Smart Talk February 1st – 7th, 2020

Check out this week’s Smart Talk where we look in on the newest mixed-use building in downtown Hicksville, celebrate pedestrian improvement grants for 7 Nassau communities, and more…

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February 1st – 7th, 2020


COMMUNITY UPDATES

Cronin & Cronin Law Firm, PLLC

Cronin & Cronin specializes in Tax Certiorari, protesting the real property tax assessments and condemnation for commercial properties throughout New York State. They have over 75 years of legal experience in New York State.

Theirr success in the field of Tax Certiorari is due to their reputation for honesty, integrity and excellence. Because of their reputation, as well as their extensive knowledge and years of experience in property matters, they have established a positive relationship with the various municipalities.

“We’re working harder than ever to make Nassau County attractive to young people, new residents, to businesses and people of all ages. One way is to create more of a downtown vibe in more places that we can.  They attract young people to stay here. All too often they leave for other places, or it’s not as fun as it could be.” – Nassau County Executive Laura Curran

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Hicksville’s First Mixed-Use Project Draws to Completion

Hicksville’s first mixed-use project, located just across the street from the local LIRR station, is a trust buliding measure for the community to show that changes can be positive in their downtown.

After ten years of planning with the Hicksville Chamber of Commerce, Hicksville Community Council, and multiple civic associations, this project is indicative of the downtown revitalization efforts finally lifting off.  This mixed use project was approved a couple of years ago and has been under construction for some time but is now open for business. Small office space mixed with apartments right by the train station replacing a long vacant building.

“The construction of new transit-oriented developments such as the one opening at 35 Broadway coupled with the state’s investment of funding and the MTA’s work to rehabilitate and modernize the Hicksville LIRR station will allow downtown Hicksville to achieve the type of revitalization it needs and deserves,” said Oyster Bay Deputy Commissioner of Planning Jim McCaffrey.

Developed by G2D Development from Huntington, the 27,000 square-foot building now features 18 rental units over a 6,000 square foot commercial space on the first floor.  That commercial space is a shared-office concept called WorkSmart.  This will be space that features affordable co-working space for local businesses that are looking for looking for accessible office space.

It’s also a return to the roots of the 1928 building is returning to its roots as it was originally mixed-use that was later turned into a 100% commercial space.  It was last occupied by American Dental Center, but had been vacant for several years by the time that G2D came along to redevelop it.  That $10 million project began in 2018, and has now come to fruition.

Hicksville has long been working towards this type of development, with zoning changes proposed as far back as 2016 that will allow for buildings with a variety of uses.  The downtown was also the beneficiary of a $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant, which has been the subject of numerous community meetings.  As part of that, the local LIRR station has recently completed a $121 million renovation.

Congratulations to G2D development and the Town of Oyster Bay for moving this project forward, and to all the members of the Hicksville Downtown Revitalization Committee who kept a positive public voice for over a decade.

You can read more at Long Island Business News.

Slow Progress for Hempstead’s Downtown

A recent article in Newsday has highlighted questions concerning the long delay that Village of Hempstead residents and business owners have been through in seeing redevelopment in their neighborhood.

The opportunities are and have been there, including the highest amount of active independent retail space anywhere in Long Island with tremendous small business diversity catering to a range of ethnic populations.  There is also great transportation access with a railroad station and regional bus terminal one block from each other and a local incorporated Village that can manage changes and building projects.  This usually paves the way for revitalization, unlike being caught as an unincorporated hamlet in a larger Town.

There are challenges in the downtown as well though.  These include dangerous pedestrian conditions and other public safety concerns, lack of a consistent consensus to carry through projects, less tax ratable property with a large percentage of government and not for profit buildings on Main Street, and a history of the Village not getting its fair share of grant revenue.  There is also a long history of development projects, some in the 80’s and 90’s, that have taken land from residents by eminent domain to create big box stores and rip away at the downtown fabric.

Despite this backdrop, in recent years there has been an effort to bring back their downtown area.  It has been contentious at times, but also has involved robust public engagement.  There has also been some good as the first three projects, two mixed use and one bus depot, are underway from three different developers.  A concern over what the remainder of the Village will look like is hopefully shaped by local leaders who ideally could reach consensus.

“It has all the ingredients to succeed,” said Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander. “It just needs unity among local residents and business owners in alignment with their local village. They’re close.”

Credit should go to the Village and community leaders who have been working diligently, both for and with their neighbors, to move different revitalization efforts forward.  We look forward to seeing progress that can hopefully gain steam and really spark a much-needed revitalization in the community.

