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Conifer In The News
Joe Brandt, Staff Writer

"CLAYTON - Bernadette Blackstock is thrilled that after seven years, she is finally starting to see a plan to house local veterans come to fruition.

Ground was broken Tuesday on Camp Salute, which will be a 76-bedroom apartment complex on Delsea Drive behind the Clayton Mews apartments.

Howard Gant Jr., Commander of American Legion Post 241 in Glassboro, salutes during the national anthem. (Joe Brandt |

Howard Gant Jr., Commander of American Legion Post 241 in Glassboro, salutes during the national anthem. (Joe Brandt |

The buildings will feature 19 apartments set aside for veterans with disabilities, a community room, and the South Jersey Veteran Resources Center. There, staffers from the People for People Foundation, of which Blackstock is the CEO, will help veterans - including those who live outside Camp Salute - access services like their educational benefits.

"It didn't hit me until this morning, 'Oh my God, today's the day,'" Blackstock said, gesturing to a 57-acre dirt lot behind the Mews, covered in CAT construction vehicles and trailers for construction employees to lead the work at the job site.

The day has been a long time coming.

The idea for the project came about in 2010 when Allan Connors, a Vietnam vet who spoke at the ceremony, proposed the idea of a space to house veterans in need. The next five years were spent selecting a site, Sam Leone, president of Conifer Realty, said at the event. Then, financing had to be secured for the project, for which development is expected to cost nearly $23 million.

Funding for the project is helped by Low Income Housing Tax Credits which total about $18 million in equity. There is also a construction loan of about $12.6 million and a mortgage of about $3.6 million from Capital One.

The goal is to have one building completed by January or February, if weather allows for that pace of construction, Blackstock said. The remaining six buildings should be completed by summer or fall of 2018.

A quarter of the units will fix the rent at 30 percent of a tenant's income. For the remaining units, a one bedroom will cost $714-$870; $845-$1,120 for a two-bedroom and $981-$1,197 for a three-bedroom unit.

The event featured several speakers including Clayton Mayor Tom Bianco, state Sens. Stephen Sweeney and Fred Madden, Freeholders Heather Simmons and Joe Chila, and the veterans liaison from U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo's district office.

Dignitaries unearth dirt at the site of a $22M veterans housing complex in Clayton on Tuesday. (Joe Brandt | For
Dignitaries unearth dirt at the site of a $22M veterans housing complex in Clayton on Tuesday. (Joe Brandt | For

Blackstock, accompanied at the event by her husband Paul, the chairman of the foundation's Board of Directors, told the story of her father-in-law, J.P. Blackstock, who stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day and was disfigured in a later battle. After years of rehab and help from volunteers, he dedicated the rest of his life after his service to volunteering with veterans.

"To be able to do all this in the memory of my father-in-law, to get affordbale housing built for veterans, it's just a massive feeling," Blackstock said.

The NJ Sentinel

"A groundbreaking ceremony for the People for People Foundation’s new affordable housing project in Clayton, Gloucester County took place on Tuesday morning September 12th. The new housing project, Camp Salute, is a permanent housing complex geared toward veterans.  It will be located at 865 N. Delsea Drive in Clayton behind the Clayton Mews Senior Apartment building.

Camp Salute is housing for low- and moderate-income families that will offer veterans’ preference for applicants. The project consists of 76 apartment units, 14 one-bedroom units, 40 two-bedroom units and 22 three-bedroom units. Nineteen of the units will be fully accessible and will be set aside for disabled veterans. Eighty percent of the project is financed via the Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program, which promotes private development of affordable housing projects.

“We believe in providing residents and veterans with safe, secure and affordable housing options,” said Bernadette Blackstock, President/CEO, of People for People. “We thank Senator Sweeney for his commitment to this project and his support in making it a reality.”

The People for People Foundation of Gloucester County is a grassroots 501 (c)3 organization founded in November 2003 by community leaders who were concerned about helping their neighbors who fall on hard times. People for People’s mission is to provide financial and advocacy assistance to Gloucester County residents who are normally self-sufficient but have experienced a financial hardship due to loss of employment, sickness, accident, fire, or other unforeseen emergency. The ceremony included comments from state, county and local officials. Members of the Glassboro VFW Honor Guard raised the American Flag while Michael Jones sang the National Anthem.

