Smart Talk April 28th – May 4th, 2018

Check out this week’s Smart Talk where we review the second phase of Renaissance Downtown’s Huntington Station development, look at Lindenhurst’s proposed zoning changes, explore the possibility of new options for the Nassau HUB, and more…

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April 28th – May 4th, 2018


REGIONAL UPDATES

Long Island Business News

Long Island Business News is Long Island’s only publication devoted to local commerce and has been the premier source of news and data on business, economic trends and the region’s robust entrepreneurial sector for more than 60 years. As the area’s No. 1 source for news on Long Island’s 149,000-plus businesses, they pay special attention to the region’s leading sectors: education, health care, high-tech, financial and professional services, and commercial real estate and development. In addition to their 52 weekly editions, they publish a full line of annual publications, including the Book of Lists, the Tech Island Directory, the Meeting Planner’s Guide and Doing Business on Long Island.

“A lot has changed and we want to make sure we’re getting the best proposal. While BDG has improved its proposal from what we originally saw, the county should be able to choose from a range of options for the site.” – Vision Long Island’s Placemaking Director Elissa Kyle speaking on the Nassau HUB proposal

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Please Join us for the 
2018 Long Island Smart Growth Awards!

Please join us for the 17th Annual Long Island Smart Growth Awards Friday, June 8th from 11:00am to 2:00pm at the Crest Hollow Country Club. This annual event will showcase the best in class of real people and projects that represent the transformation of our downtowns and investment in infrastructure for Long Island communities.

We have received over 45 deserving nominations and the winners start with Regional Leadership Awards to John Kominicki (Posthumously) and Denise Carter of Greenman Pedersen. The project and organizational honorees includeGeorgica Green and Town of Riverhead for Housing Choices as well as D&F Development and the Village of PatchogueNassau Council of Chambers of Commerce and Suffolk County Alliance of Chambers  for Small Business; Village of Rockville Centre for Sense of Place; Hicksville Chamber of Commerce, Hicksville Community Council, and Town of Oyster Bay for Revitalizing Communities; Kings Park Civic Association and Kings Park Chamber of Commerce for Citizen Participation; Tritec Development and the Village of Port Jefferson for Strengthening Communities; Long Island Compostfor Environmental Leadership; NICE Bus for Transportation Choices; and the Governor’s Office of Storm RecoveryCommunity Reconstruction Program for Infrastructure.

Sponsorship Packages and 
Journal Ad Space is Available!

ONLINE REGISTRATION IS AVAILABLE

The event is annually attended by a broad array of community, government and business leaders. Last year’s luncheon featured over 900 guests so secure your spot now!  

You can register online here. For any questions please contact our offices at info@visionlongisland.org631-261-0242 or contact Eric Alexander at 631-804-9128.

Thanks again for your support and know that every dollar goes directly towards our collective efforts of downtown renewal and infrastructure investment across Long Island.   We look forward to seeing you in June!

Renaissance Downtowns Second Phase Approved at Huntington Station

The next phase of construction for Renaissance Downtowns at Huntington Station is currently being planned.

This new phase will be a $21 million project called Gateway Plaza at Huntington Station and will be a mixed-use redevelopment featuring 61,000 square feet of apartments, commercial, and retail space.  The project is located near the corner of Olive Street and New York Ave in Huntington Station, a couple of blocks away from the train station.  It will feature 66 studios, one- and two-bedroom units, but mostly 1 bedrooms, and around 13,000 square feet of ground floor retail and commercial space.  Renaissance is working with the Suffolk County IDA to secure a package of economic incentives in order to help move the project forward.

The site is currently made up of a number of lots with some owned by the Town and others owned privately.  It also sees an estimated 18,000 foot traffic trips daily according to officials.  It is hoped that this traffic will help spur development in what has been an underutilized municipal site into one that generates income and an economic boost to the surrounding area.

Vision is pleased to see this second project, which is tied to the Huntington Station revitalization and Renaissance Downtowns, move forward with a majority vote by the Huntington Town Board.  While many efforts in the past have stalled due to lack of community input, the persistent efforts of Source the Station and local community leaders have been instrumental in keeping these projects on track.

You can read more here.

Lindenhurst Approves Zoning Change for 260 Rental Units Across from LIRR

Vision was out this week in support of Tritec Development’s proposed project in Lindenhurst, which will bring 260 units of rental housing just across from the LIRR station. Over 50 residents, Civics and business owners were in attendance as the Board voted unanimously 4-0 to let the development that will sit next to an existing senior housing development move ahead.