You can read more at Newsday.

Glen Cove Approves 2-Year Ferry Service Contract

The City of Glen Cove voted unanimously this past week to approve a two-year contract worth more than $3 million with Hornblower N.Y. to run its local ferry service.

The new service will feature two trips in the morning and afternoon to the 34th Street ferry terminal in Manhattan.  That destination terminal was chosen from several possible sites after a survey of local residents.  The ferries will have a capacity of about 250 riders.  Ticket prices will be determined by a number of factors including ridership, advertising, and concession sales.

The development is the latest in the City’s efforts to have the service up and running by May of this year.  If the service is not completed by that time, the City will need to repay a $16.6 million federal grant thanks to an agreement made with the government in 2003.  Since then, Glen Cove has made several attempts to get ferry service going, but this is the most concrete one in years.

While there is a sense of optimism around the launch of the ferry, the City is also working on grants and subsidies to help with the cost.  The City Council is under the impression that Glen Cove will need to provide support for the service in order to ensure success.  A termination fee of a $1 million will be incurred if the service fails.

You can read more at the Long Island Herald.

Riverhead Town Board to Hold Second ‘Pattern Book’ Meeting on Downtown

The Riverhead Town Board will hold a second community forum next Thursday to discuss a ‘pattern-book’ design code for the downtown.

The meeting, scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Riverhead Senior Center, will be an opportunity for local residents to weigh in on preliminary design guidelines for the downtown area.  These guidelines were created by Urban Design Associates, the consultants on Riverhead’s downtown, after a November meeting where residents were asked to give ideas on what they’d like to see. 

The Town has asked that residents from that first meeting try and make it to this one so they can give feedback, as well as any other interested community members.  There is also a survey currently available on the Town’s website for anyone interested in giving input on the downtown.  That survey can be found here.

“I urge all residents to participate in this important community event,” said newly elected Supervisor Yvette Aguiar in a release. “Everyone’s opinion and ideas are welcomed. I look forward to continuing to work with Barry Long (of UDA) to ensure this effort comes to a productive conclusion for Riverhead. I met with Mr. Long in November and provided him with a list of concepts which have been incorporated.”

You can read more at the Riverhead News-Review.

MTA Approves Contract for Work on New Elmont Stop

The MTA has voted to approve a $65 million contract for construction of a new LIRR stop at Elmont as part of the Belmont Park Arena project.

The contract was awarded to Judlau Contracting, who has previously constructed the MTA’s Second Avenue subway station.  This new stop will be constructed on the Hempstead line and will feature two 12-car platforms, a pedestrian overpass, lighting, elevators, and an audio and visual announcement system.  The company estimates that work will be finished on the stops’d eastbound platform in time for the New York Islander’s 2021-22 season.

The inclusion of the stop was a later addition to the Belmont Arena Park plan after residents argued that the site will require a full-time stop.  The new station will sit on the border of Elmont and Bellerose Terrace and will have shuttle buses for riders to Belmont Park.

The project will cost $105 million, which was added to the MTA’s capital plan last September.  New York Arena Partners, the organization creating the Arena, will pay $30 million up front of the total costs and then reimburse the state for the remaining $70 million over the next 30 years.  The reimbursement will be interest free.

The plan remains unpopular among local residents, however, who see the benefits from the new stop as minimal for their community.  But it will be difficult to gauge effectiveness of the new station until the new Arena opens

You can read more at the Long Island Herald.

Nassau County to Distribute Over $1 Million in Grants for Seven Long Island Communities

Vision Long Island was happy to see Nassau County announce more than $1 million in federal funding for pedestrian safety and other improvements to downtown Farmingdale, Hicksville, Hempstead, Roslyn, Freeport, Long Beach and Elmont.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced the funding for communities at a press conference in Long Beach this past week. Each community is expected to receive $150,000 for infrastructure improvement.  These will include new crosswalks and street beautification and will encourage transit-oriented development in these communities.  The funding comes as a result of a grant application program created by Nassau County in October of last year.

“We’re working harder than ever to make Nassau County attractive to young people, new residents, to businesses and people of all ages,” said County Executive Curran.  “One way is to create more of a downtown vibe in more places that we can.  They attract young people to stay here. All too often they leave for other places, or it’s not as fun as it could be.”

Some of the specific projects have been announced already.  Long Beach has stated that they will use the funding to improve the area surrounding the LIRR station, Roslyn has announced new pedestrian amenities such as a walkway near the LIRR station, Hempstead Village will mill and replace a crosswalk by the local bus depot, Hicksville will make enhancements for pedestrian safety near their LIRR station, Farmingdale will invest in improved lighting in their downtown, Freeport is looking to improve its streetscape, and Elmont will fund façade improvements in its commercial area.

