Smart Talk February 8th – 14th, 2020

Check out this week’s Smart Talk where we check in on Hempstead and its review of the new Nassau Hub Master Plan, attend the Winter Meeting of the NY Conference of Mayors, and more…

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February 8th – 14th, 2020


D&F Development Group

The D & F Development Group, LLC (The D&F Group) provides the highest quality combination of experience and knowledge to make certain that project goals are attained. They offer an entire spectrum of real estate expertise from a single source – including project development, construction and property management.

The D&F Group is proud to be among New York’s premier developers of affordable family and senior housing, working closely with a wide array of for-profit and not-for-profit partners. Yet, their diversity and extensive background enable them to provide comprehensive services relating not only to affordable housing but to all segments of the real estate marketplace. Furthermore, their versatility means they can handle all aspects of a project from inception to finalization. Depending on the specific project, they can provide any one or more of the individual areas of real estate services they offer.

The D&F Group brings agility, efficiency and dedication to each project … committed to ensuring that all budgetary, scheduling, regulatory, aesthetic and other requirements are fulfilled.

“The Nassau Hub’s development is in a critical phase right now, and the outcome of this project will greatly impact Long Island for generations. I’m eager to work with Nassau County, the developers and my fellow members on the Hempstead Town Board to ensure that this job is completed properly, efficiently and effectively.” – Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin

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Hempstead Reviewing Master Plan for Nassau Hub

Documents necessary to the redevelopment of the 72 acres surrounding Nassau Coliseum, referred to as the Nassau HUB, are nor under review by the Town of Hempstead clerk’s office.

Included in the documents is an application for rezoning, an environmental assessment form, and blueprints.  Submitted by Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment Global and RXR Realty, the developers hope to break ground on the long-awaited project early next year.  The plan comes after the Town approved new zoning back in 2015, which allowed the renovations of the Coliseum.

The new conceptual master plan under review now includes a 175,000-square-foot office building, 3 residential buildings with 500 units each, 150,000 square feet of retail, multiple restaurants, an 850-room hotel complex, A 600-seat movie theater, a 950,000-square-foot research and development center, a 57,000-square-foot performing arts center, two parking garages with a total of 6,750 spaces, and an additional 6,000 spaces of off-site parking.  The plan was previously approved by Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and requires approval by Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin before it can proceed.

If approved, this plan will represent the culmination of years of efforts to redevelop the parcel of land surrounding the Coliseum.  Since at least 2006 there have been efforts to turn the area into a mixed-use development that would breathe new life into the region.  However, there has never been a plan that both the County and Town of Hempstead could agree upon at once, nor a consensus on how to pay for one.

However, both the current Nassau County Executive and Hempstead Supervisor have pledged to make the area a priority for the Town of Hempstead.  “The Nassau Hub’s development is in a critical phase right now, and the outcome of this project will greatly impact Long Island for generations,” said Supervisor Clavin.  “I’m eager to work with Nassau County, the developers and my fellow members on the Hempstead Town Board to ensure that this job is completed properly, efficiently and effectively.”

Community leaders, small business owners, and other stakeholders have been working on an agreement since last March to hammer out an agreement that will provide amenities and resources to the surrounding Town and Villages.  This could include a number of benefits such as internship programs with local high schools, job-placement programs, and business partnerships.  There are also plans to add solar panels, a greenhouse, and a miniature farm to one of the parking garages.

The Nasau Hub Next Steps coalition hosted two meetings last year, one focused on the County’s process and the other on the developer’s vision. The Coalition consists of civics and chambers from the durrounding communities of East Meadow, Uniondale, Hempstead, Westbury, and Garden City. Members of the coalition will assisting in outreach efforts as the project continues through the process.

If everything is approved, the developers could break ground on construction by January 2021, with a tentative date of December 2027 for completion.  A mid-phase break would be planned for 2024.

You can read more at the Long Island Herald.

NY Conference of Mayors Holds Winter Legislative Meeting

Vision Long Island was in Albany this past week at the Winter Legislative Meeting for the NY Conference of Mayors

The three day conference featured breakout sessions that covered a range of topics including bail reform, blight removal, water quality, and aging, among others.  Vision’s Director Eric Alexander presented and led an interactive session on downtown revitalization and complete streets focused on market conditions, plans, projects, public process and private and public investment.

The event featured an opportunity to sit in the “Age Friendly Communities” session with Paul Beyer, who is the NYS Smart Growth Director as well as NYS Office of the Aging staff.  It was also great to see the Long Island delegation of Mayors in Albany, including Village of Sea Cliff Mayor Ed Lieberman, Village of Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy, Village of Mineola Clerk Joe Scalera, Village of Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri, Village of Plandome Manor Mayor Barbara Donno and Village of Port Jefferson Trustee Bruce Miller.

