Unveiling $108 Million New Village Development In Patchogue
Vision Long Island joined Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, elected officials, business owners and residents Tuesday to celebrate another component in the revitalization of Patchogue.
Developer Tritec hosted a ribbon cutting for their New Village project – a $108 million mixed-use development.
The project will offer 291 new apartments, 46,000 square feet of retail and 18,000 square feet of office space. All residents will have access to club rooms, fitness facilities, roof top gardens, outdoor fireplaces and grilling areas, although some tenants will also have private decks and parking.
Parking is also a key piece of New Village, adding 500 spaces. Of those, 293 are underground.
Early residents began moving in this spring.
The New Village development received a Smart Growth Award from Vision Long Island in 2008 and the 2009 Top Mixed Use Project from the Long Island Business News.
“Kudos to Mayor Paul Paul Pontieri, Planning Commissioner Lori Devlin, the Village board, the developer, their team and all the folks responsible for moving this project forward,” Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander said.
Brookhaven Approves Ronkonkoma Hub Zoning
The Ronkonkoma Hub is on track.
The Town of Brookhaven voted to rezone property around the Ronkonkoma LIRR station for the $475 million project on Tuesday.
If the project continues to move forward, it would create a 53.73-acre transit-oriented development along Union and Ronkonkoma Avenues.
Plans currently call for 1,450 apartments in one-, two- and three-bedroom formats, 195,000 sq. ft. retail and 360,000 sq. ft. of office space. It would also include 60,000 square feet of flex space for convention space, meetings, gatherings and the like.
The project originally called for a new sewage treatment plant on the Town of Islip side of the border, capable of processing 1.1 million gallons daily but expected to handle just 400,000 gallons a day. However, Suffolk County officials confirmed they would consider hooking the Ronkonkoma Hub project to the existing Southwest Sewer District via seven miles of new pipe.
An earlier version of the plan, including the sewer plant, garnered a Smart Growth Award from Vision Long Island in 2009.
The Town Board voted only on rezoning Tuesday, not eminent domain. Some businesses neighboring the LIRR station are concerned they will be forced out after developer Tritec considered having the town force them out “as a tool of last resort.” However, Brookhaven officials have publicly stated they will not employ eminent domain.
Vision Long Island supported the plan, but Director Eric Alexander was concerned about the potential for eminent domain.
“Folks shouldn't lose their property for a revitalization plan,” he said.
If approved, construction of the Hub could take up to 10 years
For more on this story, check out News 12 (subscription required).
Piazza Latest In Pro Transit-Oriented Development Trend
The conversation on Long Island is about transit-oriented development, and the surge in popularity.
According to the Wall Street Journal, transit-oriented development (TOD) projects like the upcoming Glen Cove Piazza are on the rise.
Between 2007-2013, 7,800 units of housing were approved near train stations said Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander. Conversely, just 360 units were approved between 2002-2006. More than 10,000 units are under consideration across Long Island.
“For Long Island, where we have close to 100 downtown business districts, it’s about filling in the development that was ripped apart by suburban sprawl,” Alexander said.
Advocates said a walkable, transit-centered island is still a long-term goal after years of opposition from governments and residents concerned about new development. In Glen Cove, Mayor Reginald Spinello said the Piazza project was delayed by politics.
And the battle is only intensifying as the MTA’s Double Track and East Side Access projects continue. The Long Island Rail Road is scheduled to complete a second track between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma by 2018 and connect to Grand Central by 2021.
TOD advocates argue they will increase demand for housing near LIRR stations.
In Glen Cove, the city and developers celebrated a groundbreaking for 110 units of housing and 30,000 square feet of retail. Plans call for three five-story buildings of mixed uses.
Stan Sommers, owner of Hair Above Salon in Glen Cove, said the area needs new blood in terms of residents and businesses.
"Having 200 new bodies living next door to me, it's like Christmas," he said.
For more media coverage, check out the Wall Street Journal article (subscription required).
Hempstead Turnpike Still Very Dangerous For Pedestrians
The death of a teenager on Hempstead Turnpike is prompting renewed cries for change.