Several in attendance asked for a public referendum for zoning change to the floating zone known as the Downtown Redevelopment Zone. Concerns included worries about an influx of children in the school district, a lack of parking, increased traffic, and strains on public safety, ground water quality concerns, and low income housing being allowed at the property.  Most if not all of these concerns were addressed in a FAQ page on the Village’s website posted last month. 

Village Deputy Mayor Maryann Weckerle answered questions regarding tax abatements and PILOTS for the project. The Village will receive the taxes that are currently being paid on the properties for five years. Thereafter, taxes will increase in 20% increments over five years, where on year 10, full assessment for the new development will be paid to the village.

Many residents and business owners expressed a will for the development to be granted the zoning change, hoping for revitalization in their downtown similar to what has been seen in Farmingdale, Patchogue and other areas that have worked on transit-oriented development projects. Conor Hartnett, who owns Mary Carroll’s pubs in Babylon Village and Huntington and is about to open a restaurant in downtown Lindenhurst, said the project will be a boon for the village’s lagging downtown. “I’m hearing from a lot of business people,” he told the board. “There’s a huge interest primarily because of Tritec.” Legislator Kevin McCaffrey, who was a Village Board member for 24 years and is a Lindenhurst resident himself, spoke in support of the zoning change, saying that “this will change the Village forever and I hope that it does.”

Trustees acknowledged that it was a difficult decision, all mentioned their passion and excitement for the project as a starting ground. Trustee RJ Renna read a letter from Mayor Michael Lavorata, who was absent from the meeting, in strong support of the zoning approval. The statement closed with “I believe the time has come to think outside the box that has suffocated meaningful change and chart a new course for our Downtown. Let the message be loud and clear. Lindenhurst is open for business. I urge you to vote yes.”

Two prior hearings had hundreds of residents with a folks in favor outweighing opponents by more than 2-1.

You can read more about the vote to move ahead with the development here.

Oyster Bay Holds Meeting on Cerro Wire Project

Vision Long Island attended a meeting earlier this week to listen the Syosset community and speak at the Syosset Park public hearing at a special meeting of the Town of Oyster Bay Board.

The proposal would redevelop about 93 acres of mostly industrially zoned land into a planned town center community with 625 residences, 464,000 square feet of retail, entertainment and restaurant space, 200,000 square feet of office space, two hotels totaling 350 rooms and a 30-acre park.  The site, bordered by Robbins Lane on the west and the Long Island Expressway on the south, is made up of the 39-acre former Cerro Wire property and 54 acres that house the Town of Oyster Bay’s public works facilities, the town’s animal shelter and the former Syosset landfill.

The development group, headed by shopping mall developer Simon Property Group, also includes Garden City-based Albanese Organization and Castagna Realty.  The development team outlined their three year DEIS process and described the history and current composition of the project.  The developer’s team also made some points about past cleanup efforts on the site from four reviewing agencies including USEPA, NYS DEC, NYS DOH and NC DOH.

Over 700 people were in attendance with a majority of speakers opposed to the project.  The largest issues raised were tied to potential environmental and school district impacts and the construction schedule.  However, we did see preference from the hundreds of residents that attended for mixed use with a mix of housing types that are tax positive cleans up a blighted site, creates office and retail is a place to live, work and shop that is walkable internally.

Despite the merits of the project and the public support that shaped the current proposal the community needs to trust the development process. The public does not typically trust large scale projects that are regional in nature and tonight’s hearing was no exception or a surprise.  Moving forward answers in the area of environmental remediation, school district and construction impacts need to be put forward. Hopefully the hundreds of residents with questions and concerns can stay engaged to help create the best possible project.

Floral Park LIRR Station Improvements Unveiled

In a special meeting last Wednesday 3rd Track Constructors (3TC), the firm hired to undertake the third track project, revealed improvements for the LIRR station in a sneak peek for local residents.

The improvements include three elevators, with two placed at either side of the station and one in the center.  The elevators will made of glass as a safety feature in order to ensure that nobody is assaulted.  Existing escalators will remain in place in addition to the new elevators.  While the functionality of the elevators was welcomed by the crowd, some questioned the aesthetic of the design and the possibility of debris collecting on the elevator floor that would then be visible from the outside.

Improvements will also include a sound-retaining wall.  Plans for the wall have not been finalized with 3TC in talks with the Village on color and texture, but it was revealed that the wall will be 4 feet higher than current track height.

Michael Guter, a design coordinator for 3TC, presented the plan to the group of about 60 residents and board members for the Village.  The audience also had the opportunity to ask questions and provide comments for Floral Park’s architectural review board. “In general I think it’s a very good addition to the Floral Park station,” said architectural review board chairman, Frank Gunther. “It’s sound and pragmatic to me and it’s done in an aesthetically pleasing way.”