While there has been more activity and development on our Main Streets over the last 15+ years, there hasn’t been enough transformation of the pedestrian, and bike experience to make it safe through many in some cases dangerous roadways.  Vision is happy to see these grants and look forward to future rounds of funding.

You can read more at Newsday.

North Shore Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Now Open for Business

Glen Cove resident Ever Padilla had a vision for his local community of businesses after discovering the growth of the Hispanic community in his own neighborhood.

In spite of a number of new businesses catering to that community, Mr. Padilla discovered that there were still language and cultural barriers between them and needed resources across the island and region.  To help combat that he pulled together a number of other local business leaders and, after a couple of false starts, was able to get Long Island’s newest chamber of commerce off the ground.

The mission of the organization is to provide resources and a voice for local Hispanic voices hoping to expand on the North Shore.  Vice President Steve Pavlidas provides one part of that as a financial advisor, and has said he is eager to bring that knowledge to local businesses.  Mr. Pavlidas noted that most businesses fail without that sort of knowledge, which hurts the local economy as a whole.

Though their focus is on the Latino community, the group also noted that they are willing to work with anyone looking to improve their relationship with the local community.  Anyone who is looking to serve the local Latino community is welcome to reach out to the group on how best to do so.

Focused on the North Shore, the new chamber will attempt to recruit business owners from the Clen Cove, Huntington, and Port Washington community.  They are hoping to expand in the future if they hit their 300-member goal though, possibly as far east as the Hamptons.

“It’s a great thing that we’re officially up and running,” said Public Relations officer Bolivar Corella. “Now let’s give everyone a taste of that American dream.”

You can read more at the Long Island Herald.

Long Island Federation of Labor seeks Feedback on Child Care Needs of Local Residents

This past year Governor Andrew Cuomo is seeking to address the child care needs of the region. The Long Island region put forward a bold proposal to make child care available and affordable for all families. 

Now the Long Island Federation of Labor is looking into how to do just that.  They’re looking to better understand the child care needs of Long Island’s workforce.  To that effect, they have released a survey to garner feedback.

This survey is designed to understand the child care needs based on various work schedules, shift-workers, etc. The information collected will inform the Federation and other efforts to expand the supply of quality, affordable child care on Long Island.

Please help out by taking and sharing this short survey and encouraging local residents to participate.  It should take less than 10 minutes to complete.

10th Annual Great Neck Plaza Poetry Contest Deadline Extended  to February 14th

Poets still interested in participating in the Plaza’s Tenth Annual Poetry Contest, may continue to submit their entries. The new deadline date for submissions is Friday, February 14, 2020.

Contest Rules are the following:

1. Poets 18 years of age and older who reside in Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, Manhattan, Bronx, and Brooklyn are invited to submit up to three (3) unpublished poems, along with an entry fee, non-refundable, of $15. The entry fee should be made payable by check or money order to “Long Island Traditions.”
2. Poems may be on any subject, in any style, must have a title, and must not exceed more than 30 lines per poem.
3. We also ask that poets type their poems in single-space format.
4. Poets must include two copies of each poem, one anonymous and one with the poet’s name and address below the poem. A cover sheet listing the poet’s name, address, phone number and email address, and title of each poem, must be included as well when submit- ting an entry.
5. Submissions can be hand delivered to Village Hall during normal business hours, Mon. through Fri., from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., or mailed to Village of Great Neck Plaza, Village Hall, 2 Gussck Plaza, P.O. Box 440, Great Neck, NY 11022-0440, so long as it’s postmarked by February 14, 2020. Winners will be announced on March 13, 2020 and posted on the Village’s website, www.greatneckplaza.net.

An Awards Reading Day (Sun., April 5, 2020) will take place in the Great Neck Plaza court room for the winners of the 10th Annual Poetry Contest starting at 12 Noon. The first prize winner will receive $150 and a 20-minute reading at Awards Day, second prize winner will receive $75 and a 10-minute reading, and the third place winner will receive $50 and a 5-minute reading. There will also be two awards for Honorable Mention; these poets will be invited to read their poems as well.

Each of these winning poems will be posted for one month on seven secure outdoor village sign posts, on the bulletin board in Village Hall, and in the waiting room of the Great Neck LIRR ticket building. Honorable Mention poems will be posted for two weeks at the aforementioned locations. Refreshments will be served at the Awards Day Reading Program and it’s a free event.

