Jan. 24-30, 2015
Heartland Town Square
The development of Heartland Town Square where the Long Island Expressway meets the Sagtikos Parkway will result in Long Island's first new "smart growth" community. The project will include 9,000 housing units, a million square foot "life-style" center, 3 million square feet of Class A office space, a state of the art hotel and convention center, indoor and outdoor civic space and an aquarium. Fusing these venues in a planned development will create a vibrant and diverse atmosphere that will appeal to people of all ages.
"Millennials are the most diverse, educated and largest generation in history. By 2025, they will comprise 75% of the workforce... But will they stay on Long Island?"
Jeffrey Guillot, founder of Suburban Millennial Institute
"There are a lot of people looking in this area who are young households, young families, and they’re just starting out, so they don’t have the money it would take to rent at the average. This is designed to give them a chance to afford this housing.”
Peter Florey, cofounder and co-owner of the D&F Development
After years of seeing vacant storefronts on Gibson Boulevard, residents are finally seeing some progress. The site slated for 39 units of family workforce housing has been cleared and D&F Development has been issued their permits to begin construction. Included in the development is a ground for parking garage with 79 parking spaces which is more than ample for the residents.
Peter Florey, cofounder and co-owner of the D&F Development and Vision Long Island Board member explain that the purpose of the project was t create affordable housing for young professionals and families just starting out that would not otherwise be able to afford to live in the area. Rentals would to range from $1000 to $1500 a month.
David Sabatino, president of Envision Valley Stream ( a local community organization), voiced his support for the project saying he was happy to see the much need affordable housing going up in his community. He felt that the projected was well placed given that it is near the Gibson train station, other multi-family buildings, and local retail and service-oriented businesses. He also gave his support for the saying that he believed the developer seems committed to producing an attractive, well-maintained and -managed building. Vision Long Island was also in support of the project throughout the approval process.
The projected is for mid-2016. Construction is set to begin by early February. However, Florey noted that due to weather conditions it may take some time before residents see major progress.
For more information on this story, click here LI Hearlad Valley Stream.
Vision Long Island attended a public hearing last week in Port Jefferson Village regarding their final draft Comprehensive Plan last Tuesday, which has been a work in progress for almost six years. The plan, which serves as guide for development and revitalization for the 3 square mile Village, tackles issues such as abandoned storefronts, waterfront, parking and traffic issues, walkability and housing. The hearing was standing room only with those in attendance both in support of and opposed to aspects of the plan.
The community-driven plan, which is the third after incorporation (one in 1965 and a revised plan in 1995) aims to have a vision for the area until 2030. Mayor Garant, after having heard from the community advisory committee, engineers architects and the community at large says that the Village Board is prepared to vote to adopt the plan. This, of course, does not come without some discourse from some in the community.
Village Resident Phillip Griffith, who recently resigned from the citizen’s advisory committee, is opposed to the plan’s adoption. He says part of the plan that will bring more than 800 new rental units to the area will increase traffic congestion to the area. There were plans to potentially place a parking garage Lower Port to help alleviate some of the current and future traffic issues, however that was removed from the plan after receiving community input from the last public meeting this past summer.
Others were favoring the plan, which calls for increasing building heights Upper Port from 35 to 45 feet to allow for apartments to be built above retail space. “In order to revitalize an area such as we have here, you need to get feet on the street. You need to bring in a new population”, Mayor Garant said in an interview.
The public will have opportunities to have the opportunity to give input towards projects as they come along. The plan has been turned over to the Suffolk County Planning Commission for review. Vision Long Island was happy to attend and listen to community concerns and provided testimony in supportof the Village and its efforts to plan for the future.
Work is underway in downtown Farmingdale, paving the way for a multi-million dollar transit-oriented development project just blocks from the Farmingdale LIRR station.
“The Loft”, being developed by Hauppauge--based Staller Associates, will feature over 3,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and 26 balconied luxury apartments on the second and third floors above. The apartments will feature indoor parking spaces, ceilings as high as 12 to 18 feet, LED lighting and more.
“The Loft at 231 Main Street will be world class construction, raising the bar of Architecture in the Village and offering luxury rentals,” Mayor Ralph Ekstrand said. “This project represents a multi-million dollar improvement to downtown Main Street and we are all excited to see it come to life.”
Underground infrastructure such as wiring and other utilities are almost complete, and the parking lot should be opening soon, with the last layer of asphalt being applied once the weather improves.
This newest project is one of many others being undertaken by additional developers to assist in “contributing to the revitalization of Main Street and Farmingdale Village, bringing housing, jobs, economic activity and great adaptive re-use to the community with transit-oriented housing.” Ekstrand said. Vision Long Island was also in support of this project throughout the approval process.
