Nov. 8-14, 2014
The River Walk
The River Walk project is being developed by GRB Development. Michael Kelly helped found the company on the principals of; commitment to quality, customer service and corporate responsibility. The guiding principles of the conceptual design of The Riverwalk were: maximizing open space; providing finely manicured common and public areas; transforming a site to its original residential plan; including the historical elements of the Village of Patchogue; meticulous building components, and much more. From the east / west Green Belt to the Riverwalk with sitting stations along the Patchogue River to the transformation of Clare Rose Boulevard, the common areas will be spectacular.
This housing development will feature 163 townhouses built on the site of a former industrial facility and along the water. The site is easily accessible to the Patchogue LIRR station just half a block away. It's also within walking distance of the YMCA, downtown Patchogue and ferries to Fire Island National Seashore.
“We’re still only halfway there. We still have a lot more routes to get there on Sundays. I don’t want to go back to the riders anymore. I want to go to the state and federal governments for funding. It’s absolutely critical.” Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk)
“Most of our businesses on Main Street, a majority of their sales are in this four-six week period before Christmas.” Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce Executive Director David Kennedy
“It’s important to shop in your downtown because the sales tax stays here. It doesn’t go anywhere else.” Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce President Julie Marchesella
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RSVP Now For The Smart Growth Summit
The Smart Growth Summit has brought together thousands of local business and community leaders, and municipal officials for more than a decade to advance downtown redevelopment and bring infrastructre dollars to our region. This year's event features 24 workshop panels, a youth summit, trade show, and both breakfast and lunch sessions. We anticipate over 1,100 in attendence. Lunch will sell out, so sponsor early!
Announcing this year's Event Schedule:
8:15-9:45 MORNING PLENARY:
Invocation by Reverend Thomas Goodhue, LI Council of Churches
“STATE OF THE TOWNS & VILLAGES”
Hon. Antonio Martinez
Hon. Ed Ambrosino
Hon. Jim Wooten
Hon. Peter Cavallaro
NC Village Officials Association
|Fair Housing/Segregation on LI
Housing discrimination still exists on Long Island in certain neighborhoods. This workshop will provide updates on fair housing policies and strategies to address them. This group of speakers includes developers, housing nonprofits and elected officials.
Sol Marie Alfonso-Jones, LI Community Foundation
Dr. Richard Koubek, Huntington Township Housing Coalition
Peter Florey, D&F Development
Hon. Siela Bynoe, Nassau County
Michelle Santantonio, Long Island Housing Services
Lawrence Levy, National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University, Moderator
Youth Vision for LI’s Future
The Brain Drain has become old news – some young professionals are fleeing Long Island. Limited, expensive housing options, lack of jobs and a shortage of entertainment are common complaints. This panel will take input from several millennials and members of the LI Youth Summit and identify solutions.
Jeff Guillot, Suburban Millennial Institute
Meghan Sullivan, St. Joseph's College
David Viana, Baldwin Civic Association
Elisabeth Muehlemann, Friends of LI
Dr. Nathalia Rogers, Dowling College, Moderator
Main Street has been transformed across Long Island. Downtown shop owners and chambers of commerce representatives will discuss what opportunities and best practices exist for healthy shopping districts in this discussion.
Julie Marchesella, Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce
Gina Coletti, Nesconset Chamber of Commerce
Molly McKay, Willdan Financial Services
Bob Feldman, Basser-Kaufman, Moderator
Police officers can prevent crime on Main Street, but they’re not the only ones. Adding pedestrians to downtowns improves overall safety, as can community organizations, youth programs and private security systems. Representatives from both, as well as a retired SCPD chief, will speak in this panel.
Greg Ohanessian, I-Tech Security
Sergio Argueta, STRONG
Lionel Chitty, Hicksville Chamber of Commerce
Elizabeth Isakson MD, Docs for Tots
Robert Moore, SC Police Retired, Moderator
Downtown Showcase Nassau
What’s happening in Nassau County? Elected officials from four communities with strong downtowns will give updates on current and future projects. Complete Streets projects are a highlight in Great Neck Plaza, while the arts are alive in Westbury with the Space at Westbury attracting high-end performances and the Greater Westbury Council for the Arts organizing community events. Mineola officials showed off new housing options during the first Smart Growth Saturday in May. Meanwhile, Freeport officials are promoting the Nautical Mile while trying create redevelopment and entice more pedestrians near Sunrise Highway
Hon. Jean Celender, Village of Great Neck Plaza
Hon. Peter Cavallaro, Village of Westbury
Hon. Jorge Martinez, Village of Freeport
Hon. Joseph Scalero, Village of Mineola
Salvatore Coco, Beatty, Harvey, Coco Architects, LLP
John O’Connell, Herald Publications, Moderator
Over the past several decades, our streets have gone from public spaces shared by all members of society to get from place to place, to cars only spaces, engineered for speed without much consideration for other users or the surrounding context. Complete Streets provide space for all users of the roadway: drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, transit users and the disabled, to safely use the road. They can also serve not only as parts of the transportation network, but as public spaces that add value to the surrounding area. Learn about Complete Streets policy and design for Long Island.
