The Sisters of St. Joseph is ready to sell its former academy on Long Island in the name of affordable housing.
Local nonprofit Concern Housing is in contract to purchase the academy buildings in Brentwood, Newsday reported. The deal to purchase the structures — which span 500,000 square feet and occupies roughly 7 percent of the total campus — hasn’t closed yet.
Should the deal close as anticipated, Concern Housing will convert the property into 140 affordable apartments. Half of the units will be designated as supportive housing, where residents such as veterans, seniors and those with disabilities will be able to receive social services.
The units without a supportive housing designation will be reserved for those earning no more than 60 percent of Long Island’s area median income; some units will be reserved for those earning even less.
The project is expected to cost $100 million, according to Concern Housing’s Ralph Fasano. The developer will utilize low-income housing and historic tax credits to fund the project and apply for aid from both New York state and Suffolk County.
It will require a zoning change by the Town of Islip, as well as infrastructure improvements such as a new sewage plant. There is plenty of parking onsite, however, thanks to a partnership with Eastern Suffolk BOCES. Fasano aims to close on financing for the project by next year and complete construction in either late by 2027.
The private school closed in 2009. The sisters, who have owned the grounds since 1896, will still house programs across the campus, such as its afterschool programs and ESL classes. Hundreds of sisters will also continue to be housed on the campus.
“Those buildings were worn,” Sister Tesa Fitzgerald, president of the Sisters of St. Joseph, told Newsday. “They served their purpose and really needed a complete repurposing.”
— Holden Walter-Warner