Walkability in New Hyde Park; Alma Realty Corp & the Village of Valley Stream for a Mixed UseProject in Valley Stream; Conifer Realty & Town of Babylon for Housing Choices in Copiague; Patchogue Chamber of Commerce for “Alive after Five” in Patchogue; Town of Islip & Greenview Properties for a Pedestrian Plaza in Bay Shore; LI Building Trades Council & LI Federation of Labor for Job Development; Lalezarian & Village of Mineola for Mineola Village Green & One Third Ave, two redevelopment projects in Mineola;Beechwood Organization & Village of East Rockaway for Marina Pointe, a waterfront TOD in East Rockaway; Bartone/Terwilliger & Village of Farmingdale for Cornerstone, a TOD in Farmingdale, the Gitto Group & Village of Port Jefferson for the Hills, a TOD in uptown Port Jefferson; and East End Arts and the Westbury Arts Council for creating a Sense of Place by providing arts, music and culture in our downtowns."


Tim Gannon, Staff Writer
Riverhead News Review

"Peconic Crossing, a 45-unit, five-story “workforce housing” apartment building proposed on West Main Street, will get a 100 percent property tax abatement on the value of the improvements for 10 years, under a decision made by the Riverhead Town Industrial Development Agency Monday. 

The 10-year tax abatement — which means they will pay full town, school, county and fire department property taxes on the value of the land, while getting a full abatement on the value of what they build — is the IDA’s standard tax abatement for projects in downtown Riverhead, where officials are trying to attract development.

The $17.6 million project also will receive an abatement on county mortgage recording tax, and on sales tax associated with material used in the job.

A joint venture between Conifer Realty of Rochester and the Community Development Corporation of Long Island, Peconic Crossing plans to buy the Long Island Science Center building on 11 W. Main St. and demolish it to make way for the apartments.

Peconic Crossing is working to help find the Science Center a new location, according to Conifer vice president of development, Allen Handelman.

“We’re hoping to begin construction by the end of the year,” he said at Monday’s IDA meeting. “If not, then maybe the first quarter of next year.”

The Science Center has 240 days from the closing of the sale of the building to leave, under the agreement between the two entities, but Mr. Handelman said they are working to help relocate the Science Center and may do some of the work planned on repairing the bulkhead to the south of the property first, to give them more time.

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Emily C. Dooley, Staff Writer
Newsday / www.newsday.com

"The Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery is spending $68.6 million in federal disaster recovery money to help fund construction of 695 affordable housing units statewide, replenishing stocks damaged by superstorm Sandy and tropical storms Irene and Lee.

The spending includes $13.25 million to partially cover the cost of 135 apartments at complexes in Copiague and Riverhead that will feature raised electrical panels, repaired bulkheads and other resiliency measures.

The storm recovery money is being used in Sandy-affected communities or nearby areas, said James Rubin, commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal and former executive director of the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery.

“What makes a community resilient in the face of a storm is a resilient housing stock,” he said.

Nearly 17,000 rental units on Long Island and upstate were damaged during the 2011 and 2012 storms. Of those, 2,069 units were severely damaged, according to state data.

Money from the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery helps fill funding gaps for the projects while ensuring that the new housing units are storm-ready, spokeswoman Barbara Brancaccio said.

“We have a commitment to rebuilding in a more resilient way,” said Paul Lozito, director of housing policy and affordable housing at the state’s storm recovery office.

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Brian Crandall, Staff Writer
The Ithaca Voice

"ITHACA, N.Y. -- It's safe to say this is under construction. Work has commenced on Conifer LLC’s Cayuga Meadows affordable senior housing project on West Hill.

Cayuga Meadows is a 3-story, 58,500 SF apartment building with 68 units, 59 1-bedroom and 9 2-bedroom. The units will be available to individuals aged 55 and older, with incomes 60% or less or the Area Median Income (AMI). AMI in Tompkins County is about $53,000 per household, so a qualifying senior household would have an annual income of $31,800 or less. 7 units will be accessible to mobility-impaired individuals, and 3 units will be designed to accommodate hearing or visually-impaired occupants. Included in the plans are two covered patios, a community garden, and stormwater, lighting and landscaping improvements. 67 parking spaces will be paved behind the building.