“I want to thank everyone involved in this project that will provide additional affordable housing options in Clayton,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester, Cumberland, Salem). “This project demonstrates the value of residents and organizations working together in service to the community to achieve a common goal. The brave members of our United States military have done so much for us, and it is only right that we make sure these men and women and their families have access to a suitable and affordable place to call home.”

With weather permitting, the goal is to have a spring 2018 move-in for the first building complex. Each unit will have a patio or balcony with a community building housing the offices of People for People, a community room, exercise room, a computer lab as well as a playground area. Also planned is a veterans’ memorial area consisting of flags and a sitting area."

SNJ Today
Kimberly Kerr, SNJ Today Reporter

"CLAYTON, N.J.A local organization is celebrating a big day as they get digging on a project seven years in the making.

An open plot of land in Gloucester County will soon be home to Camp Salute.

“The concept is a community of veterans," said Allan Connors, a Vietnam veteran and community relations representative for People for People. "That means disabled veterans workforce veterans, senior veterans, Gold Star parents. The model was comprehensive, that means housing, services, and community investment.”

People for People, an organization geared to helping families and veterans in the area, officially broke ground on the project seven years in the making.

“Our veterans have done so much for us, they’ve given us so much," said Steve Sweeney, New Jersey State Senate President. "It’s not much to ask to make sure that the veterans have a safe place to live.”

“It gives them a safe, affordable place to live," said Bernadette Blackstock, president, and CEO of People for People.

"It gives them a community where the next door neighbor understands the trials and tribulations that they went through when they served and it just gives them a sense of family.”

“Nothing comes close to the bond one veteran feels for another. Many veterans will not communicate well and they’re reluctant to communicate except for with another veteran,” said Connors.

The 76-unit affordable housing development with a veteran preference in Clayton has already set aside 25 percent of the units for disabled vets.

“This is a great day of celebration and we’re celebrating the fact that we’re going to help lift veterans who lifted this country on their shoulders,” said Sweeney.

On top of the housing, the space will have other resources for the veterans.

“We will have what’s called the South Jersey Veteran Resource Center," said Blackstock. "That center will have the ability to help veterans from the time of claim through appeal if necessary.”

Along with other staff agencies ready and willing to help vets.

“Hopefully we can replicate this in other places because it’s needed, it’s greatly needed,” said Sweeney.

People for People is hoping to have the entire 76-unit development move-in ready by Fall 2018 to help give veterans a safe, affordable place to call home."

Clayton, NJ (September 12, 2017) – People for People Foundation in partnership with Conifer Realty, joined by Senator Stephen M. Sweeney, the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA), Mayor Tom Bianco and Gloucester County Board of Freeholders, hosted a groundbreaking event this morning for 76 mixed-income apartments, with a veteran preference, being constructed in Clayton on Delsea Drive.

Camp Salute, an ENERGY STAR certified apartment community features 14 one-bedroom units; 40 two-bedroom units; and 22 three-bedroom units; all of which will be constructed using the best practices in energy saving technology.

Camp Salute

Camp Salute represents a new approach to apartment living which will keep Clayton a vibrant region with a growing economy by providing sorely needed workforce, affordable rental opportunities for families and veterans.  The development will consist of 14 one-bedroom apartments, 40 two-bedroom apartments and 22 three-bedroom apartments. 19 of the apartments will be fully accessible and will be set aside for disabled veterans. The remaining apartments will have a veteran preference.

People for People Foundation, also known as a “Veteran Support Organization”, will be providing on-site veteran and social services to Camp Salute’s residents with multiple U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, Office of General Council, Accredited Claims Agents and their dedicated staff.

Bernadette Blackstock, President and CEO for People for People Foundation said, "There are those that pledged to put their lives on the line to defend their country. By serving their country they also experienced things and have special needs that those who did not serve have. But like non-veterans, veterans also face the trials and tribulations of everyday life.” She added, “Camp Salute will be a first of its kind by bringing expertise in both areas to a low to moderate income affordable housing development with a veteran preference. There will be highly trained teams on site that can assist with both veteran and non-veteran issues." People for People Foundation will work closely with veterans and their families to provide the resources and support for their individual needs.

NJ Senate President Steve Sweeney said, "This project, Camp Salute, is the first of its kind in the entire country. Nowhere else in the United States has an affordable housing development been intended for veterans and their families. I am so proud to be a part of this project that will allow our veterans, those who were willing to stand up and defend our nation regardless of the risks, to have a place to call home. They say home is where the heart is, and Camp Salute embodies all of what a home and heart should be in our communities."

