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Suffolk Water Authority sells surplus land

Rick Brand

The Suffolk County Water Authority has sold its first piece of surplus land and is putting on the market a half-dozen other vacant tracts, including a million dollar-plus parcel overlooking Lake Montauk.

The first tract to sell was one-acre for $240,000 in Lake Ronkonkoma on Center Street, late last month to Campo Brothers developers of Port Jefferson.

The authority will put out a request for proposals next week on two commercial properties -- a Southold building once used by former water authority chairman Michael LoGrande as an office, and a former technical support center in Oakdale on Sunrise Highway.

The half-dozen vacant tracts -- from Montauk to Islandia -- also went on the market Tuesday under separate RFPs. All bids are due by May 4.

"We think the real estate market is starting to turn around, but if we don't get significant value for them we can hold on to them," said James Gaughran, authority chairman.

The list's premier site contains 1.2 acres on East Lake Drive in Montauk, at a minimum price of $1.2 million. Another site contains eight acres near the northeast corner of the Long Island Expressway and Old Nichols Road. The minimum price is $1.27 million.

"I think its reasonable for them to sell it," said Legis. Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk), referring to the Montauk site. He said the minimum prices is in line with local real estate values.

The push to sell surplus land follows a review of properties the authority had acquired over 60 years, mainly to dig wells, but which are no longer needed.