The history of Cayuga Meadows goes back a few years, and has its share of twists. Originally, the project had been conceived as “Conifer West Hill” in 2009 as a component to a Cornell-led mixed-use development on about 36 acres of land across from Cayuga Medical Center. Rochester-based Conifer’s part in the plan has always been the same – affordable housing for seniors. But Cornell had other plans for the rest of the acreage.

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Conifer is pleased to announce that, in partnership with Volunteers of America Upstate New York (VOAUPNY), a brand new, 60-unit, senior apartment community is now leasing in Webster! 

Cobblestone Place at Webster

Cobblestone Place at Webster will be opening in late 2016, offering spacious one and two bedroom apartment homes, including HVI units for those with special needs. Individuals 62+ can stay close to home in an affordable, high-quality, state-of-the-art apartment community, featuring many amenities, including energy efficient appliances, patio or balcony, fitness room and great room for social events. Located off Ridge Road, residents will enjoy being less than a mile from banking, restaurants, medical centers, shopping and more!

To obtain an application, please visit the property webpage www.cobblestoneplacewebster.com to fill out the digital interest list form, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (585) 280-5083. Send completed applications to PO Box #849, Webster, NY 14580


Robin K. Cooper, Reporter
Albany Business Review

"A Rochester real estate developer has purchased 17 acres of land on Route 67 in Ballston, New York, where the company is seeking approval to build 140 apartments.

Conifer Realty, which has developed more than 220 apartment communities in New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania, acquired property along the heavily traveled corridor in Saratoga County for $2.47 million. The deal closed July 1.

The land was purchased from Hal Schultz, a real estate developer who has been working to develop and market the property since 2007. That was two years before computer chip maker GlobalFoundries began building its $15 billion factory less than 10 minutes away.

Schultz, who ran H.R. Schultz Inc. construction company in Ballston until retiring two years ago, started acquiring property on Route 67 near East Line Road in 1978.

He grew up on Wolf Road in Colonie, one of the Albany region's busiest commercial corridors, and he saw potential decades ago for residential and commercial development along Route 67, which carries an average of 16,000 vehicles per day between Route 50 in Ballston to Exit 12 of the Interstate 87 Northway in Malta.

Schultz said his real estate agent, Dean Taylor of Re/Max in Clifton Park, identified Conifer Realty as a potential buyer and developer of an area where Schultz had envisioned investing $35 million to construct apartments, townhomes, offices and retail space.

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The South Wedge Farmers Market, which operates under the direction of the South Wedge Planning Committee (SWPC), is stationed outside of The Hamilton Apartments on Mount Hope every Thursday night from 4pm-7pm from June through October.

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The Farmers Market offers locally grown food from vendors less than 100 miles from Rochester, live music with electric provided by The Hamilton Apartments, and cooking demonstrations from local chefs. 2016 is the 10th season for The South Wedge Farmers Market with a goal to provide healthy, fresh food to the city and support the community’s well-being.

Come to the Genesee Gateway Park at Mount Hope and Alexander this Thursday and enjoy some local vendors, such as, Blue Toad Cider, Happy Pickle, Lagoner Farms, Paw-La’s Pantry, Pudgy Girl Bakery and more! 


154The United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA Rural Development) announced the winners of the National Multi-Family Housing Maintenance People of the Year for 2016. We are proud to announce Al Baxter, Maintenance Mentor at Willow Landing Apartments I & II, was one of two recipients of this award. This is the second year USDA Rural Development has given an award for Maintenance Person of the Year.

