43. Matt Whalen | The Long Island Press Power List

43. Matt Whalen

Avalon Bay Vice President for Development

Who but Matt Whalen could have imagined that the Town of Huntington would ever approve his plan to build a 379-unit development on a plot of land within walking distance of Huntington’s Long Island Rail Road station? He did have to downsize it to win community support and overcome the NIMBY-naysayers, but he persisted, and he got the town board’s backing. And so a mix of affordable and higher-end apartments to address the Island’s severe housing shortage is addressed, one place at a time. The initial 210 units of Avalon Rockville Centre were leased and occupied within seven months, and another 139 apartments are on track. AvalonBay’s Mitchel Field, which is nearing completion, offers 160 rental apartments, 44 rental town houses, and 19 single-family homes for sale. Next up, Whalen hopes to begin a big rental project at a former oil distribution and storage facility on Manhasset Bay. Good going.