Four buildings in various stages of completion are up right now in the Gleneagle Green at Bellport complex, good progress for the $30 million Atlantic Avenue construction; nine buildings in total are planned for the affordable housing project.
A bustle of activity at the site was witnessed last Friday.
“I drive past once a week to see the progress and it’s going up pretty quickly,” said Greater Bellport Coalition chair John Rogers.
“We’re working to get a few more local people employed. Ben Harper, the Community Based Initiative Program coordinator for the Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk Inc., just started having weekly meetings with [developer and D & F Development Group LLC principal] Peter Fleury to help promote employment of local people during the construction.”
Fleury confirmed he was meeting with Harper; there were about six on the job from Bellport.
“They were referred to us by the Bellport Hagerman East Patchogue Alliance or from pastors in the area,” he said. “We just brought on a couple more and are always looking for a good fit. In addition to labor jobs, we’ve also found skilled trade, and the contrac- tors have been able to hire them whether it’s carpentry, electrical or other skills. We’re actively looking to hire as many as we are able to have a good fit.”
Fleury said the structured playground area, landscaping and sitting areas are still on the table for the 7-acre site; it would be gated. Seventy units are planned with a community center. The project is under Bellport Residences LLC; LPD Management, under D & F Development Group, will manage the property.
The coronavirus hasn’t really put a dent in Fleury’s schedule. “We’re continuing to work, and thankfully, haven’t had much of an issue,” he said. “A lot of what’s involved is done outdoors.”
The project broke ground last May. Fleury had initially projected a completion date of May 2022.
"We’ll see if we can do that earlier,” he said. “If we can, maybe February or March 2022. The May date is the outside one.”
In the meantime, Rogers said Greater Bellport Coalition’s goal is help people who want to apply for the apartments so they’re ready from a financial perspective.
According to coalition member Nancy Marr, who works on economic empowerment, “We’ve asked Long Island Housing Partnership to run workshops or one-on-ones for people who want to apply and want to improve their credit. We asked them to develop a program.
“A lot of people are going to the Bellport Hagerman East Patchogue Alliance, asking ‘When can we get our name on the list?’ So we need to formalize that," she said.
People are inquiring, said executive director of BHEP Fred Combs, who is working with Fleury. “But right now, we’re closed for any workshops or one-on-one counseling,” he said, due to COVID. “Hopefully, we’ll be doing workshops again in July. But they can call us.”
BHEP can be reached at 631-286-9236.