Will Stoner, AARP
Dean Gowen, Wendel
Frank Pearson, Greenman Pedersen
Kimberly Pettit, BikeLid
John Massengale, Author, Street Design, The Secret to Great Cities and Towns
Veronica Vanterpool, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Moderator
Transit Oriented Development creates nodes of walkable development in areas surrounding transit stops. This mixed use development may not always fit into the prescribed financing categories banks use for lending. Learn about different, innovative ways to help finance this type of development to eliminate one of the hurdles to creating more livable, sustainable places.
Bob Paley, MTA
Andrew Saluk, NEFCU
Matthew Frank, The Richman Group
Bill Purschke, Zodiac Title Services
Gerry Bogacz, NYMTC
Anthony Manetta, Standard Advisors Group
Renewable energy and energy efficiency are a crucial part of fueling our economy without causing irreparable damage to our climate and environment. Learn about ways that Long Islanders can better utilize a range of renewable energy sources.
Clint Plummer, Deepwater Wind
David Schieren, Empower Solar
Beth Fiteni, NYSERDA
Hon. Connie Kepert, Town of Brookhaven, Moderator
Economic Development & Infrastructure Suffolk
Infrastructure are one of the key ways that government can help spur economic development. Infrastructure can allow businesses to thrive by allowing for growth, providing efficient transportation between locations, and creating public spaces that enhance the value of their surroundings. Learn what Suffolk County is doing to help businesses thrive within the county particularly in aiding Smart Growth projects in our downtowns and the creation of new town centers.
Hon. DuWayne Gregory, Presiding Officer, Suffolk County
Joanne Minieri, Suffolk County IDA
David Calone, Suffolk Planning Commission
Robert Fonti, LI Business Council
Workshops II: 11:10-12:20
In the wake of Smart Growth Saturday, a number of downtowns are capitalizing on opportunities to strengthen and grow their communities. Patchogue officials will touch on new housing options and entertainment options, like the Emporium and the Patchogue Theater for the Performing Arts. Bay Shore had been a rough town not too long ago, but a focus on a safe and appealing downtown helped attract tenants to new apartment buildings. And in Coram, construction is underway on Wincoram Commons. The extensive mixed-use project will create a much-needed community center and connect to another new housing development.
Hon. Paul Pontieri, Village of Patchogue
Larry Gargano, Greenview Properties, Bayshore
Erma Gluck, Coram Civic Association
Dan Schrafel, The Long Islander, Moderator
Tourism & Downtowns
With beautiful beaches, the Hamptons on one end and New York City on the other, why leave the region when it’s time to vacation? Long Island is a community of communities, each with their own identity and opportunities. Villages and downtown communities offer a wide variety of boutique shops and restaurants to enjoy. Listen to tourism experts, a municipality’s tourism boss and a videographer who’s featured a number of the island’s towns on screen in this workshop.
Kim Kaiman, Town of North Hempstead
Dr. Janice Scarinci, St. Joseph's College
Karen Harding, THEM Media
Gregory Zeller, LI Business News, Moderator
Jobs, Taxes, Small Business
Job development is the no. 1 issue facing Long Islanders. This panel of employers, business incubators, nonprofits and elected officials will discuss opportunities in downtowns and the proposed NYS small business savings legislation.
William Wahlig, LIFT
Tyler Roye, Launchpad Huntington
Tonya Lewter, New Millenium Development
Hon. George Maragos, Comptroller, Nassau County
Roger Clayman, LI Federation of Labor, Moderator
Future of Energy on Long Island
How will Long Island meet its future energy needs? Hear from leaders in the energy industry on Long Island how Long Island will move forward with managing our energy supply.
Michael Voltz, PSEG
Sean Mongan, National Grid
Ross Ain, Caithness Energy
Neal Lewis, Sustainability Institute at Molloy, Moderator
Long Island has the most highly used commuter transit system in the world. However, Long Islanders need transit to travel around the island, not just into the city. Learn about what is being done to improve transit island-wide.
Mitch Pally, MTA
Alex Matthiessen, Move NY
Anita Halasz, LI Jobs with Justice
Rosemary Mascali, Transit Solutions
John McNally, Energeia Partnership
Denise Carter, Greenman Pedersen, Moderator
Water quality is an issue that affects all Long Islanders. Living above our water supply presents challenges to keeping it safe for us to drink. Learn what is being done to help protect our groundwater and surface waters while still allowing for growth on Long Island.
