"It fits in," he said. "We really used the old building as a starting point, using the same materials, brick, stone, glass. We're really trying to complement the existing style of architecture. "
The atrium lets in light and serves as a link as well as a contrast between the old, neo-Georgian historic building and the new addition.
The project not only gives Suffolk a bigger, newer courthouse, but plays a role in the development of the area. "The building is part of the revitalization of Riverhead," Monastero said.
Sunrise Business Center
3500 Sunrise Highway,
Size: 161,000 square feet
Cost: Not disclosed
Developer: Metropolitan Realty Associates
Architect: Combined Resources Consulting Design
Although Long Island has its share of big projects, few are on the scale of the Sunrise Business Center, three interconnected buildings totaling 360,000 square feet, including two already occupied.
The third, a 136,000-square-foot warehouse is being converted into first class office space in a project that also includes the addition of 25,000 square feet. The other buildings are getting cosmetic upgrades.
Joe Farkas, president of Metropolitan Realty Associates in Garden City, bought the Great River complex in September 2006 for about $20 million from a joint venture of Rudin Management of Manhattan and Cogswell Realty, both based in Manhattan.
Although shovels didn't go into the ground last year, planning and design began for this major Central Suffolk project in the fourth quarter of 2006.
"The real estate market has discounted the location for the last decade as a viable office market - I fully disagree," said Farkas, who believes the real estate market will continue heading east, making Central Suffolk buildings more attractive.
The economics also work. Farkas plans to lease the new office building for $19.50 per square foot, far below the nearly $30 being charged in some Melville buildings.
Farkas negotiated a 15-year pilot program with the Town of Islip Industrial Development Agency to reduce real estate takes to $1.62 a square foot, well below the $3 standard for many competing buildings.
"It's an unbelievable benefit to tenants and it saves them tremendous amounts of money," he said.
Touro Law Center
Size: 185,000 square feet
Cost: $35 million
Developer: Touro Law Center
Architect: Baldassano Architecture
Touro in December unveiled its new, 185,000-square-foot campus, designed by Ronkonkoma-based Baldassano Architecture on Belt Drive in Central Islip. The Parr Organization developed the $35 million project, which broke ground in March 2005.
Touro had been housed in a renovated junior high school in Huntington, but now offers nearly 800 full- and part-time students a state-of-the-art facility clad in pre-cast concrete and metal panels, adjacent to federal and state court buildings.
The new Touro includes a 42,000-square-foot law library, a 500-seat auditorium also used as a moot court room and a four-story atrium. Bryan Richter, project architect, said the atrium "pumps people through all areas" of the facility "like a heart. "
The design includes seating in numerous nooks and crannies throughout the building, designed to give students a place to sit and socialize. Outside planters double as benches; U-shaped seminar rooms were laid out to promote communication.
Dean Lawrence Raful said the new look is so appealing that students aren't so quick to leave the campus after class.
"This is an inviting, comfortable environment," Raful said. "We are finding that students are remaining in the building throughout the day, where before, many left right after class. "