Affordable housing lottery held for 5-9 Grace Ave. complex

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The Galleria, located along Grace Avenue, is home to 30 apartments and two new retail spaces. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)
The Galleria, located along Grace Avenue, is home to 30 apartments and two new retail spaces. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

Great Neck Plaza and the Long Island Housing Partnership hosted a lottery for three affordable housing apartments in the 30-unit Galleria apartment complex at 5-9 Grace Ave. last Wednesday night, with a young family being among the winners.

Great Neck Plaza Mayor Jean Celender said there were about 20 people in attendance and 73 applications from “all over the place” for three affordable housing units, which included two one-bedroom apartments and one two-bedroom apartment.

“It was a nice young family with their daughter and they were so excited,” Celender said of the applicant selected for the two-bedroom apartment. “So hopefully they have the right income and qualifications. Hopefully, that two bedroom would be for them.”

Celender said that with these lotteries, the first names drawn could be winners and able to move in quickly, but sometimes not everyone is able to meet the qualifications. Other names end up on a waiting list.

The Long Island Housing Partnership is working with the developer to ensure compliance with regulations and the agreement with Great Neck Plaza over the affordable housing units. The group accepted applications for the units, managed the marketing and then held the lottery.

Zoning regulations require that 10 percent of units go toward workforce housing.

Under the agreement, the units can only be rented only to people with a household income between 50 and 100 percent of the average income on Long Island area as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Hooshang Nematzadeh, the developer for 5-9 Grace Ave., said the market rate prices for these apartments tend to be over $3,000 a month. But with the affordable units, the cost is roughly halved, he said.

“The one-bedrooms started at $3,300 a month and at the lottery, I believe the affordable or workforce housing, whichever you call it, was $1,585, almost half price,” Nematzadeh said. “And our two bedrooms start at about $4,300 and the two-bedroom unit was $1,890 or $1,880, so less than half price.”

Among the building’s features are a gym, rooftop facility, Jacuzzi, balconies and all marble floors, as well as proximity to the train station.

Village Clerk Patricia O’Byrne said there are more than 20 affordable housing units in Great Neck Plaza between the 19 at the Maestro at 255 Great Neck Road, which decided to make 20 percent of its units affordable housing, and the three at 5-9 Grace Ave.

When the 15 Bond Street development is finished, that will add seven units, while 16 Maple Drive – still going through the approval process – would add two more, O’Byrne said.

This number excludes other items in the pipeline, Celender said, as they are in talks with developers.

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