http://www.recordonline.com/news/201805 ... ing-course
WOODBURY - More than 40 houses are under
construction or soon will be in Woodbury Junction, the 451-home project that stalled for several years and has shifted course with a new developer and a stream of Hasidic home buyers from nearby Kiryas Joel and Brooklyn.
Building inspector Gary Thomasberger said this week that 111 homes in the development are now occupied or approved for occupancy, and that he had issued building permits for the next 38 houses and would soon approve another five. Most of the houses for which he had issued permits were in some stage of construction.
All of the new homes are being built with second kitchens that observant Jews use during Passover, a reflection of the current market for a development in transition. Property records indicate that mostly Kiryas Joel and Brooklyn families or investors have so far bought at least 47 existing and future homes in Woodbury Junction since the project changed hands, paying about $475,000 for a typical Colonial-style house with five bedrooms.
Many of the people selling their houses had lived there just three or four years.
Brooklyn developer George Kaufman and his business partners bought 327 undeveloped lots in Woodbury Junction for $35.5 million in February 2016, and later paid another $7 million for the 26 remaining lots and houses that had not been sold. The original developer, Bill Brodsky, had received zoning breaks a decade earlier that tripled the number of homes he was allowed to build, but construction petered out after less than a quarter of his project had been built.
Brodsky later became Kaufman’s builder after selling off the undeveloped property.
One point of friction since the turnover has been a restriction in the original plans that allows only people 55 and older to live in 130 of the homes, about 30 of which have been built. Some residents in those homes wanted Woodbury to lift that restriction, arguing their houses would be worthless if they couldn’t sell them to younger families when they wanted to move. But it’s up to Kaufman to initiate such a request, and he has yet to do so.
What he has done, unexpectedly, is resume construction of 55-and-older homes. Thomasberger said five such houses are now being built.
In the meantime, a family that was cited for violating the age restriction - which is written into town law - is expected to challenge that restriction in court, after the Zoning Board of Appeals turned down their request for a variance in February. Relatives bought the family of eight from Kiryas Joel their age-restricted house for $420,000 last year, and the family was later ticketed and faced fines of up to $500 a week.