Gloucester County Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger said, "Veterans in Gloucester County know that they count and their service is appreciated. There are so many veterans who we work to help each and every day, and now this new Camp Salute will help our veterans find quality, affordable housing. It is the right thing and the county is proud to have played a role in getting this project across the starting line. When our veterans are able to move in here, it will be a new day for so many and I for one cannot wait to see that day."

CampSalute 1

Mayor Tom Bianco, said, "We are honored to have the veterans and their families who served our county call the Borough of Clayton home. After many months of hard work by so many, we are excited get this project completed so that we can get our veterans moved in and moving on with their lives. This project has a special personal place in my heart. As the son of a father who spent 32 years in the United States Navy, I know the scarifies our service men and women make and they deserve no less than the utmost respect from their governments and their neighbors. I am certain that the new residents of Clayton will find that here."

Charles Lewis, Senior Vice President of Development for Conifer Realty, stated, ”Veterans give up so much for us and get so little in return. This development is a small down payment on what we owe them. We are also grateful for the leadership provided by Senator Sweeney and Mayor Bianco. We have been working on Camp Salute for seven years and they have supported us every step of the way.”

Multifamily affordable housing developments require multiple public and private funding sources in order to be financially viable. Camp Salute is receiving federal low income housing tax credits from NJHMFA, equity and conventional loans from Capital One and rental assistance from the Gloucester County Housing Authority.
Press Release, distributed by Public

"Award Is Largest Single Allotment of Low Income Housing Tax Credits since Program Began in New Jersey in 1986

Trenton, NJ - The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) awarded Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) to 29 projects across the state to fund affordable housing for working families, senior citizens, and residents with special needs.

The projects, which span 14 counties and provide for 2,178 housing units, were awarded $39.8 million in competitive 9% LIHTC awards in the largest single announcement of tax credits since the program began in the state in 1986.

The tax credits, which were announced by Governor Christie on August 25 during a public event in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, will generate approximately $378 million in private equity to build the housing units, which have a total development cost of nearly $549 million.

Of the total planned units, 1,245 of them will be affordable for families earning below 60 percent of the Area Median Income (including 88 units set aside for the homeless), 423 of the units will be affordable for seniors at least 55 years old (including 30 units set aside for the homeless), and another 314 will be affordable for individuals and families with special needs. The affordable units must be reserved for low-income households for a period of 30 to 45 years. The remaining 196 housing units will be market rate.

'This most recent round of tax credit awards demonstrates that New Jersey is taking full advantage of the Low Income Housing Tax Credits program, which has been a successful tool in the state for creating affordable housing,' said New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Charles A. Richman, who also serves as Chairman of the HMFA. 'Through these credits, the State is able to leverage funding and expand housing opportunities that will positively impact the lives of working families, seniors and special needs residents, all of whom are of limited financial means.'

The HMFA estimates that these tax credit awards will result in more than $870 million in one-time economic output, defined as the total value of industry production, such as sales and business revenues. During construction, the projects will produce more than 5,200 full-time jobs and approximately $31.8 million in state and local taxes. Once completed, the projects will support approximately $97 million in economic output, 549 full-time jobs, and approximately $5.5 million in state and local taxes annually.

'We are proud of our efforts through the Low Income Housing Tax Credits program to create affordable housing in areas that offer higher opportunities for our residents,' said HMFA Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta. 'HMFA's work to broaden the impact of these affordable housing tax credits across the state has opened doors to thousands of residents, not only improving their lives, but the greater community as well.'

Federal LIHTCs are awarded to developers to build new rental apartments or rehabilitate existing rental units for low-income households. Typically, the tax credits are sold to investors, who then provide private equity to fund construction. In return, the investors receive a dollar for dollar reduction on their federal tax returns for a period of ten years.

One of the most effective features of the LIHTC program is each state's ability to craft its own allocation plan and define the criteria for awarding tax credits. New Jersey has one of the country's most innovative LIHTC programs. Since 2013, HMFA has incentivized construction of low- and moderate-income housing in areas of low poverty and with proximity to job centers, public mass transit and high performing school districts.

Reports by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University have recognized New Jersey's efforts to utilize its LIHTC allocation plan as a tool to decrease economic segregation through housing location. Also, HMFA's program was hailed in a 2017 report by NJ Future, which said the changes could 'serve as a model for other states interested in similarly directing their allocation of affordable-housing tax credits.'

