Concordia study finds rents affordable for Riverhead seniors

Suffolk County Planning Commission, Mill Road, Riverhead
BARBARELLEN FILE KOCH PHOTO | The Concordia project is planned for this Mill Road property. 

Amid claims by some Riverhead Town officials that a proposed 189-unit assisted living complex on Mill Road isn’t affordable to most local senior citizens, the company behind the proposal, Corcordia Senior Communities, has released an “analysis of affordability issues” about the project that combats those claims.

Corcordia CEO Ronald DeVito notes in the study, commissioned by the company, that monthly costs would include rent, real estate taxes, insurance and electric, water and gas payments, along with meals, housekeeping, laundry and other services all in one bill.

The company’s draft site plan shows 100 independent living units, and also includes 65 “enriched” housing units, which have a higher level of care, 12 enhanced assisted living residences, for seniors who require enhanced levels of care and skilled nursing services, and 12 special needs assisted living residences, for seniors who suffer from cognitive impairments like Alzheimer’s disease.

The complex would be built on property north of The Home Depot on Route 58.

The most expensive of these units rents for $11,400 per month, according to Concordia. All of the units are intended for people ages 65 and over.

Using demographic data from Claritas, a national demographics research company, Concordia says that in 2012, Riverhead’s senior (over 55) population totaled 11,109 and was expected to grow to 12,932 by 2017. The research found that 5,269 seniors have incomes greater than $75,000 per year and, “therefore, have the financial means to pay monthly rates that exceed $5,000.”

The research found that 2,471 Riverhead seniors with incomes ranging from $50,000 to $74,999 per month could afford monthly rates of between $4,000 and $4,999; and that 5,958 Riverhead seniors have incomes between $20,000 and $50,000 per year and, “therefore, have the financial means to pay monthly rates of $1,800 for the companion suites in the enriched housing program [where additional medical services are provided] and the monthly rate of $3,950 for the one-bedroom independent living apartments.”

The project so far does not have support from a majority of Town Board members to approve a zone change needed for the Mill Road site.

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