“Congratulations to Albert “Al” Baxter, the Rural Development winner for family projects, of Willow Landing Apartments I & II in Palmyra, New York. Al was nominated for his phenomenal work keeping up with the maintenance work at the projects (apartment communities). A celebration, date and time to-be-determined, will be held at Willow Landing Apartments this summer,” an excerpt from USDA Rural Development’s May/June/July MFH Newsflash.

A panel of housing professionals from CARH and representatives from USDA Rural Development made the selections. Winners were selected from numerous nominations from several states.

Please join us in congratulating Al on providing maintenance care beyond expectations. He is a true testament to the professional employees who continue to show their dedication at Conifer. 


Conifer is delighted to announce that Copiague Commons, a brand new development currently under construction, was awarded with VISION Long Island’s Smart Growth Award.

Copiague Commons Copy

Copiague Commons was recognized with the “Housing Choices” honor during VISION Long Island’s 15th Annual Smart Growth Awards on June 10th. These prestigious awards are presented to organizations that display industry leadership in advancing projects, regulations and initiatives. The significant shortage of affordable housing on Long Island has contributed to young professionals leaving the area, resulting in an island-wide “brain drain”. Copiague Commons was recognized as a leader in the process of creating a wider range of housing choices that have the potential to retain students and families.

Construction for Copiague Commons began in March 2016 and is conveniently located across from the Long Island Railroad in Downtown Copiague. The development affords its residents the ease of access to public transportation, neighborhood amenities and ENERGY STAR rated appliances and fixtures in each apartment home.

Initial occupancy is projected for summer 2017. To obtain more information about Copiague Commons, visit www.copiaguecommons.com, call (631) 693-6591 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  


Brian Crandall, Staff Writer
Ithaca Voice

"ITHACA, N.Y. -- It's no secret that a lack of affordable housing is an issue in Tompkins County. Conifer LLC is hoping to make a dent in the deficit.

The Rochester-based company is moving forward with plans for a second phase of the Poet's Landing affordable apartment project in the village of Dryden, across the street from Dryden High School. Conifer was just awarded $1.6 million in a Housing Trust Fund grant from the State of New York's Homes and Community Renewal division, and $734,956 in low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) to help finance construction of the new apartments.

Poets Landing

As described in the Voice previously, financing affordable housing is complicated, depending on a mix of public and private funding sources, and it usually takes years to be awarded funding, because the programs receive far more applications than there is money available, about three applications for each grantee. Conifer's $10.8 million expansion of Poet's Landing will rely on the state Housing Trust Fund grant and low-income housing credit equity, as well as a construction loan from Citibank.

Plans call for 48 units - 24 1-bedroom, 16 2-bedroom, and 8 3-bedroom units. Three units will be adapted for mobility-impaired residents, and a fourth unit will be adapted to individuals who are hearing or vision-impaired. According to a filing with the state as part of the grant application,the gross rents (rent plus utilities) will range from $724 to $1,070 a month, to be occupied by households with incomes 50% to 60% of area median income.

2015 AMI in Tompkins County is $54,100 for a single person, and $61,800 for a two-person household, and $69,500 for a three-person household. Therefore, the income limits are $27,050-$32,460 for a single person, $30,900-$37,080 for a two-person household, and $34,750-$41,700 for a three-person household.

The new units will be built in 6 2-story buildings directly west of the first phase of Poet's Landing, which opened in early 2013. Conifer-LeChase Construction (a joint venture between the two firms) will serve as the general contractor for the project, and Rochester-based NH Architecture will be designing the units. Both companies are already active in Ithaca, with LeChase finishing up the Carey Building in downtown Ithaca, and NH Architecture working on the new wing of the Hotel Ithaca currently under construction.

Conifer itself will be quite busy in Tompkins County over the coming year, as work commences on their Cayuga Meadows apartments on West Hill, a 68-unit affordable housing project aimed at seniors.

A company spokeswoman declined to comment about Phase II of Poet's Landing, saying they wanted to start construction before engaging in interviews. The tentative timeline is to start construction in August or early September, with the first tenants moving in during late summer 2017.


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