loader image

Demolition underway at vacant Freeport housing complex eyed for apartments

Author: Ted Phillips

Demolition underway at vacant Freeport housing complex eyed for apartments

A former public housing project in Freeport known as the Moxey Rigby property will become a modern housing development called The Gardens at Buffalo, according to the village’s mayor and the developer. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

A former public housing development in Freeport Village is merely a shell after months of demolition work that began in December.

“It’s more of a gut renovation,” said Benjamin Diehl, development manager at Lawrence-based BOSFA Properties, which plans to turn the long-vacant building into a new apartment complex. “We’re leaving the structure of the building.”

The demolition is about 70% complete, said Daniel Goldstein, founder and managing partner at BOSFA.


The 1958 Moxey Rigby property, which was managed by the village’s housing authority, was damaged during Superstorm Sandy in 2012. The village sold the property to BOSFA last year for $17.5 million after it responded to a request for proposals to develop it into a modern housing development called The Gardens at Buffalo, according to Mayor Robert Kennedy and the developer.

The plan will add two stories to existing three-story structures, according to the developer.

The interior walls have been removed, windows taken out and now the old bricks of the buildings are being carefully removed to be recycled for a second life in other buildings. Preserving the concrete columns and floor slab is taking longer than simply knocking it down but the developer says this approach has advantages. 

The 200-unit apartment building will get new plumbing, electric work, interior and exterior walls, an elevator shaft and a new roof, according to the developer. 

“Essentially it’s a brand-new building but you’re still using the actual concrete structure,” Goldstein said. “That’s saving you money, saving you time.”

One major change to the building is relocating utilities out of the basement to above the flood plain so that its electric systems aren’t vulnerable to future flooding, according to the developer. 

Construction is expected to begin in June and last from 18 to 24 months, Goldstein said.


In September, the Hempstead Industrial Development Agency approved tax breaks for the project. These include a 25-year payment in lieu of taxes agreement, a sales tax exemption on renovations, furnishings and fixtures and a mortgage recording tax exemption. The PILOT agreement will phase taxes beginning at $108,995 in the first year to $1.1 million by the 25th year after which it would go on the tax rolls. Property taxes after construction would have been an estimated $708,887 per year, according to application materials submitted to the IDA.

The apartments will include 10 studios, 100 one-bedrooms, 70 two-bedrooms and 20 three-bedroom units, according to project documents. The development will set aside 50 units for seniors and 50 units for veterans, according to the developer.

The project’s design went through some changes over the past year in response to aesthetic concerns raised by the village planning board.

“They said it almost looked like a medical building,” Diehl said.

The architect changed the façade to incorporate other materials. 


The original façade design was all stucco but the redesigned plan contains a mix of stucco, stone and a metal material that mimics wood, Diehl said.

“The planning board waited to get the right architectural design,” Kennedy said Thursday. “They wouldn’t just give out the permits without proper designs.”

Kennedy said the new housing will be an “asset” to the village.

Goldstein said making the changes wasn’t a problem.

“We just want to build something that, at the end of the day, everyone’s happy with.”

Original Source