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May 5th - 11th, 2018


Regional Updates

Forcelli Deegan Terrana

Founded in 1976, Forchelli Deegan Terrana LLP is one of Long Island’s largest and most distinguished law firms. The Firm represents a broad range of clients, including national, regional and local businesses, public, private and family-owned companies, major real estate developers, property owners and operators, contractors, banks, municipalities, educational institutions, not-for-profits, foundations, and individuals. Personal attention and quality representation that is both practical and cost-effective are hallmarks of the Firm.

With over 60 attorneys, the Firm is able to provide expertise in nearly 20 different practice areas, with the talent, skill and experience necessary to meet the legal needs of virtually any client. These attorneys are supported by a dedicated team of paralegals, law clerks, administrative and support staff, and cutting-edge office and communications technology.

Headquartered in Uniondale, NY, in one of Long Island’s premier office buildings, the Firm is conveniently located for clients in Nassau and Suffolk counties, as well as those in New York City.

“We created the Main Street Revitalization Program because we know that small businesses are the backbone of Long Island’s economy. If they thrive, we all thrive. The newly reopened Argyle Theatre has the potential to stimulate foot traffic to other small businesses in the area. We are excited to help them succeed.” - PSEG Long Island's John Keating speaking on the revitalization granted for Babylon Village's Argyle Theatre

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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 include Georgica Green and Town of Riverhead for Housing Choices as well as D&F Development and the Village of Patchogue; Nassau 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 Compost for Environmental Leadership; NICE Bus for Transportation Choices; and the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery Community 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!

Ribbon Cutting held for Renaissance's Northridge Development

Monday, Vision attended the ribbon cutting for the first completed project of the Huntington Station revitalization. 

The Northridge project on New York Avenue includes 16 one bedroom apartments with about 5000 square feet of retail space below and is just a five minute walk from the train station.  May’s Gourmet Deli is getting ready to open a second location in the building, bringing new food options to the neighborhood.  Future projects include the Gateway project just a block to the north, adjacent to the existing plaza, artist loft housing and a hotel.

Congratulations to Renaissance Downtowns and Blue and Gold Homes on the project.  Source the Station has been working with the Huntington Station community since 2012 to gather public input for revitalization and redevelopment and this is the first project completed to begin to bring back the downtown that Huntington Station once had.

The Shipyard Holds Ribbon Cutting in Port Jefferson

On Thursday, Vision Long Island board and staff were out at the ribbon cutting of the Shipyard at Port Jeff Harbor. The new development by Tritec Real Estate replaced the previously rundown motel that occupied this waterfront site.

Through collaboration with the Village, community leaders, Suffolk IDA, and others; this project has given a fresh new look to the area and was recently named one of this year's Smart Growth Award honorees.

The Shipyard at Port Jeff Harbor is a modern, maritime-inspired community with a mix of one- and two-bedroom waterfront apartment homes, located directly along the north shore in the Village of Port Jefferson. Amenities include a roof top patio, on-site fitness center, a dog washing station, and more. The property is adjacent to the main business district as well as access to community space.

“We created The Shipyard at Port Jefferson knowing that Port Jefferson is an incredible community and we could fill a need for what residents and the village are seeking,” said Robert Kent, a vice president of development for Tritec.

Additionally, increased measures were taken by the developer and their design team to ensure resiliency against the flooding that has affected the area, while also remaining conscious to protect the local environment and maintain the maritime aesthetics of the buildings.

This last week also saw elected officials and business leaders break ground for another downtown revitalization project in Port Jefferson. 

Great job by Tritec, all of their partners, and the Village of Port Jefferson.

PSEG LI Provides First Main Street Revitalization Grant to Argyle Theatre

PSEG Long Island has provided the first of its Main Street Revitalizations Grants to the Argyle Theatre in Babylon, which is being renovated and held its premiere on May 10th.

The theatre, which Vision recently covered in a past newsletter, used the grant to outfit its facility with a full set of cutting-edge, energy-efficient LED stage lights.  These new types of light are much more efficient and versatile than traditional halogen lights.  They also produce far less heat and allowed the theater to use 66% fewer lights to achieve the same amount of illumination. 

The grant comes as PSEG is looking to provide financial support to help downtowns grow and thrive.  “We created the Main Street Revitalization Program because we know that small businesses are the backbone of Long Island’s economy. If they thrive, we all thrive,” said John Keating, Manager of Economic Development for PSEG Long Island and Vision board member. “The newly reopened Argyle Theatre has the potential to stimulate foot traffic to other small businesses in the area. We are excited to help them succeed.”