Bryanna Sopin, 13, was killed in an apparent hit and run accident. The Levittown teen, who reportedly had Down syndrome, wandered out of her family’s house in the early hours of Sunday, June 15 before coming to Hempstead Turnpike. Police said a minivan blew through a red light and hit Sopin without stopping. First responders performed CPR but were unable to save her.
Michael Elardo, of Syosset, surrendered himself to police two days later. The retired NYPD officer was charged with leaving the scene of an incident, a class D felony, although Elardo claims he thought it was a traffic cone he hit.
Back in March 2012, Tri-State Transportation Campaign found Hempstead Turnpike was the most dangerous road for pedestrians within the Tri-State area. The New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) responded with a pledge to implement short- and long-term improvements based off research of pedestrian crashes from 2008-2011.
Eight years later, the DOT has spent $2.2 million. That includes wider crosswalks, longer countdowns for pedestrians crossing and new medians. But with the state agency reportedly says it’s done for now. But eight pedestrian deaths, including Sopin, since has transit advocates like Tri-State calling for more.
“I think the DOT should be applauded for their initial steps, but we think more can be done to make the road safer,” Tri-State Associate Director Ryan Lynch said.
Traffic speeds, Lynch said, are very high on Hempstead Turnpike. If a pedestrian makes a mistake while crossing and gets into a collision with a moving vehicle, they’re likely to die.
He advocated for installing pedestrian safety islands, adjusting speed limits as needed and making existing traffic medians more visible.
Hempstead Turnpike was supplanted by Jericho Turnpike for the deadliest road in the 2014 rankings, released by Tri-State in February.
For more on this story, check out Newsday (subscription required).
MTA Tasks New Commission With Analyzing Future Trends
A new committee has been created with expectations of better service and modernized systems from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The MTA unveiled their Transportation Reinvention Commission Tuesday with its first meeting on Wednesday.
Recommended by Governor Andrew Cuomo in May to consider changes in ridership and weather patterns while developing future capital spending, the new commission is charged with offering recommendations for the MTA’s 2015-2019 capital plan.
“As we prepare the next Capital Plan to guide investment for the next five years, as well as future five year plans, we want experts, stakeholders and customers to offer their thoughts on how to make those investments work for decades to come,” MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast said.
MTA Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee Executive Director William Henderson added the committee will focus on changes in climate, ridership patterns, residential shifts and commercials trends. Brooklyn is the hotter, less dense alternative to the Upper East Side of Manhattan, he said, but Long Islanders are moving into town centers, closer to LIRR stations.
Henderson added that a Bus Rapid Transit along Route 110 and reopening Republic LIRR station could be considered by the Transportation Reinvention commission.
“We need to have a system that responds to those kinds of changes otherwise we fall behind,” he said.
The 24-member commission will be led by co-chairs federal Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and former Federal Aviation Administrator Jane Garvey. Membership includes professors from Columbia University, nonprofits, the Straphangers Campaign and five individuals from outside the country. Vision Long Island board member and Tri-State Transportation Campaign Executive Director Veronica Vanterpool is also a member of the group.
But with a capital plan due to the MTA Capital Review Board by Oct. 1 and several public hearings expected before then, Henderson admitted they’re working in a very short timeframe. However, he also said the committee offers an outside perspective from the MTA’s planning department.
“It’s going to be a very compressed time frame with a lot of things to consider. The hope is it’ll provide a framework to look at some of the decisions that are being made on capital spending,” the director said.
For more about the new committee, check out Newsday (subscription required).
Tappan Zee Bridge Funding Takes Toll On Sewer Projects
Funds earmarked for water infrastructure projects can be put towards replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge.
The New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation – a public benefit corporation designed to provide capital and technical support for environmental projects – voted Thursday in support of a $511 million loan for projects connected with the replacement.
Construction is underway on the $3.9 billion project to replace the Tappan Zee.
The funds approved yesterday would come from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. That federally-funded program is typically used to finance local sewer projects. During an hour-long presentation before the vote, corporation officials listed environmental projects that will tap the $511 million, including $100,000 to move a falcon’s nest from the current bridge.
It could also be used towards dismantling the existing bridge, dredging the Hudson River and creating a bicycle path.
However, League of Conservation Voters, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Vision Long Island and other advocates joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in expressing concern about tapping clean water funds to finance the bridge. Not only could the move put the Long Island Sound, Hudson River, New York Harbor and Great Lakes at risk by removing those funds, advocates said, but it could set legal precedent.