Dennis Kelleher, H2M
Gary Rozmus, GEI
Peter Scully, NYS DEC
Dr. Chris Gobler, SUNY Stonybrook
Adrienne Esposito, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Moderator
Our health is impacted in many ways by the environment in which we live. Those who live in walkable communities tend to have lower obesity rates, and better health than those who are stuck driving to every destination. Learn how your community can affect your lifestyle and subsequently your health.
Hon. Laura Curran, Nassau County
Kathy Munsch, American Heart Association
Jenn O’Connor, Council for a Strong America
Bernadette Martin, Friends & Farmers, Moderator
Economic Development & Infrastructure Nassau
Infrastructure is one of the key ways that government can help spur economic development. Infrastructure can allow businesses to thrive by allowing for growth, providing efficient transportation between locations, and creating public spaces that enhance the value of their surroundings. Learn what Nassau County is doing to help businesses thrive within the county.
Hon. Norma Gonsalves, Presiding Officer, Nassau County
Joe Kearney, Nassau County IDA
Jeff Greenfield, Nassau Planning Commission
Mike DeNicola, Hazen & Sawyer
Hon. Ed Ambrosino, Town of Hempstead
Rich Bivone, LI Business Council, Moderator
Education & Economic Development
The economics of education is almost as challenging as the business of teaching and learning. The costs associated with delivering services have made School Districts weigh in on development projects while seeking alternative solutions with their own facilities. This panel will tackle the changing nature of school districts on Long Island and provide a look as to what issues they are facing.
Dr. Al Inserra, Dowling College
Dr. Patrick Harrigan, Half Hollow Hills School District
Dr. Mary Kelly, Amityville School District
Steve Krieger, Engel Burman
Mark Grossman, Mark Grossman Public Relations, Moderator
Vision Long Island
Hon. Steve Bellone
Suffolk County Executive
Hon. Kathleen Rice
Hon. Ed Mangano
Nassau County Executive
Parking, Design and Codes
Parking can be both crucial for a downtown's survival and detrimental to its health all depending on how it is designed and managed. Not enough and it can discourage shoppers, too much and it can harm the walkability of the downtown which is what makes it successful. Learn about parking management best practices, regulations and strategies downtowns on Long Island and beyond are using to manage this resource.
Mark Gander, AECOM/Green Parking Council
Robert Scheiner, Huntington Chamber of Commerce
Victor Dadras, New York Main Street Alliance
Kathleen Deegan Dickson, Forchelli Curto Deegan
Sean Sallie, Nassau County Dept. of Public Works
Elissa Ward Kyle, Vision Long Island, Moderator
New Town Centers
While Long Island has seen improvements to many downtowns with small, incremental development, several large projects are transforming downtowns and creating new ones. Learn about the progress on some of the larger Smart Growth development projects happening across the island.
David Wolkoff, Heartland Town Square, Brentwood
Robert Coughlan, TRITEC Real Estate, Ronkonkoma
Thomas Graham, RXR - Garvies Point, Glen Cove
Stephen Holley, AKRF - Wyandanch Rising
David Winzelberg, LI Business News, Moderator
Arts & Destinations
Downtowns can be destinations unto themselves, but they are also great locations for destinations within. Learn about some of the many great places to eat, drink, shop, experience art and music and otherwise enjoy yourself on our Main Streets.
Terry Statz Smith, Arts Alive
Phil Ebel, Great South Bay Brewery
David Saul, The Electric Dudes
Frank Paruolo, LI Board of Realtors
Heather Johnson, Northport Historical Society, Moderator
Smart Growth Around the Region
Long Island has built some great examples of Smart Growth in our downtowns and transit hubs, but more can always be learned from the successes of other developments. Learn about projects from around the New York metro area and how their successes can inform how we develop here.
Matt Carmody, VHB – Roosevelt Island
Meredith Bostwick-Lorenzo Eiroa, SOM : Architecture
Steven Jacobs, U3 Advisors
Jaime Stover, Mill Creek – Jersey City
Ron Stein, Vision Long Island
Charles Lane, NPR, Moderator
Superstorm Sandy struck the Tri-State area in October 2012. When the second anniversary arrived last month, many South Shore residents were still not home and some who did return were bogged down in a tangle of red tape, misinformation and debt. This workshop will include an update from NY Rising officials, along with discussions about infrastructure and an update from some afflicted communities.
Jon Kaiman, Governor’s Advisor, NYS Office of Storm Recovery
Vanessa Pino Lockel, NY Rising
Paul Beyer, NYS DOS
Dan Berkovits, NYS Office of Storm Recovery
Deborah Kirnon, St. Anne’s Parish Outreach
Kim Skillen, Neighbors Supporting Neighbors
Jon Siebert, Friends of Long Island, Moderator
LI REDI stands for Responsible Economic Development Initiative. It’s a campaign to invest in critical infrastructure and gain public support with the goal of reversing the unsustainable living environment prompting many to leave. The ‘Long Island is REDI’ campaign kicked off with a conference focusing on Millenials this fall. This panel will include representatives of unions, government officials and developers discussing the viability of this campaign and other regional plans.