“The Argyle Theatre is an attraction that will bring people from all over to enjoy not just a live stage production, but also the great shopping and dining here in Babylon Village,” said Mayor Ralph Scordino. “Thank you to PSEG Long Island for helping to make their operations more economical.”

You can learn more about the program and how to apply here.

Downtown Wading River Sees Resurgence

New businesses are beginning to draw attention to downtown Wading River, an area of Long Island in need of investment opportunity.

Wading River used to enjoy one of the more vibrant commercial districts in the area until a series of moves drew people away from the downtown.  A new King Kullen located on nearby 25A in the 1970’s followed by the relocation of the Post Office to the same road drew precious foot traffic away.  This in turn caused many local business to close up shop and move to where the customers were.  Since then the downtown has had trouble thriving in spite of a number of local retail spaces ready for use.

Now things are changing, beginning a few years back as businesses began to move back into the downtown and occupying long vacant store fronts on Sound Road.  Since 2011, retail shops and restaurants have steadily crept back into the area, looking for a quant place to set up business and build a local community.  New stores since 2011 include retail store Frog Lady, North Fork Bacon & Smokehouse, restaurant Mesquite, My Creperie, and food shop Brekky. 

Now the final two empty storefronts on the road have been leased, with R.E.N Designs, a specialty furniture store and home accents store, opening recently and the North Tavern Food & Drink looking to open soon in the area.  Part of this success has been due to crafty realtors who have searched for the right types of stores to complement each other and create a quaint downtown theme for their clients.  It appears that the method has been working as Wading River enjoys a resurgence with the local community.

You can read more here.

Lynbrook LIRR Station Improvement Plan in Doubt without MTA Commitment

The Lynbrook Long Island Rail Road station has been waiting over a year for a plan to be approved that will address its many needed repairs.

Last March the MTA announced that these would be tended to with nearly $10 million in funding set aside to overhaul the 80-year-old station.  However, commuters are still waiting for what would be the first major upgrade in three decades as local officials accuse the MTA of paring back its plan and confusion on funding.

In a meeting with LIRR representatives, the new Lynbrook Mayor Alan Beach said that the plans would be scaled back to a rehabilitation project as opposed to the previously announced overhaul.  He also stated that the MTA’s representatives told him the funding would come from a previously secured grant as opposed to being funded by the LIRR as originally promised.  The MTA has released a statement saying that all previously planned projects were being reviewed in order to allow incoming LIRR President Phillip Eng the chance to weigh in.

Meanwhile, commuter complaints have increased about the state of the station.  The concrete structures, including stairs, are crumbling and the escalators rarely work.  The seating area is also dilapidated and the roof and lighting leak when it rains according to passengers.  This is what was on the minds of Assemblyman Curran and State Senator Kaminsky when they had a hand in negotiating the original deal.

Now they are expressing concern with the scaled back nature of the project.  Curran in particular, who is from Lynbrook, noted that the MTA has yet to respond.  He also pointed out that other stations have been given priority over the station in spite of the crumbling infrastructure.  “For years, they’ve been telling us they would get it done and give us a new station,” he said. “Now they’re coming back to us with a rehab. It’s outrageous.”

You can read more here and here.

Riverhead Seeks Members for Downtown Revitalization Committee

The Riverhead Town Board is seeking members for a downtown revitalization committee that will look to create a strategy aimed at filling vacant buildings and attracting new businesses.

The new committee will be comprised of 12 members and will include both residents and business owners who have an expertise in marketing, recreation, construction, and planning.  There will also be representatives from East End Arts and the Riverhead Business Improvement District.  Members will serve a two-year term.

Downtown Riverhead is considered an urban renewal area and is eligible for grants to help with revitalization.  Having a committee will allow Riverhead to better identify areas for improvement and target grants such as NYS’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative.  The committee will also be able to provide critical input and feedback on how best to improve local zoning laws.

You can read more here.

Interfaith Nutrition Network Innkeepers Holds 35th Annual Ball

Vision Board and staff were out at the 35th Annual anniversary of the Interfaith Nutrition Network Innkeepers Ball in Uniondale this week.

Over 600 people were at the sold out event for this incredible organization that provides food, nutrition, emergency housing and a slew of support services for poor and working folks in communities across Long Island. This year's honorees included Andy Zucaro from Zucaro Construction (and Vision Long Island Board member). Aside from being a progressive developer who has built downtown and post Sandy, they give back to community organizations around the island.

