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Suffolk County Executive, Industrial Development Agency Release Report on Areas of Transit-Supported Economic Development

LongIsland.com

Summary of Outcomes and Lessons Learned from In-Depth Analysis.

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Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.

Photo by: Suffolk County

Hauppauge, NY - December 11, 2017 - Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency (Suffolk IDA), in partnership with the Regional Plan Association (RPA), have released a summary report detailing planning work that has occurred in several Suffolk County downtowns and business corridors. The Transit-Supported Economic Development in Suffolk County analysis of planning initiatives—which began in 2014—is an IDA-supported program that has been a catalyst for significant and meaningful economic development for local downtowns and business corridors across Long Island.
 
“Connecting Long Island’s downtowns through transit-oriented development is the key to continued economic prosperity for our region, and the recommendations laid out by this report provide us with a solid set of tools to get there,” said Suffolk County Executive Bellone.  “Thanks to the great work of both the Suffolk IDA and Regional Plan Association, municipalities throughout Suffolk County now have a clear path forward on what is needed to bolster their downtowns’ economic and tax-generating engines.”
 
“Supporting regional initiatives for sustainable economic development is a key piece of the IDA’s mission for Suffolk County,” added Theresa Ward, Chair of the Suffolk IDA and Deputy County Executive / Commissioner of Suffolk County’s Department of Economic Development & Planning said. “This report provides a window into the significant opportunities available to communities throughout the County and how they align with Connect Long Island—the County Executive’s vision for a comprehensive, regional transportation and development plan, and the nexus for the RPA initiative. Aligned with IDA’s broader and comprehensive mission to spur economic growth in the county, we initiated this investment with RPA and it has already generated a return on investment in the way of providing jurisdictions the tangible evidence needed to secure grant funding and needed zoning enhancements.”
 
Previous RPA reports have been noted for laying the groundwork of massive regional infrastructure investment projects, including the Second Avenue subway and East Side access project for the Long Island Rail Road. This report’s focus on specific villages and communities in Suffolk County provides local municipalities with the same foundation as it lays out the tangible methods to boost investment and balance needs for additional housing options that support continued growth of the economy.
 
“By working hand-in-hand with the Suffolk IDA, and the local villages and townships, we were able to identify the areas within several jurisdictions that are primed for economic growth,” said Regional Plan Association President Tom Wright. “Suffolk County is already a great place to conduct business, but the potential is there for so much more. We hope the analysis completed as a result of this endeavor continues to open doors for Suffolk County’s business community and residents.”
 
The RPA summary report highlights six key projects, and how the analysis has demonstrated the validity of these projects and the outcomes garnered from the process.
 
  • The Town of Smithtown has received a $20 million allocation from New York State to build a new wastewater treatment facility to service the 100-acre, 140-lot central business district area adjacent to a railroad station. The Town was also awarded $200,000 by Suffolk County to advance the downtown action plan and hire a consultant to prepare a master plan for downtown Kings Park based on this RPA study.
  • In Amityville, this Suffolk IDA initiative has increased interest in developing downtown, highlighted by 24 one-bedroom units now under construction and an $80,000 revitalization grant.
  • Lindenhurst has adopted a new floating zone for compact mixed-use develop­ment and secured a $200,000 grant from Suffolk County to conduct an engineering study of the downtown and imple­ment several walkability improvements, including new traffic islands, lighting, sidewalks and guardrails.
  • For the Route 110 Corridor, development proposals are being evaluated to make sure that the long-term transformation of key nodes follows the strategies laid out in the report. More specifically, the analysis provides the framework necessary to support a state of the art Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, and recommends infrastructure design and improvements for future developments along the corridor.
  • In West Babylon, RPA’s main objective was to transform the area surrounding the intersection of Route 109 and Little East Neck Road in an effort to increase pedestrian and bicycle safety, offer more support to local businesses and better connect to the surrounding neighborhoods. Sidewalk and lighting projects are already in the pipeline, with a comprehensive rezon­ing and transportation safety initiative plan ultimately contem­plated for the area to eliminate unwanted uses and bring build­ings to the lot line.
  • The Hauppauge Industrial Park has seen changes to the zoning code, allowing for the imple­mentation of cafes and restaurants where manufactures can sell goods on a retail basis on-site, leading to more vitality and business development inside the park.
  • The RPA summary report also included a host of lessons learned from the years of analysis. The main takeaway is that Suffolk County has many of the ingredients needed to grow an innovation-based economy. There is substantial capacity for growth in the County’s villages, downtowns and corridors, but accommodating this change often requires roadway re-design and updating or modernizing antiquated zoning codes. The six locations studied by RPA have progressed because the communities were willing to engage in the dialogue necessary to bring about such changes.
To view the RPA summary report and the full detailed reports of each individual project, please visit here.
 
The Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) is a public benefit corporation of the State of New York. The purpose of the agency is to promote economic development within Suffolk County. The operations of the agency are not supported by taxpayer funds, but rather fees generated by the applicants. The Suffolk County IDA works in synergy with Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone and the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Planning to foster positive economic development within the County. For more information regarding the Suffolk County IDA log on to www.suffolkida.org.