You can read more about this here and here.

Nassau County Explores Options for Nassau HUB

Vision was out last night at the Nassau Legislature in support of a new RFP for the Coliseum property at the Nassau HUB. Nassau County Executive Laura Curran wants to see what their options are on the site and groups calling for a new RFP along with Vision included the LIBI, the LIA and others. The LI Federation of Labor showed no position on the current development proposal but expressed that the County Executive should be given time to put her stamp on the plans considering the past two administrations had two terms to move forward. 

Strangely the Hempstead Supervisor showed up with a golden shovel to oppose a new RFP and call for moving forward with the sports themed outlet mall that is proposed based on the old plans for the site. 

Town of Hempstead Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney issued a statement saying she supports Curran’s efforts to bring “transformative and smart growth redevelopment” to the Coliseum property.

“The discussion needs to continue and evolve, including keeping all options on the table in order to come to the common goal of building a vibrant local economy,” Sweeney said in the statement.

While the decision to move forward on a new RFP rests with the County it is worth checking to see where other Hempstead Board members land on development alternatives for the HUB. 

What added an exclamation point to barreling through with the sports & outlet mall proposal was testimony from a Uniondale resident. He reminded the Nassau Legislature that they haven’t been a part of any plans in recent years and they along with other surrounding communities are the most impacted by these decisions. Impacted communities surrounding the HUB including East Meadow, Hempstead, Garden City and Salisbury have also not been part of planning the one proposal left. 

After 25 years of planning and some positive public investment that has been made from the State ($85 million for a parking garage) and Federal government (major upgrade of Cedar Creek Treatment Plant) there should be a project that brings jobs, housing and is a real destination for the area. 

What the Town of Hempstead can do to assist the process is not rush an existing proposal without viewing alternatives but instead fixing some of the structural problems in the antiquated zoning code they put forward many years ago after the proposed Lighthouse project.

“A lot has changed and we want to make sure we’re getting the best proposal,” said Vision Long Island’s Placemaking Director Elissa Kyle. “While BDG has improved its proposal from what we originally saw, the county should be able to choose from a range of options for the site.”

Check out the article in LI Business News.

Belmont Residents Still not Impressed with Arena Proposal After Q&A

Residents from Elmont, Franklin Square, and Floral Park gathered with other Long Island residents at the Elmont Memorial Library to ask about the proposed Belmont Park Arena.

Richard Browne, managing partner of Sterling Property Development, oversaw a Q&A meant to combat some of the negative feedback from local residents and retailers.  A lot of the concern comes from the idea that tailgaters and patrons of the Arena would interfere with local shopping and possibly obstruct customers.  In response to this the parking lot was moved to what is dubbed “Site B,” where they were originally placed.  Other changes include moving the proposed hotel closer to the arena and making the retail space a single level to avoid distributive construction near residents.

However, residents expressed worry at the parking lot move, which now places it near a residential area.  They cited security, parking, and congestion as issues that might arise from the move.  The developers have proposed possibly issuing parking permits to local residents to assuage some of those worries.  They also added that they will invest significant money into 24/7 security for the area.

Residents still expressed opposition to the proposed development, wondering at the feasibility of a new arena when there is already an arena nearby.  Some called for the Islanders to explore the option of moving to the newly proposed arena at the Ronkonkoma HUB.  There was also a feeling that community input was being effectively ignored and instead the project was being pushed through.  The developers have pledged to continue meeting with the community and is currently conducting an Environmental Impact Study.

You can read more here and here.

Infrastructure Week 2018 Kicks Off on May 14th

The 6th Annual Infrastructure Week will begin on May 14th with kickoff events in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.  The event will feature more than 360 organizations and nearly 100 nationwide events.  U.S. Transportation Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Cho will keynote the D.C. event and Mayor Eric Garcetti will help launch the Los Angeles event.  They will share a lineup of corporate CEOs, labor leaders, and mayors from across America for a half-day of thought-provoking discussion on critical infrastructure topics.  You can preview the D.C. event here and LA event here.

Individual events will be taking place across the country in several states that you can look up here.  They also provide shareable social media content here, and ask that you use #TimeToBuild if you’re posting online.  You can follow the event on twitter at @infraweek.

You can view more information on the weeklong event here.

SunPower by EmPower Solar Holds Student Solar Competition, Registration Open until May 15th

EmPower Solar was founded in 2003 after participating in the DOE Solar Decathlon; a competition that encouraged us to problem solve, get creative and innovate our way to a sustainable future.  Fifteen years later, they carry this story with them and each year encourage students to get involved in the STEM and energy fields with a contest of their own. This year, they have partnered with the Alley Pond Environmental Center to launch the 2018 Student Solar Contest.