"There are sufficient sewer projects on Long Island in need of funding. Having those dollars diverted to limited a toll increase doesn't help our local economy," Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander said.
Before a red cent is spent, the loan must be approved by both the Thruway Authority Board and Public Authorities Control Board.
Thruway Authority Director Tom Madison said the loans will keep tolls down on the new bridge set to open in 2018, and confirmed his organization will pay back the entire loan. Half the loan would be offered at a low interest rate and the other half without interest.
For more information on this story, check out The Journal News (subscription required).
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano Receives
Smart Growth Award
At Business Breakfast
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano provided an economic report to business leaders Friday.
Standing before 200 small business men and women at the Capitol Grill, Mangano, Nassau IDA Joe Kearney and Hempstead Town Councilman Ed Ambrosino spoke about economic development and downtowns.
Vision Long Island's Director Eric Alexander and board members Michael Puntillo from Jobco, John Keating from PSEG and later Steven Kreiger from Engel Burman presented Ed with a Smart Growth award for his work in Bay Park, advancing TOD housing and passing Complete Streets legislation among other projects.
Mangano received his Regional Leadership award from Vision at the event. He was unable to attend the Smart Growth Awards in person back on June 13 due to a conflicting meeting with Bay Park financial supporter, the U.S. EPA.
Click here to view the video from the Smart Growth Awards.
Doc Gooden Pitching For Hicksville Chamber Of Commerce
Check out the Hicksville Chamber of Commerce and meet retired New York Met and Yankee Dwight “Doc” Gooden next week.
Join Verizon Wireless and the Hicksville Chamber for a networking mixer at the Verizon store in the Jericho on July 1. Learn tips and best practices from mobile technology and small business experts, and how it can improve your business.
Registrations are required. For more information or to sign up, contact the chamber at 516-931-7170 or via email.
Anti-Gang Group Announces 14th Anniversary Gala
Anti-gang nonprofit S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth Inc. has announced details for their 14th anniversary gala.
Entitled “Oh The Places You’ll Go,” the event is scheduled for Sept. 18 at the Coral House in Baldwin.
S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth Inc. was founded in 2000 in response to the brutal murder of Uniondale resident Eric Rivera by alleged gang members. Former gang member Sergio Argueta and co-Founder Michael Hernandez launched community service projects and pushed for alternatives rather than just harsher penalties.
These days, the Uniondale-based organization is one of the largest gang-prevention and intervention agencies in the Northeast. They’ve reached more than 78,000 people through workshops and presentations, and fostered strong relationships with Long Island community members.
For reservations, sponsorships or more information, contact Rashmia Zatar at 516-483-1350 or by email.
Oct. 31 Date Set For LI Homeless Coalition Conference
The Long Island Coalition for the Homeless has announced a date for their next major event.
The 26th annual Keys for the Homeless Conference is slated to occur Oct. 31 at Touro Law School in Central Islip.
This year’s conference will focus on housing first, rapid rehousing and addressing the needs of Long Island’s most vulnerable populations.
Specific workshops have not yet been announced as proposals were accepted through today. The nonprofit, however, is still accepting nominations for the Unsung Hero Award and Helen Martin scholarship – awarded to those who have experienced homelessness and require financial assistance to pursue higher education.
Tickets at the door will go for $75, although early registration is priced at $70. Discounted sponsorship rates are also available by Aug. 1
Visit them online to register or for more information.
The YMCA Boulton Center
37 West Main Street, Bay Shore
Tickets and more information available here
Cold Spring Harbor
The John W. Engeman Theater
250 Main Street, Northport
Plaza Suite - Friday, June 27 at 8 p.m., Saturday, June 28 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sunday, June 29 at 2 p.m.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day - Saturday, June 28 at 11 a.m. and Sunday, June 29 at 10:30 a.m.
Shut Up, Sit Down and Eat - Sunday, June 29 at 7 p.m.
Tickets and more information available here
9 Railroad Avenue, Patchogue
Seattle 4 - Friday, June 27 at 8 p.m.
Long Island Music Conference - Saturday, June 28 at 10 p.m.
Tickets and more information available here