Brandon Palanker, Renaissance Downtowns
Tara Bono, Destination Long Island
Joe Montalbano, Greater New York Laborers Coop and Education Trust
Anthony Macagnone, Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters
Keith Archer, Harras Bloom & Archer
Hon. Dr. William Spencer, Suffolk County
Bill Tuyn, Forbes Homes, Moderator
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Additional Resources Proposed For 2015 LI Bus Systems
Both Nassau and Suffolk Counties are fueling their bus systems for 2015 with a little something extra.
For more on the Nassau changes and the Suffolk changes, check out Newsday (subscription required).
“A healthy functioning bus system means good things for our economy,” Long Island Bus Riders Union Organizer Aaron Watkins-Lopez said. “There are so many people who can’t drive a car for whatever reason, and the bus is their lifeline.”
In Nassau County, four new members will join the county’s Bus Transit Committee to oversee the Nassau Inter County Express (NICE) Bus system, expanding the group to nine members. That includes two members appointed by County Executive Ed Mangano, one by the Republican majority and another by the Democratic minority. Watkins-Lopez said the Democrats will work with Long Island Bus Riders Union on the selection. They expect to choose someone with experience on the bus; a former MTA bus driver is the only member of the existing five with experience.
“It’s important to have someone who rides the bus oversee the bus system,” he said.
Meanwhile, the county’s $2.98 billion 2015 budget approved last month also includes another $2 million for the NICE buses. That raises their contribution to $4.6 million towards the $113 million system. Advocates, however, are concerned those funds will be money previously promised. County officials promised $1.8 million in the summer to address a deficit, but they haven’t paid up yet. If it’s not the missing money, the union organizer hoped it could reduce late buses by having more on the street.
But even with the increased subsidy, NICE is still projected to face a $6 million deficit from now through 2015 based on Mangano’s budget. The county executive has promised not to raise fares outside of the MTA-controlled Metrocard, which leaves concerns about service cuts and funding.
Meanwhile, Watkins-Lopez said Nassau bus riders are already paying more in recent months and could very well open their wallets even further before long. Fares were all bumped up to $2.50 in September, led by a 25-cent increase for cash fares. The MTA is also expected to raise fares in 2015.
“The buses are becoming inaccessible to a lot of people who use them, mostly lower income families,” he said.
The Long Island Bus Riders Union, Tri-State Transportatin Campaign and Vision Long Island are calling on Nassau County to subsidize more of the NICE Bus system. As of this year, they were spending $2.6 million, with an additional $57 million from New York State. Back in 1999, Nassau County chipped in $10 million, a figure which was gradually reduced by county administrations and aggressively cut by Mangano’s team.
On the other hand, Jobs With Justice, Tri-State and Vision supported County Legislator Jay Schniederman (I-Montauk). Suffolk County Transit (ST) costs $57 million to operate each year, with the county paying $29 million and the state paying $22 million.
The proposed 2015 budget by County Executive Steve Bellone also includes an additional $500,000.
Both possible increases in funding would be used to continue recent expansions of the ST system. A pilot program on the East End first introduced Sunday service to Suffolk County buses. A county study found 24 routes would benefit from Sunday service; expanded evening service was also highly sought. Schniederman championed the cause and secured a $1 million federal grant to add nine more Sunday routes last year.
Every ST route does not need Sunday or evening hours, Schniederman said, but there are still many that do.
“We’re still only halfway there. We still have a lot more routes to get there on Sundays. I don’t want to go back to the riders anymore. I want to go to the state and federal governments for funding. It’s absolutely critical,” he said.
Bellone’s budget, which relies on an increase in projected sales tax revenue, would expand some Sunday and evening service. The Department of Public Works is tinkering with specifics now, but the legislator expects two or three weekend expansions. He was unable to elaborate on evening hours. Both are supposed to be developed based on need. Schneiderman said the S45 bus – connecting Patchogue to the South Shore Mall – desperately needs both evening and weekend hours as a critical connection to other routes. He also expects at least one of the S60, S61 and S62 with service between Patchogue and Stony Brook to be expanded.
If the budget is approved, the $500,000 would come from fare hikes. The cost to ride a bus in Suffolk County could jump by a quarter to $2.25, which is currently is on the East End where the summer service first began.
Vision Long Island testified at the Suffolk hearing in support of the measure.
Schumer: Bring Back Commuter Tax Benefit
An expired tax break can save commuters using mass transit $1,300 a year.