Please see the following charts for additional information on the projects awarded tax credits in the latest round.

For more information on HMFA programs, visit"


FAMILY 14 1,007 $19,837,444 $188,468,865 $255,072,339
SENIOR 6 423 $7,594,364 $72,139,243 $89,098,368
SUPPORTIVE HOUSING 5 314 $6,382,466 $60,629,282 $84,616,536
MIXED INCOME 4 434 $5,991,310 $56,911,753 $120,434,052
TOTALS 29 2,178 $39,805,584 $378,149,143 $549,211,295



Branch Village Townhomes - CNI Phase I Michaels Development Camden Camden 72
Bridgeton Villas Phase II Winn Companies Cumberland Bridgeton 56
Camp Kilmer Phase A Pennrose Properties Middlesex Edison 86
Centerton Road Family Housing Volunteers of America DV Burlington Mount Laurel 103
The Place at Plainsboro Community Investment Strategies Middlesex Plainsboro 71
Willows at Whitehouse Station Ingerman Hunterdon Readington Twp. 72
Dover Veterans Pennrose Properties Morris Dover 68
Hilltop Residences (White Rock) RPM Development Essex North Caldwell 50
Willows at Annandale Village Ingerman Hunterdon Clinton 66
Jacob's Landing Phase TRF Development/ BCM Affordable Housing Middlesex Woodbridge 60
Clifton Main Mews II Regan Development Passaic Clifton 92
Brittin Village Volunteers of America DV Camden Pennsauken 66
Rivergrove Apartments Eastern Pacific & Gateway Action Partnership Cumberland Bridgeton 68
Page Homes Conifer Realty, LLC Mercer Trenton 77



Somerset Square RPM Development Somerset Franklin 151
Valley Road Alpert Group Essex West Orange 100
Jackson Green RPM Development Hudson Jersey City 99
City Hall Apartments Urban Builders/Lettire/ Adenah Bayoh Essex Newark 84



Birchwood at Cranbury Ingerman Development Middlesex Cranbury 66
1721 Springdale Road Pennrose Properties, LLC Camden Cherry Hill 80
Fair Lawn Senior Housing Penwal/Madeline/ Bergen County United Way Bergen Fair Lawn 85
Cinnaminson Senior Housing MEND/Conifer Realty Burlington Cinnaminson 54
Stonegate at St. Stephens Phase II Diocesan Housing Services Corporation of the Diocese of Camden Camden Pennsauken 68
Winslow Cross Creek Phase IV Eastern Pacific Development Camden Winslow Twp. 70



Freedom Village at West Windsor Project Freedom Inc. Mercer West Windsor 72
Freedom Village by the Lake at Gibbsboro Project Freedom Inc. Camden Gibbsboro 72
Valley Brook Village Phase II Affordable Housing and Services Collaborative, Peabody Properties and Windover Veterans Somerset Basking Ridge 50
E-Port Family Homes E-Town Housing & Community Development Corp. and Genesis Companies Union Elizabeth 60
Somerset Brownstones Better Tomorrows/ Michaels Development Essex Newark 60

Shore News Today
Charlie Pritchard, Staff Writer

"EGG HARBOR CITY — Patty Guy moved from The Oaks of Weymouth into Rittenberg Manor in Egg Harbor City in August 2015, less than a year after her husband died.

Angelo Giarletta relocated from his home in Kearney, Hudson County, to the 62-and-older community seven months later to live closer to his sister, who lives in Voorhees, Camden County.

Patty Guy and Angelo Giarletta prepare to cut the cake following the wedding ceremony at Rittenberg Manor.

Not long after they met, Giarletta, 73, offered to buy Guy, 66, coffee. That led to a romance that culminated in a marriage ceremony Saturday in the community room of the building in which they live.

The wedding, held in front of family members, friends and fellow Manor residents, was officiated by nondenominational minister Nancy Messenger, of Egg Harbor City.

Among the family members in attendance were Guy’s mother, with whom she resides, 96-year-old Bette Lange; son Chris, of Galloway Township; granddaughter Bella, 13; and great niece Aiko Gunnerson, of Atlantic City. Giarletta, who had not been previously married, was joined by his sister AnnaMarie Lengo, her husband, Bob, and children Matty and Caroline.

