By Andrew Wroblewski
Renaissance Downtowns is one step closer to getting shovels in the ground in an effort to reshape and revitalize Huntington Station.
Following a year-long state environmental review, the Huntington Town Board during its Sept. 16 meeting adopted Huntington Station-master developer Renaissance Downtowns’ Gateway Plan, a plan that could generate $1.5 million in new tax revenue and tens of millions of dollars in economic activity.
“It’s been a definitely herculean effort to get the SEQRA study to where it’s gotten to and we are very excited to move to the next step of the process,” Ryan Porter, vice president of planning and development for Plainview-based Renaissance Downtowns, said during the town board meeting.
That next step, he added, includes site-plan approvals, building permits and, “eventually,” groundbreaking.
Renaissance proposes to build within walking distance of the Huntington Long Island Rail Road Station a hotel and medical-office building at the intersection of New York Avenue and Railroad Street; a mixed-use building with apartments and retail business behind the town’s Gateway Plaza at New York Avenue and Olive Street; and artists’ residences and display space in part of what is now a parking lot at New York Avenue and Church Street.
Once executed, Porter has told Long Islander News, the projects could generate $1.5 million in annual new tax revenue, with $875,000 earmarked for the Huntington School District. The project is also expected to generate 325 construction jobs and about 300 permanent jobs upon completion, which could result in tens of millions of dollars of economic activity.
As per January’s community benefits agreement, 25 percent of construction and contracting jobs and 25 percent of new hires for permanent, non-construction positions would come from Town of Huntington residents. Huntington Station residents would receive top preference, however.
But the question remains, as Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone raised during the board meeting, is the town “going to see a structure soon?”
Porter replied, “Very soon, supervisor.”
In an interview Wednesday, Porter said Renaissance is “confident” it will begin construction by spring or early summer 2016.