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) joined transportation advocates and commuters at the Mineola LIRR station Tuesday to call on Congress to reinstate the Commuter Tax Benefit.
“As the price of commuting continues to climb, this commuter tax break has become increasingly vital for Long Island residents, who already experience a very high cost of living,” Schumer said.
Before the tax break expired Dec. 31, 2013, commuters were allowed to use $245 in pre-tax income each month for mass transit. He estimated that saved 700,000 area commuters more than $330 million in 2012.
But when the break expired, that figure dropped to $130 of pre-tax income per month in 2014.
With the lame duck session of Congress returning this week, Schumer began pushing for the EXPIRE Act, which includes the mass transit tax benefit among a number of other expiring tax provisions. If the act is approved, it would bump the tax break up to $250 for 2015 and could cover some 2014 costs retroactively.
“The Commuter Pre Tax Benefit is a vital lifeline to commuters struggling to make ends meet in these difficult times and we are grateful for all of Senator Schumer’s efforts to restore and revive it,” said Mark Epstein, chair of the Long Island Railroad Commuter Council.
More than 300,000 commuters ride LIRR trains every week day, according to MTA estimates. Without the additional $120, the cheapest monthly ticket would remain $242 for a Long Island commuter coming from western Nassau communities like Mineola, Valley Stream and Hempstead. The most expensive monthly ticket – $363 in post-tax dollars – occurs for commuters in East End communities like Riverhead, Westhampton and Montauk.
That would mirror the existing IRS exemption for commuters who drive into work and park. This tax break did not fall over the past year.
“It makes absolutely no sense to provide those who drive to work with a tax break and make commuters who use mass transit pay more, and it must be a top priority before the end of this Congress to fix this inequality,” Schumer said.
The senator authored the bill that created this tax break, which was first passed as part of the economic stimulus package in 2008. He claims it’s saved mass transit riders more than $1,000 per year.
For more coverage of this story, check out CBS and News 12 (subscription required). Vision also covered Schumer's efforts to save the tax break last November.
Downtown Merchants: Important To Shop Local This Season
Small Business Saturday may be designed to promote downtown shopping for the holidays, but on Long Island, merchants are planning well beyond American Express’ campaign.
“Small Business Saturday is not the end-all, be-all. It’s what you do after,” Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce Executive Director David Kennedy said.
Last year’s event worked well for the Patchogue Chamber and their sister organization in Bellmore, with trolleys connecting downtowns, live music on the streets and discounts at member stores. But in 2014, Kennedy said the message will continue after Nov. 29 – the date set by American Express.
“We’re trying to make Small Business Saturday a concept we’re promoting throughout the holidays,” he said.
Instead, the Great Patchogue Chamber of Commerce will organize some retail-oriented event every Saturday before Christmas. Carolers and discounts from merchants accepting American Express will be back on Nov. 12, but the trolleys won’t. Instead, the trolley will return Dec. 13 for Shop the South Shore on the Downtown Express, with stops in Sayville, Bayport-Blue Point, Patchogue and Bellport. Both the Patchogue and Bellport chambers will offer their own discount card on Dec. 6, while Kennedy said his organization will host a late night shopping event on Dec. 18.
“Every Saturday we have some different theme going on,” he said.
Created by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday is an annual event the weekend of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday where cardholders are encouraged to shop at mom and pop stores. American Express offers minor financial incentive that day for members who register their card.
In Patchogue, Kennedy said they face an uphill battle from malls and Internet sales. He petitioned residents to frequent their downtowns instead, tempting customers with customer service, a sense of comfort and the absence of lengthy shipping times.
“Most of our businesses on Main Street, a majority of their sales are in this four-six week period before Christmas,” Kennedy said.
Across the island, Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce President Julie Marchesella said Cyber Monday has overtaken Black Friday, as well as Small Business Saturday.
“Internet shopping has taken over,” she said.
But even if it hadn’t, American Express’ campaign has not struck a chord with all merchants. More retailers in Nassau County are abandoning American Express due to high fees, Marchesella said. Even those still accepting the spending card and interested in participating in Small Business Saturday may be out of luck if they failed to sign up early enough in advance.
“They do a lot of advertising about this and make it sound like they’re really promoting Main Street, but unless you signed up, you’re not part of the game,” she said.
Instead, Nassau County is promoting its own buy local campaign, which kicked off unusually early two weeks ago. That includes $250,000 from the Nassau County IDA to advertise in print, over the airwaves and on television. This advertisement with real merchants was played repeatedly on News 12 last week.
Like Kennedy, Marchesella emphasized how important is to keep Main Streets alive and well. They typically keep more sales tax within the community, pay school taxes, fund downtown holiday and beautification efforts, and offer scholarships to local students.
“We give back to the community,” she said.