Fellow Manor residents Steve Layton and Barbara Billing served as best man and maid of honor.

One of the guests, Carol Rodgers, provides services for Rittenberg Manor residents, including hairdressing. Referring to Guy, she smiled and said, “She stole my guy!”

“He has a very big heart and is very gentle,” Rodgers said.

“They’re great people,” said Chrissey Bates, the building’s community manager. “It’s amazing that they came here and met. I wish them nothing but the best.”

Guy has no second thoughts.

“He is a wonderful guy,” she said. “I am very happy. He is, too!”

Newsday /
Jesse Coburn, Staff Writer

"A number of multifamily housing developments are in the works in downtown Copiague, representing what some see as the fruition of a long campaign by the Town of Babylon to create a dense, walkable neighborhood at the center of the South Shore hamlet.

Copiague Commons, a $33.5 million, 90-unit mixed income housing complex on Railroad Avenue, is complete, with tenants moving in this month, said Gwen O’Shea, the president and chief executive of Community Development Corp. of Long Island, one of the project’s developers.

The Copiague Commons at 54 Railroad Ave., in Copiague, Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

Read more ...

On Thursday, August 24th from 2:00pm – 6:00pm, Conifer Village at Cayuga Meadows will be hosting an Open House to showcase the brand new, affordable senior apartment community in Ithaca, NY.

Cayuga Meadows features 56 mixed-income apartment homes constructed for active individuals 55 or older. Cayuga Meadows is a smart growth, accessible apartment community offering spacious one and two bedroom apartment homes. Nine apartments were set aside for those with disabilities, and three were set aside for hearing and visually impaired.

2 LR

One bedroom apartments range from 654-689 square feet for $779 per month; two bedroom apartments are 905 square feet for $929 per month.

Qualified Hurricane Irene or Tropical Storm Lee impacted residents will be given priority for the first 90 days of rent up.

WHEN:       Thursday, August 24, 2017
                   2:00 – 6:00pm

WHERE:     Conifer Village at Cayuga Meadows
                   108 Aster Lane
                    Ithaca, NY 14850
                    Free parking will be available

Newsday / 
Maura McDermott, Staff Writer

"Long Island developers are making multimillion-dollar investments to protect new projects — waterfront and inland alike — from rising sea levels and the risk of major storms.

In Glen Cove, RXR Realty said it is raising the ground level of its 56-acre waterfront development, Garvies Point, by 6 to 10 feet. The effort required enough soil, sand and gravel to fill 40 Olympic-sized swimming pools. It also is constructing $15 million steel and reinforced concrete bulkheads along the waterfront, and spending roughly $10 million on stormwater management and $5 million on generators to provide full power to all 569 condominiums if electricity gets knocked out.

These and other steps to make the property storm-resilient will add roughly $40 million to the $1 billion cost of the project, which in addition to the condos includes 541 rental apartments as well as a restaurant, shops, offices and parks, the Uniondale-based developer said.

In East Rockaway, the Beechwood Organization is elevating 84 new condos over parking spaces at its waterfront property, adding a new bulkhead, docks and oversized drainage systems, and placing all mechanical equipment on roofs. The 2.7-acre site was previously occupied by a marina that was devastated by superstorm Sandy in 2012. Jericho-based Beechwood said it spent roughly $5 million going beyond state building codes and local requirements to protect the property from storms.

Virginia-based AvalonBay Communities is raising the land near Manhasset Bay in Great Neck where it is constructing a 191-unit apartment building, elevating the structure over parking and installing utilities 16 feet high, at the top level of its garage, said Chris Capece, senior development director.

Tritec Real Estate Co. is elevating the 112 apartments in its Shipyard project in Port Jefferson over a parking garage and installing drainage pumps in the garage, even though the waterfront complex is located outside the designated flood plain, said Robert Kent, vice president and general counsel at the East Setauket-based company.

“In a post-superstorm Sandy Long Island, there is a heightened awareness of where the high-risk flood zones are,” said Kyle Strober, executive director of the Association for a Better Long Island, a builders’ trade group. “The 100-year flood storms are happening every 10 years now, and that means only the very forgetful or the high-stakes gamblers are building on the ground level today.”

Exceeding requirements

Under state building codes and local laws, developers are required to protect buildings in high-risk flood zones by constructing strong foundations, elevating buildings and electrical systems and using storm-resistant materials, among other measures. But developers say they are going beyond those requirements.