Special thanks to the lifelong commitment from Jean Kelly, Rob and the incredible staff at the INN for the difference they have made in peoples lives. Beautiful to hear the words of founder Mike Moran as well. Their accomplishments are a testament of how not for profits should work with mission, service and achievements first and bravado minimized. Their work is a true standard for many of us to follow!

U.S. Looks to End Traffic Deaths by 2050

Traffic deaths in the U.S. reached a 33 year high last year, highlighting an ongoing and serious problems on our nation’s roadways.

In response to this ongoing issue, the National Safety Council (NSC) has released the ambitious “Road to Zero” strategy aimed at eliminating traffic deaths nationwide by 2050.  The NSC worked closely with the Department of Transportation and over 600 industry groups to help formulate the plan.  This comes at a time when numerous local communities and cities have set their own goals and created Vision Zero initiatives.  This will be the first nationwide strategy, however.

The report talked about the troubling fact that after decades of decline, the last five years have seen a sharp rise in fatalities on the read.  However, cities with Vision Zero initiatives, such as New York and San Francisco, have been able to reverse those trends through plans that focus on reduced speed limits and improved street design.  Recommendations incorporate those strategies, focusing on physical changes that can are known to save lives.  Particularly effective recommendations include narrowing crossing distances through curb extensions or reprogramming walk signals to give pedestrians a head start at intersections.

The report calls for a “safe systems” approach that will incorporate improvements consistently across the board and in every local roadway, counteracting unforgiving design that make minor errors deadly.  It also looks to automakers and tech companies to continue innovations and improvements that have helped to make transportation safer in the public square.  As part of this initiative the Federal Highway Administration is awarding grants that work to reduce speeds, reduce streets, and drive innovative technologies.

The report acknowledges that a big challenge for the system will be pushback from local drivers who do not wish to see changes on their streets.  Local government members will also side with the drivers, an example being a councilmember in Los Angeles seeking to ban road diets, which is one of the safety tools recommended by the federal government as particularly effective in reducing fatalities.  Due to this lack of political will, the U.S. actually lags behind a number of countries across the world in transportation safety.

You can read more 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. 

Riverhead Holds Community Mosaic Street Painting Festival on May 27th

A Memorial Day Weekend tradition where families and friends enjoy the creative spirit together. Join all the artists, musicians, and lovers of the arts, young and old, who gather on the grounds of East End Arts and along the Peconic River for this day-long celebration of the arts, centering around the Street Painting Festival, fashioned after the Italian street painters "I Madonnari", a street chalk art form dating back to the 16th century, as well as activities and entertainment for everyone. Street painting squares sponsored by businesses, families, and individuals are used as a canvas for inspirations in chalk.

Admission is FREE!

The event will take place on Sunday, May 27th and will be located in Downtown Riverhead on East Main Street between Roanoke Avenue and East Avenue and on the grounds of East End Arts

Downtown vs. Out of Town Debate Sponsored by SMPS-LI on May 30th

Where do you stand? Industry experts on both sides of the conversation tackle the question by focusing on their own experiences and projects. They will discuss current developments and persuasively debate their perspective on the future of Long Island Development.  This robust conversation will challenge your ideologies and provide both pros and cons from each perspective of development. Experts will discuss their insights on what works on Long Island, challenges that developers face, what leads to opposition, funding, environmental sensitivities and how to solve key issues faced.

The event will feature a panel discussion with Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander, Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri, Anthony Bartone Managing Partner at Terwilliger & Bartone Properties, Joseph Deal Principal at New York Metro Region Bohler Engineering, Joshua Weinkranz, the President at Northern Region Kimco Realty, Brian Ferruggiari the Director of Public Affairs AVR Realty Company, and Jim Powers the Director of Operations and Business Development Bohler Engineering moderating.

The event will take place on May 30th, begins at 3:00 pm and is located at Carlyle at the Palace, 1600 Round Swamp Road, Plainview, NY 11803

You can find more information on speakers or register here.

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.

Babylon Adds Historical Markers to Rail Stations

In a move that will emphasize the historic importance of the LIRR to local communities, the Town of Babylon will install historical markers at the Wyandanch, Pinelawn, Babylon, Lindenhurst, Copiague, and Amityville stations as well as former stations at West Babylon and Deer Park.

The signs will be installed this week with ceremonies held at the stations on May 12th, beginning with Babylon at 9:30 am.

You can read more about the history of the Rail lines in Babylon here.

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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