Vision Long Island has been an ongoing supporter of Smart Business Saturday and frequenting small businesses in downtowns year-round.
Find more information about Small Business Saturday here.
Amityville OKs Apartments, Happy With Artspace Tour
Progress seems to be coming in Amityville.
On Monday, the Village Board unanimously approved a new apartment development. Developer Robert Curcio Jr. proposed a new 12-unit apartment building on Oak Street. Plans call for the one-bedroom apartments to be rented for $2,000-$2,200.
“I think it reaffirms the board’s commitment to bringing high-quality residential to our downtown,” Trustee Nick LaLota said.
Curcio needs zoning for the half-acre property changed from retail business and B residence to C residence, which allows for multiple units of housing. The developer would also require approvals from the Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board, with attorney Bruce Kennedy confirmed Curcio’s purchase of the property is contingent upon. However, LaLota said obtaining Village Board approval was the largest hurdle to clear.
In exchange for permission, the applicant agreed to reseal and restripe an adjacent municipal lot, make improvements to nearby lighting and help a family move off the future construction site. The land is currently home to three houses owned by the estate of a family deeply-rooted in Amityville; one of the buildings is vacant.
Those houses were part of the reason the vote was delayed from last month. Village officials also delayed making a decision until Artspace toured the town Nov. 4-6 and offered their feedback on the Oak Street development.
Artspace is a nonprofit real estate developer that helps create spaces for artists to live and work. Patchogue officials credit Artspace for pushing their revitalization along; Patchogue is one of just 36 projects around the country.
The Village of Amityville approved spending $15,000 on feasibility study earlier this fall to get the nonprofit in town. And after their visit, LaLota was optimistic about the village’s chances.
“So far, both sides are happy with what they’re seeing,” he said.
If Artspace agrees to work with Amityville officials, the partnership would ultimately lead to new mixed-use development. The ground floor would house a theater or some cultural use, while 30-40 new loft apartments for artists to live and work would go upstairs. The exact location of the development hasn’t been determined; nonprofit staff will generate a list of possibilities during the study.
While in Amityville, LaLota said the nonprofit viewed six locations and attended a very positive meeting with 500 residents. They’re expected to touch base again some time after New Year’s Day to begin considering details like investments by Village Hall, finances and site location.
However, LaLota cautioned, this is definitely a long-term project.
“Should things go really fast and really well, we could see something open in 2-4 years.”
Both project won approval from Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander.
"It's exciting to see the Village of Amityville embrace mixed-use development as well as incorporating the artists' community in future redevelopment. It goes without saying these changes are best managed locally, judiciously and with the support of the civic and small business community," he said.
For more on this story, check out Newsday (subscription required).
Mixed-Use Development In Great Neck Plaza Advances
A mixed-use development project in Great Neck Plaza will get help from Nassau County.
The county IDA voted in favor of offering the $12.2 million project $229,350 in financial assistance on Thursday night.
Attorneys for developers Nemat Homes said their plans to build a new four-story building along Grace Avenue could not have moved forward without the financial assistance. Once constructed, the 46,100 square-foot building will house 30 apartments, with 4,000 square feet of retail on the first floor.
The estimated monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment at the Grace Avenue Plaza complex is $1,600, with a two-bedroom unit going for $2,200.
Some on-site parking will be available, but the building will also be within half a mile from the Great Neck LIRR station.
The village’s Zoning Board of Appeals previously approved the project.
Mayor Jean Celender said this marks the first development under the Transit-Oriented Development zoning Great Neck Plaza officials created two years ago. She was optimistic the project would increase vitality downtown without changing the village’s character.
“We’re a downtown suburban community and we want to maintain that small village charm.”
Nemat Homes plans to demolish existing structures on the .43-acre site, totaling $7.2 million in construction costs. The other $5 million is anticipated for land acquisition and variance fees
For more on this story, check out Long Island Business News (subscription required).
Find A Beautiful Holiday Gift Made By Local Artists
Shop locally this holiday season.
Check out the Holiday Gift Boutique at the East End Arts Gallery for a variety of unique and artsy gifts. The shop opens for business from Nov. 15 through Dec. 23 with hours every day except Monday.
Peruse handmade ornaments, one-of-a-kind jewelry, unique home goods and more. Every piece of product is made by more than 38 local artists.
East End Arts members receive a 15 percent discount on all purchases.
For more information about the Holiday Gift Boutique, check them out online.
Talking Tech At Hofstra University Real Estate Conference
Sign up now for a free conference to explore how technology is changing the real estate business model.
Technology+Profits=Bigger Profits is scheduled for Nov. 18 at Institute of Real Estate at Hofstra University.