For more information regarding the Plaza’s Tenth Annual Poetry Contest, please contact VGNP Poetry Coordinator, Carolyn Raphael, craphael429@gmail.com, or Vincent Ferry, the Mayor’s Assistant, at Village Hall, Mon through Fri, from 9 am to 4:45 pm, at mayorsassistant@greatneckplaza.net or (516) 482-4500.

2020 Long Island Go Red For Women Luncheon to be held on February 27th

In 2004, Go Red For Women was born as a campaign to raise awareness among women about their great health threat – heart disease. Slowly, the campaign grew into a movement – one that not only brought together thousands of women annually but became the trusted, passionate, relevant force for change to eradicate heart disease and stroke all over the world. Go Red For Women provides a platform for women and their families to lead healthier lives, and drive collective action for community transformation.

It’s not just about wearing red; it’s not just about sharing heart health facts. It’s about: Providing women with opportunities to prioritize and take charge of their own health; Building communities that support and provide access to healthy choices; Demanding equal access to healthcare for all women and their families; Increasing women in STEM in upcoming generations.

This year’s event will take place at the Crest Hollow Country Club on February 27th.  You can purchase tickets and find more information online here.

Long Island Smart Growth Awards Nominations due February 28th

Vision Long Island is now accepting nominations for the 2020 Long Island Smart Growth Awards!

For almost two decades, Vision Long Island has been honoring the individuals and organizations that display
true Smart Growth leadership in advancing projects, policies, regulations and initiatives. Specific focus areas include mixed-use development, affordable housing, open space and historic preservation, environmental health and safety, traffic calming and pedestrian safety, transportation enhancements, clean energy, downtown revitalization, and community planning.

Award recipients stand out in their ability to demonstrate one or more of the following: Mix land uses; Take advantage of compact building design; Create housing choices for a range of household types, family sizes and incomes; Strengthen existing communities and achieve more balanced regional development; Encourage citizen and stakeholder participation in development decisions; Create walkable neighborhoods; Foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place; Preserve open space, farmland, historic buildings and critical environmental areas; Provide a variety of transportation choices; Make development decisions predictable, fair and cost effective; Utilize clean energy and green building development.

If you would like to nominate someone or something who fills those criteria, please download and return a nomination form that you can find here.

LICH to hold Annual Vigil for the Homeless on March 17th

On March 17th, 2020, the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless will hold its Candlelight Vigil for the Homeless from 12 PM to 8 pm at Farmingdale State College.  Each year, LICH collects and distributes new winter coats, new/unused baby items, non-perishable food, cleaning supplies and toiletries to Long Island’s homeless and at-risk families. Last year, over 2,000 Long Islanders participated in this event. The participation of every person who cares will make a difference. Let us show that Long Islanders want to eradicate homelessness and hunger that exist in our affluent society. 

The Vigil brings together members of the community, folks who wish to raise awareness, and homeless/at risk Long Islanders and agencies who serve them.  In addition to information for persons in need, they will have FREE financial literacy sessions,  haircuts, face painting, story time, and other services available.  In addition, participants will enjoy the music from guest musicians, as well as presentations from local officials.  

An exciting feature of this event is that all items donated will be distributed at the end of the Vigil to those in need and agencies working with them. Refreshments will also be available at no cost to all participants (while supplies last).

Long Island Complete Streets Summit to be Held on April 1st

The Annual Complete Streets Summit will be held this coming April 1st at the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College in Farmingdale.  The event will take place from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm.

This year’s theme will be Health Benefits of Complete Streets and will include discussions on active transportation, incorporating physical activity into regular daily tasks, and more.

Early registration is open and can be completed here.  More information will be coming in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

Riverhead BID Unveils New Website

The Riverhead BID has unveiled a new website with a focus on the Historic Downtown District.

The new site comes in response to a lack of a website that offers easy information, directories, and resources to people interested in the downtown.  The site was developed over a gout-month period by BID executive director Kristy Verity and Greenport resident / journalist Rachel Bosworth.

“We have some great news outlets and the town has all their information online, but we saw a gap where there wasn’t anything really pulling people into one place,” Ms. Verity said. “We wanted to fill that void … and not only to promote the businesses that are already there and things to do, but also the things that are coming.”

You can view the new website here and read more about the process at Riverhead News-Review.

Smart Talk

Contributors:
Eric Alexander, Director; Tawaun Weber, Assistant Director;
Christopher Kyle, Communications Director; Elissa Kyle, Placemaking Director; Jon Siebert, Administrative Director

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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