Additionally, Staller Associates is gearing up to begin redevelopment of a former warehouse located at 285 Eastern Parkway that will be transformed into a three-and-a-half story apartment complex with 27 units for rent. Staller Associates had changed their originally approved plans in the Fall of 2013 to have the façade reflect the flow of the rest of the community.
Ten percent of the units (five to six in total) between the two projects will be slated for affordable housing, requiring that tenants make 80% or less than the area's median household income, which according to the US Cenus Bureau is $97,049.
For more on this story, click here for the Farmingdale Anton News.
The project spent more than a decade in court, but we can mark a major milestone in the Ruland Knolls project.
For more information, click here for Newwsday.
A new group representing the millenials has come out with their poll results showing 64 percent of young people plan to stay on Long Island. Suburban Millennial Institute, and affliate group of Vision Long Island, has conducted a poll of 752 Long Islanders, ages 18 to 36. Most who plan to continue on Long Island noted it was because of family and social connections.
The Suburban Millennial Institute is a non-partisan think tank focused on ways to make Long Island more affordable and attractive to the Millennial generation—those of 18 to 34 years of age. "It is not enough to just say our young peope are leaving. We need to look at the causes and make changes if we want to encourage them to stay. Suburban Millennial Institute is taking a great first step." says Vision Long Island Assistant Director and Suburban Millennial Institute Board Member Tawaun Weber.
"I think that, perhaps, the 30 percent of folks we spoke to saying they plan on leaving the region was remarkable and sobering," said Jeffrey Guillot, founder of Suburban Millennial Institute. Of the 30 percent, most noted they were leaving because of the lack of job opportunities.
While family and sociall connections may be engough to keep some of our millenials on Long Island, many realize that they wil face the challlenge of finding affordable housing, job opportunities, affordable health care, and other aspects that contribuute to the high cost of living.
A similiar study was done by Molloy College in polling 20 of thier students from 10 nassau County communities. The study generated similar results. Since then, the two groups have formed a partnership as they continue to analyze the millenials on Long Island.
On Friday, March 13th 2015, the National Center for Suburban Studies® at Hofstra University is hosting the Suburban Millennial Institute’s inaugural conference about the Millennial generation and their requirements to thrive on Long Island. The event will be free and open to the public.
For more on this story, click here for Newsday.
Conference set for March 13 and will address the next generation's role in Long Island commerce.Register and learn more on the conference website here.
Even amidst the impending blizzard, over 300 residents braved the weather to testify against a casino in Nassau County. The proposed placement of the casino is the Fortunoff in Westbury. This showing before the Nassau Legislature is one of many events where the community has come out against the casino. While there has been no formal hearing as of yet, there has been two public meetings, two press conferences, a rally, and this meeting before the legislature.
Residents and business in the area were not alone in voicing their opposition to the proposed casino. Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro has been a strong voice in opposing the casino. Mayor Cavallaro has expressed that the proposed casino would significant impact his downtown which neighbors the proposed site. Mayor Cavallaro in working with the Westbury BID have worked to revitalize their downtown by filling vacant storefronts with new businesses, increasing the housing on tier main street, and their new downtown theatre which draws in a crowd from all over Long Island.
Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss has also stood in opposition of the proposed casino. Mineola, much like Westbury, has gone through and continues efforts to revitalize their downtowns. Focusing on development around their train station, Mineola has increased their walkability components including their new LaunchPad location to attract small businesses and apartments in their downtown.
Some others joining Mayor Cavallaro and Mayor Strauss are Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, Town of North Hempstead Judy Boswoth, and Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano. Vision Long Island, among other groups, has provided testimony regarding their opposition to the project.
As of yesterday, Presiding Officer Norma Gonzales and the republican caucus also joined the opposition. Presiding Officer Gonzales is calling for the Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. to drop its plan for the Fortunoff site in light of the upcoming lawsuit.
Local officials have decided to proceed with legal action to oppose the casino site selection. Westbury Village Mayor Peter Cavallaro, Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and other elected officials held a joint press conference at Westbury Village Hall Thursday. "This is a joint effort of every elected official on every level representing this community to oppose the proposed site selection," stated Mayor Cavallaro. In an advisory to residents, Mayor Cavallaro explained that The Village of Westbury, Town of Hempstead, Town of North Hempstead along with the Meadowbrook Pointe Civic Association and various individual residents intend to apply for a temporary restraining order barring the Nassau Regional OTB from entering into an agreement to acquire or lease the Fortunoff Building.
Winthrop-University Hospital has also gone on record with their opposition to the proposed location of a gambling casino. "We believe that it will significantly increase traffic congestion in the area and in so doing will pose a serious health threat to the local residents and surrounding communities," John F. Collins, President and Chief Executive Officer of Winthrop-University Hospital.