It is important that officials of Villages and Cities stay organized in order to help secure support for local government.  Credit should go to NYCOM’s Wade Beltramo for his fantastic efforts to bring officials from around the state together.

You can read more at the New York Conference of Mayor’s website here.

Brookhaven and NYSDOT Propose Bike Path on Route 112

The New York State Department of Transportation and Town of Brookhaven are proposing the creation of a bike path on Route 112.

A resolution by the Town recommending Bicycle Route 112 was unanimously approved this past January.  The new route would be a signed on-road bicycle route that ran from Port Jefferson ferry all the way to the Fire Island ferry.  It would be mostly on 112, but would also utilize segments of local road where parts of the Route 112 were not suitable for cycling.

“The development of a bicycle route between the Port Jefferson Ferry and the Fire Island Ferry is a positive infrastructure addition to the community for multiple reasons including improved safety for our cyclists,” said Brookhaven Councilwoman Valerie Cartright. “To create greater connectivity between the two ferries and the North and South shores is an added benefit that will increase access and encourage more people to travel between one ferry to the other via bicycle.”

NYSDOT will create and place the signs for the route at no cost to the Town.  Brookhaven will be responsible for inspecting the signs and requesting any necessary replacements after they are placed.

You can read more at TBR News Media.

NYMTC Releases Capital Plan of Obligated Projects

The NY Metropolitan Transportation Council’s (NYMTC) Capital Plan of obligated projects for FY 2019 has been released.  The plan includes a range of pedestrian, bicycle and transit funding as well as traditional dollars for highway funds.

It was great to see the NYS Pedestrian Safety Action Plan funded, as well as pedestrian improvements on state roads specifically NYS Route 110, Route 25 and North Country Road.  Vision is also happy to see walkability and pedestrian projects in the Village of Lindenhurst, Village of Freeport, Village of Northport, City of Long Beach, City of Glen Cove, Village of Port Jefferson, Grand Ave in Baldwin, and Kings Park, among others.  Additionally, the Long Island Greenbelt Trail and the Ocean Parkway shared-use path are also in the plan.  The Nassau HUB transportation study, continuation of Route 110 BRT, and a slew of transit improvements through the LIRR made it in as well.

The inclusion of many bike/ped and transit improvements, all of which used to be an afterthought, is testament to the thoughtful community level advocacy our residents and local business have taken on in coordination with their local governments.  It is encouraging to see many of these projects move forward.

Stay tuned for more discussion on these and other local transportation funding priorities at the upcoming LI Complete Streets Summit on April 1st.  In the meantime, check out the list of projects on the NYMTC website here.

Bike Sharing Program for Riverhead Expected to be Deployed by Spring

Riverhead Town officials have indicated that they are planning to have a new bike sharing program fully operational come Spring.

The proposal for the program was previously discussed with Jonathan Keyes of the Suffolk County Economic Development Corporation at a work session last week.  It is an extension of the Suffolk County bike share program, called Bethpage Ride and sponsored by the Bethpage Federal Credit Union.  The Riverhead portion of the plan will center around 6 racks located throughout the downtown with 25 bikes available for use.

Spots for the racks will include the Veterans Memorial Park in Calverton, the Long Island Aquarium, the River and Roots Community Garden, the Long Island Rail Road station, the Riverhead Town Hall parking lot, and the downtown Riverfront.  Riders can rent bikes at rate of $1 per 15 minutes, $10 per month, or $60 per year for unlimited 30 minute rides.  Anyone looking to utilize the program will need to download and set up an account on the Pace app for their cell phones.

“This is an effort the county has been working on for years,” Mr. Keyes said.

Run by a company called Zagster, the Bethpage Ride program is hoping to have 100 bikes deployed across the county eventually.  After launching on Labor Day of 2019, the program has seen over 500 rides in its lifetime so far.

You can read more at the Riverhead News-Review.

Port Jefferson Hosts First Ever Ice Festival

This past week saw Port Jefferson hosting the first ever Ice Festival in the village.

Sponsored by the Port Jefferson Business Improvement District, the event featured New York’s only certified master ice carver, Richard Daly, who worked for two days to show off his skill and artistry.  The carver want about his craft, crating sculpture out of sculpture using a chainsaw and giant blocks of ice.  Businesses that participated had their own individual sculptures carved out of ice in front of their storefronts.

You can view a gallery of images from the event and read more about it here.

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!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Vision Long Island wishes you a happy Valentine’s Day this year and encourages you to visit your local downtown for a romantic night out.  It’s a great time to visit one of the local restaurants, shop at a locally owned store for a last minute gift, or even just take a walk through one of Long Island’s picturesque downtowns!

No matter what, please enjoy yourself today and remember to keep it local!

Smart Talk

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

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Vision Long Island
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Northport, NY 11768
Phone: 631-261-0242. Fax: 631-754-4452.

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