In partnership with the school’s Wilbur Breslin Center for Real Estate Studies, this event is to include a panel discussion about modern business models. Frank Edwards, of Colliers International; Marc Spector, of Spector Group; Dani Torcolacci, of Teichos Energy; and Michael Voltz, of PSEG-LI will discuss ideas.
For more information or to RSVP, call 516-463-7214 or email school officials.
Join LI Hispanic Chamber At A Red Carpet Gala
The Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will honor five Long Islanders during a black tie, red carpet ceremony next month.
Their 26th annual awards gala is slated for Nov. 22 at the Long Island Marriot in Uniondale.
Dr. Jorge Gardyn will receive the Chairmans Award for CEO of the Year; Claire Scanlon will be awarded the Minority Business Advocate of the Year; State Senator Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) will receive the Visionary Award: Senator of the Year; Mohinder Singh Taneja will be awarded the Ambassador of Diversity award; and Jose Nido will be honored with the Global Corporate Man of the Year. A sixth, surprise award is also on the agenda.
Register for the gala through the chamber’s website. Ticket prices range from $250 for chamber members to $350 for non-members.
Find The Fun In Westbury BID Scavenger Hunt
Are you good at decoding riddles? How about recording yourself singing on the street?
If this sounds like fun, then sign up now for the Post Avenue Small Business Saturday Scavenger Hunt.
Scheduled for Nov. 29, the Westbury Business Improvement District (BID) will send teams down Post Avenue from the Village Piazza to the Recreation Center. Groups will spend about an hour trying to win prizes before arriving at the annual tree lighting ceremony at 4 p.m. Winners will be announced during the ceremony.
The event is free and open to everyone; participants just need to bring a smartphone or digital camera. Register for the scavenger hunt by email and check out the BID online for more details.
Step Into A Charles Dickens-Era Port Jefferson
In early December, the streets of Port Jefferson transform into something special.
When the 19th annual Charles Dickens Festival takes place Dec. 5-7, characters like Father Christmas, Scrooge, the Town Crier and the Dickens Mayor will wander about. East Main Street will become Dickens Alley and the live music on traditional instruments will return in Fezziwig's Ball. An impressive model train display will be featured in Harbor Square Mall and, special readings by Mother Goose will take place at the Port Jefferson free library. Horse and carriage rides and the new Port Jeff Jitney bus will help transport visitors to the various venues throughout the village for the entire weekend.
Theater Three’s Jeffrey Sanzel has been named the honoree of the 19th Annual Charles Dickens Festival. His accomplishments will be recognized at the Opening Ceremony and before the Christmas Carol production the evening of Dec. 5 at the theater.
Building on the renowned festival, the Port Jefferson-Northern Brookhaven Arts Council will join the Village of Port Jefferson for a Festival of Trees event with a theme from the film “Frozen” deputing on Friday night. Children will be able to decorate their own Gingerbread houses and cookies.
Ice skating will also return at Village Center, with performances by musicians, a cappella groups and magicians. Santa Claus and his elves will be working in Santa’s Workshop on Nov. 30, Dec. 6-7, Dec. 13 and Dec. 20.
The event is open to the public and most attractions are free. Visit the event’s website for a full schedule of the Dickens Festival.
Meanwhile, the Victorian Walking Lanternlight House Tour will return on the evening of Dec. 6 from 4:30-8:30 p.m. Tickets for the tour are $25. The tour, plus ‘Seasonal Cheer Gathering’ is $45, which starts gathering at Oldfields Restaurant at 3:30 p.m. Call the chamber at 631-473-1414 for tickets.
Get Building With Gingerbread For 2nd Annual LI Contest
Check the calendar, Christmas is 40 days away. That’s just over a month from now.
Now is the time to sign up for Chocolate Duck’s 2nd annual Long Island Gingerbread House Competition. The Farmingdale-based cake-supply store is hosting the contest on Dec. 13 in the store.
Any gingerbread structure is eligible, not just houses, but it should be inspired by the Gold Coast Era.
Private judging will take place in the morning, with the show opened to the public at noon. Winners can compete for cash prizes, a 32-inch flat screen television and gift certificates.
Registration is open from now until Nov. 25. Adults will be charged a $25 fee and youths 17 and under will be charged a $5 fee. Registration forms can be found on the store’s website or the Village of Farmingdale’s website. For more information, contact Christine Bisbee via email.
Volunteers Wanted For Clothing Drive, Thanksgiving Dinner
The start of the holiday season is just a few weeks away, time for community members to start helping those in need.
The "Brentwood, Bay Shore and Central Islip Feed the Need" cause is up and running. These volunteers are collecting hats, gloves, socks, coats, blankets and wash-up kits for the homeless and neighbors in need. Donations can be left at St. Anne's Parish Outreach.
These volunteers will also be preparing and serving a Thanksgiving dinner again this year. Restaurants looking to donate trays of food and individuals looking to help with the meal are asked to contact Deborah Kirnon at 631 336-6427.