Vision Long Island testified on Thursday at the first of 2 public hearings being held at the Nice Bus Headquarters in Garden City. Nassau County held the hearing to allow for public input on the upcoming fare hike. This fare hike which is scheduled for March, would be the second fare hike in less than 6 months.
Many questioned the need for an additional fare hike. One Rockville Centre resident asked the need for the fare hike when factors like the price of gas are decreasing. A NICE Bus representative explained that although the price of gas has gone down, little decrease has been seen in the way of the type of fuel the buses use. He also explained that the fare hike is also to cover expenses like increase cost of health care for the works and wage increases. He also noted that they are still waiting to hear if the State budget (STOA) will provide any additional funding which may offset the need for a fare increase by Nassau county.
Riders can claim some victory over yesterday's hearings. Although the Nasau County Bus Transit Committee voted to increase the Metrocard fare from $2.50 to $2.75, they also voted against raising fares on app users and cash customers (who recently experienced a fare hike in September of last year). Because of the MTA shortfall, a fare increase on Metrocards was inevitable but however a freeze on cash and app fares will help keep the buses affordable for riders who come from some of the most vulnerable communities.
Communities in Nassau and Suffolk counties dug out from Monday’s blizzard which dropped over 2 feet of snow overnight in some places, forcing travel bans, suspension of mass transit, closing of schools, businesses and government agencies, and proactive opening of shelters and warming stations.
With up to 3 feet of snow and local flooding predicted in some areas, Governor Cuomo imposed an ban on all unofficial traffic in 13 counties effective 11pm on Monday and requested over 260 National Guard troops to stand by in Westhampton and Farmingdale. While the travel ban was lifted island-wide as of 8am Tuesday, many local roads still had not been plowed and the majority of schools and businesses remained closed. PS&G reported minimal power outages for an event of this size with fast turn-around times for restoration.
By Wednesday, many of the areas west of William Floyd Parkway were returning to normal, however much was yet to be done. Low-lying south shore communities in Suffolk required additional assistance from State DOT assets that were brought from other areas due to the volume of snow, equipment failures, and local flooding which prevented snow removal during high tides. These proactive measures were no doubt due to the lessons learned from the February 2013 storm Nemo that stranded dozens of drivers on the roadways for hours.
As with other major events that have affected the area, Friends of Long Island groups were prepared to deliver whatever assistance possible before, during and after this event. Friends of Shirley and the Mastics delivered non-perishable food to those that had no transportation or means to have a three day supply on hand Monday night. Friends of Long Island groups’ leaders were in communication before the storm and closely monitored during in case assistance was needed. Friends of Freeport initiated OPERATION: SHOVELGATE, shoveling out 15 driveways for neighbors that were unable to as far out as Baldwin. Many of the groups are still providing assistance as they prepare for this weekend’s snow fall.
For more on this story, click here for Newsday.
The Long Island Council of Churches needs Spanish-speaking volunteers to work their food pantry in Freeport.
Touro Law Honoring Grads At Public Interest Job Fair
Join the Public Interest Law Organization of Touro (PILOT) for a wine and cheese reception during Touro Law School’s 8th annual public interest job fair next month.
Go Red For Women And Fight Heart Disease
Don’t miss out on the 14th Annual Long Island Go Red for Women Luncheon next month.
Get Up To Speed At 15th Annual Main Street Forum
Sign up now for a one-day symposium about the New York Main Street Alliance.
Win $1,500 Scholarship For APA National Conference
Sign up now for a chance to win a trip to the 2015 APA National Conference.
Paint The Town Red With Suffolk County Arts Grants
Have an arts project that could bolster your community? Apply today for a Suffolk County grant.
Intern with Vision Long Island!
Vision Long Island is looking for interns! Our staff likes to say we "wear many hats," and interns will have to do the same. Interns will assist with planning, design, outreach, event planning, writing, research, attending meetings, reporting, photography, video and more. Bring your unique skill set to the table! We are looking for energetic and conscientious individuals with an interest in urban/suburban planning from a bottom-up perspective. This is a valuable opportunity to work with great people and learn about the issues impacting Long Island. Strong writing skills a plus.
To learn more or apply, send a resume, cover letter and writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put "Vision Long Island Internship" in the subject heading. For more information, call our office at 631-261-0242.
What's happening on your Main Street this weekend?
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Cold Spring Harbor
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Port Jefferson Historical Society
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Bow Tie Port Washington
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The Cubitat Shrinks an Entire House Into One Compact Cube
Those on a quest to rethink small-space living build tiny houses, install pop-up rentals on vacant lots, and design portable 10-square-foot microkitchens tucked inside armoires. Presented over the weekend at Toronto’s Interior Design Show, Cubitat is a 10-by-10-by-10-foot cube that houses a kitchen, bathroom, bed, laundry, and storage.
For more on this story, click here.
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