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Tax Break Extension for Heartland Expected

While movement on developer Jerry Wolkoff's plan to rehab the former Pilgrim State site in Brentwood into a mixed-use community have been slow going, Islip plans to keep tax breaks in place.

It's looking like the Heartland Business Center in Brentwood will get a new 10-year extension on its tax break in the Town of Islip, while developer Jerry Wolkoff continues to push forward his plan to build a village on the former Pilgrim State Psychiatric Hospital site.

According to Newsday, Islip Industrial Development Agency head Bill Mannix said the board will likely approve the extension at its Feb. 12 meeting.

Read the Newsday story here (subscription required)

Wolkoff's vision for the 450-acre project, which has been scaled back in recent years due to traffic concerns, centers on creating a business, arts and affordable housing center that would be a first of its kind on Long Island. The plans include 9,000 apartments, offices, a theater, a hotel and many art spaces, all arranged in a way where folks can walk to all major attractions.

Opponents of the tax break say the town is losing out on a considerable sum in taxes. Newsday reported that Wolkoff paid $1.6 million for taxes in 2012, which would have been $3.5 million if not for the tax breaks.

This comes after Islip raised property taxes by 28 percent in November to bridge a $26 million budget gap.

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