The builders’ investments come as climate scientists report that sea levels have risen over the last century and are expected to continue rising. A study released last month by the Union of Concerned Scientists examined the U.S. coastline and found that by 2100 nearly 500 communities — including many along Long Island’s South Shore — could face “chronic flooding” so severe that residents could be displaced if communities do not take steps to protect themselves.

Global sea levels have risen by 7 to 8 inches since 1900, a team of scientists wrote in a 673-page draft government report dated June 28, The New York Times reported Monday. Sea levels are “very likely” to rise another 3 to 6 inches by 2030, due mainly to increasing temperatures and melting ice, and the effects could include more floods and major storms, the draft report found.

Some scientists and elected officials debate the extent, severity and causes of the changes.

But on Long Island, major developers and small-scale builders say they are responding to a growing incidence of routine floods, as well as major storms like Sandy.

In RXR’s Glen Cove complex, all residences will be located 18 to 22 feet above the level reached by a so-called 100-year storm — that is, a storm with a 1 percent chance of happening in a given year, the developer said. Even at RXR’s Ritz-Carlton development in North Hills — more than 2 miles from Manhasset Bay — the developer is girding for storms. Two tractor-trailer-sized generators can provide full power to the first 110 condominiums, and another three will be added as the complex grows to 230 units. The generators are expected to cost $3.5 million, said Joe Graziose, senior vice president at RXR.

Protecting investments

RXR chief executive Scott Rechler was determined to make the Ritz-Carlton “Sandy-proof,” despite the added cost, since many buyers lived on the North Shore and lost power when Sandy hit, Graziose said.

Developers say their primary concern is protecting their own investments and those of prospective buyers.

“The last person you’re going to talk about being a tree-hugger is me,” Graziose said. “This is all about infrastructure. At the end of the day, you want to build something that’s going to last a long time.”

In East Rockaway, Beechwood said all residences will be almost 13 feet above the high-water mark from Sandy.

“The key is just to build higher,” said Steven Dubb, a principal with the company and son of its founder, Michael Dubb. “We want to make sure we can survive superstorm Sandy, or worse.”

In downtown Riverhead, the Community Development Corp. of Long Island and Conifer Realty are building 45 apartments that will be on the second floor or higher to protect them from floods, said Gwen O’Shea, chief executive of the Centereach development corporation. The electrical systems will be at least 2 feet above the height of a 100-year storm.

The same developers also are building 90 apartments in Copiague. At both complexes, builders are using materials designed to protect against floods and major storms, such as hurricane-resistant windows. Both complexes will rent to residents with low to moderate incomes.

“We have such a limited number of affordable housing options on Long Island that as we rehabilitate or develop new properties, doing so in a way that is resilient allows the investment to be that much more sustainable and long-term,” O’Shea said.

The Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery contributed $4.55 million to the cost of the Riverhead project and $8.75 million for the apartments in Copiague. Those awards were part of a $79.2 million program to replace affordable housing throughout the state in areas hit by Sandy and other storms, an agency spokeswoman said.

Protecting new residences from storms “makes good economic and business sense and thoughtful social policy,” Lisa Bova-Hiatt, executive director of the recovery office, said in a statement.

In Long Beach, new single-family homes also include protection from floods.

Read more ...

Newsday Long Island (
Jesse Coburn, Staff Writer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

"An architecture firm hired by the Town of Babylon recently completed guidelines for the design of building facades in downtown Copiague, officials said.

The guidelines, which address materials, signs, windows and a host of other design considerations, are the latest step in Babylon’s yearslong campaign to spruce up the South Shore hamlet.

With its railroad station and small commercial core, Copiague could host a bustling, walkable downtown akin to those of nearby Babylon and Farmingdale villages, according to officials including Amy Pfeiffer, the director of the town’s Office of Downtown Revitalization.

But the “visual clutter” of building facades in Copiague — where jumbled signs cover monotonous surfaces — do little to achieve that goal, according to the report prepared by In. Site: Architecture, a Perry, New York-based firm.

To fix that, the firm offered pointers to help property owners establish a cohesive architectural identity in downtown Copiague and create a street environment that appeals to pedestrians. While the area lacks the large stock of charismatic prewar buildings that define other downtowns, this offers “a chance for Copiague to define its own character,” the report said.

Read more ...