Students will compete by answering the common question of: How do our energy choices affect wildlife and our environment? Through posters, business letters, and mock-interview style videos, students will compete for scholarships and other prizes.
Students K-12 on LI and in NYC can sign up their teams here.  Registration is open until May 15th with final projects due on June 15th and the award ceremony on August 24th. 

The 2018 AARP Community Challenge

Have a great project for your community? The AARP Community Challenge is giving grants to fund quick action projects in areas such as housing, transportation, and public space that spark change and help build momentum to improve livability for all residents. It takes time to build great communities. But, AARP also believes that quick action can spark longer-term progress. The AARP Community Challenge funds projects that build momentum for local change to improve livability for all residents. Apply now at ww.AARP.org/CommunityChallenge. Application deadline is 5:00 pm on May 16, 2018.

NYS Launches Third Round of Downtown Revitalization Initiative

This week saw the launching of the third round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, which is a $100 million investment in 10 downtowns across New York State each year.

The program enters its third year as an investment program aimed at investing in local economies in order to better create vibrant neighborhoods and raise quality of life across the state.  The program selects one community in each of the ten Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) zones to receive a $10 million grant.  Criteria for selecting nominees include:

• The downtown should be compact, with well-defined boundaries; 
• The municipality, or the downtown’s catchment area, should be of sufficient size to support a vibrant, year-round downtown; 
• The downtown is able to capitalize on prior or catalyze future private and public investment in the neighborhood and its surrounding areas; 
• There should be recent or impending job growth within, or in close proximity to the downtown that can attract workers to the downtown, support redevelopment and make growth sustainable; 
• The downtown must be an attractive and livable community for diverse populations of all ages, including existing residents, millennials and skilled workers; 
• The municipality should already embrace or have the ability to create and implement policies that increase livability and quality of life, including the use of local land banks, modern zoning codes and parking standards, complete streets plans, energy efficient projects, green jobs, and transit-oriented development; 
• The municipality should have conducted an open and robust community engagement process resulting in a vision for downtown revitalization and a preliminary list of projects and initiatives that may be included in a DRI strategic investment plan; and 
• The municipality has identified transformative projects that will be ready for implementation with an infusion of DRI funds within the first one to two years.

The program has previously awarded both the Village of Westbury and downtown Hicksville a grant to help with revitalization efforts in those communities.  It is also a priority for the Long Island Lobby Coalition, who has supported funding for revitalization for years. 

Interested municipalities can get more information and apply through New York State’s DRI page, located here.  June 1st is the deadline for submissions.

Smart Growth Action Grants Available from National Association of Realtors

Smart growth is an approach to development that encourages a mix of building types and uses, diverse housing and transportation options, development within existing neighborhoods, and community engagement. The Smart Growth Program offers state and local REALTOR® Associations to way to engage with government officials, community partners and the general public in planning and designing community’s future.

Smart Growth Action Grants support a wide range of land-use and transportation-related activities. These activities must support REALTOR® engagement in land-use and/or transportation-related community issues with the primary goal of affecting public policies that support development that meets one or more of the 10 Smart Growth Principles. The project should also raise the profile of REALTORS® as community leaders and enhance REALTOR® relationships with local elected officials. There are no program prerequisites to applying for or being awarded a Smart Growth Action Grant.

You can see the different types of grants available and how to apply here.

Cinco de Mayo on Long Island

This year there are a number of fantastic options for good Mexican eats and drinks on Long Island. Pink Tie is also holding a Cinco de Mayo event at the Refuge. Newsday has great coverageon all the events going down in Patchogue. You can also check out Long Island Pulse’s top 5 eateries here. Whatever you decide to do, don’t forget to check out your local downtown for great events and eats tomorrow, and remember to be responsible!

Smart Talk

Editor:
Christopher Kyle, Communications Director

Contributors:
Eric Alexander, Director; Tawaun Weber, Assistant Director; 
Elissa Kyle, Planning Director; Jon Siebert, Program Coordinator

We strive to provide continued quality publications like this every week. If you have any news or events that you would like to add to our newsletter, submit them to info@visionlongisland.org for consideration.

If you are interested in becoming a newsletter or news blast sponsor, please call the office at 631-261-0242 for rates and opportunities.

Vision Long Island
24 Woodbine Ave., Suite Two 
Northport, NY 11768 
Phone: 631-261-0242. Fax: 631-754-4452.
Email: info@visionlongisland.org

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