By Connor Beach
The Huntington Town Board has requested that the state legislature approve the transfer of state property along New York Avenue in Huntington Station to the town as part of the next step in Renaissance Downtowns’ revitalization plan.
The home rule message was a late addition to the agenda at last week’s town board meeting by Councilwoman Joan Cergol, and passed with a 3-2 vote. Councilmen Eugene Cook and Ed Smyth voted against the move.
The 4.16-acre property sought by the town is located along New York Avenue and is bordered by Church Street to the north and the Long Island Rail Road tracks to the south.
The property is included as part of master developer Renaissance Downtowns’ Huntington Station revitalization plan, which calls for artist lofts and a hotel to be built on the land. It’s currently a parking lot typically utilized by railroad commuters.
The property is owned by the state Department of Transportation, but pending land transfer bills sponsored by Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset) in the state Senate and Assemblyman Steve Stern (D-Huntington Station) in the state Assembly would authorize the transfer of the property to the town.
The state legislature will have the opportunity to approve the transfer before this month’s legislative session ends June 20.
Cook said after last week’s town board meeting that the board had discussed the resolution, but that he “wasn’t ready” to move forward with it after “what happened with Renaissance over the last couple of weeks.”
Cook was referencing changes made to the master developer’s Gateway Plaza plan that were eventually rolled back, and the $2.58 million in tax exemptions and abatements that were awarded by the Suffolk IDA to Renaissance.