EPA Opens $3.75 Mil Grants To Protect Freshwater
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now accepting proposals to fund freshwater protection projects.
The Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant is used to accelerate and expand the strategic protection of healthy freshwater ecosystems and their watersheds across the country. The EPA expects to issue a cooperative agreement to fund a single grantee to manage the Healthy Watersheds Consortium grant program and issue subawards on a competitive basis.
Applicants can be nonprofit organizations, non-governmental organizations, interstate agencies and inter-tribal consortia which are capable of undertaking activities that advance healthy watershed programs on a national basis.
Eligible entities for the subawards include public and private nonprofit institutions/organizations, federally recognized Indian tribal governments, states, local governments, U.S. territories or possessions, and interstate agencies. Anticipated federal funding under the competition is approximately $3.75 million over six years.
Proposals are due Jan. 5. For more information about the RFP and this grant, visit the EPA online.
Save Even More On Solar Photovoltaic Installations
Homeowners having solar panels placed on their roof can trim a few bucks off the bill, as well as their carbon footprint.
Public benefit corporation NYSERDA is offering incentives for solar photovoltaic systems at residential and small commercial across the state through their NY-Sun Incentive program.
Kicking in Aug. 13, the program provides rebates for up to 24 kilowatts at homes and 200 kilowatts on small commercial sites. Incentives are distributed via a Megawatt (MW) Block incentive structure that allocates MWs to specific regions of the State.
Systems may also qualify for tax credits: up to 30 percent of the system cost for federal and 25 percent of the system cost (up to $5,000 for a primary residence) for New York State.
Check out NY-Sun Incentive for more on this assistance.
NYSERDA also offers financing through Green Jobs – Green New York.
Residential customers can acquire loans up to $13,000, or $25,000 with higher cost-effectiveness standards, over 5, 10 or 15 years. The current interest rate is 3.49 percent.
Small businesses with 100 employees or less and not-for-profit organizations, can borrow up to $100,000 at half the market interest rate and On-Bill Recovery loans of up to $50,000 at 3 percent interest over 10 years.
Find a contractor on NYSERDA’s website to get started.
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What's happening on your Main Street this weekend?
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
No shows scheduled this weekend.
Tickets and more information available here
9 Railroad Avenue, Patchogue
Mike Delguidice & Big Shot - Friday, Nov. 14 at 10 p.m.
Saturday Night Dance Party - Saturday, Nov. 15 at 9:30 p.m.
Zoso with special guest the Jukebox Heros - Sunday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m.
Tickets and more information available here
Bay Street Theater
The Long Wharf, Sag Harbor
Literature Live! presents to Kill A Mockingbird - Friday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 15 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Tickets and more information available here
Farmers Markets in or adjacent to Long Island's downtowns:
700 Hempstead Tpke.
Thursdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
July through November
Sundays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
June 1-Nov. 23
18 Village Square
Tuesdays, 7 a.m.-1 p.m.
June 3-Nov. 25
115 Forest Ave.
Saturdays, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
June 7-Nov. 22
1 West Chester Street
Wednesdays, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
May 3-Nov. 26
54 Audrey Ave.
Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
June through November
LIRR parking lot no. 12, Sunrise Highway
Sundays, 7 a.m.-Noon
June 1-Nov. 23
Railroad Street, LIRR Lot @ Washington Avenue
Saturdays, 7 a.m.-Noon
May 31-Nov. 22
Elm Street lot
Sundays, 7 a.m.-Noon
June 1- Nov. 23
Town Hall Lot, Montauk Highway
Saturdays, 7 a.m.-Noon
May 31-Nov. 22
Main Street, across from fire department
Sundays, 9 am - 2 pm
May 18- Nov. 23
Cow Harbor parking lot
Saturdays, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
June 7 – Nov. 22
127 Smithtown Blvd.
Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
June 7-Nov. 22
7-11 Lot, 255 East Main St.
Fridays, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
July 4-Nov. 21
of Prince and Broadway
Sundays, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
May through November
Islip Grange, Broadway Avenue
Saturdays, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
mid-May through November
85 Mill Rd., next to historical Society
Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
May 10-Nov. 22
RSVP Now For 13th Annual Smart Growth Summit
The newsletter is going on another week-long hiatus as the Smart Growth Summit approaches Nov. 21. More than 1,100 are expected to hear Long Island's community, business and political leaders hash out problems, solutions, projects and ideas at the Melville Mariott. Smart Talk will return shortly after the Summit with a full recap of the discussions, but why wait? Registration is still open, with individual tickets starting at $150.
Newsletter Editor: Mike Koehler, Communications Director
Contributors: Tawaun Weber, Assistant Director; Elissa Kyle, Sustainability Director; Chris Kyle, 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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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