Downtown Revitalization Investments are a Critical Part of the State’s Comprehensive Economic Development and Community Growth Strategy
State to Work with Residents, Community Leaders and Public Officials to Revitalize Huntington Station’s Downtown
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that Huntington Station will receive $10 million in funding as the Long Island winner of the sixth round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. For Downtown Revitalization Initiative Round 6, each of the State’s 10 economic development regions are being awarded $10 million, to make for a total state commitment of $100 million in funding and investments to help communities boost their economies by transforming downtowns into vibrant neighborhoods.
“The Huntington Station community deserves a safe, walkable, and affordable downtown where residents can thrive,” Governor Hochul said. “This strategic investment will revitalize the community, and I can’t wait to get shovels in the ground to transform Huntington Station into a must-see destination for tourists and local visitors alike.”
The Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) serves as a component of the State’s economic development policy by transforming downtown neighborhoods into vibrant centers of activity that offer a high quality of life and attract businesses, jobs and economic and housing diversity. Like past DRI rounds, each selected community will develop a strategic plan through a bottom-up, community-based planning process that articulates a vision for the revitalization of its downtown and identifies a list of signature projects that have transformative potential and leverage further private and public investments. The Department of State will then award DRI funds to selected projects with the greatest potential to jumpstart revitalization and realize the community’s vision.
Huntington Station’s DRI area focuses on the walkable downtown Huntington Station neighborhood immediately surrounding the LIRR Station and continuing south along the New York Avenue corridor. With the pending completion of the East Side Access project, this area is beginning to undergo commercial revitalization that will ultimately serve as a major commercial and social attraction to the community. Huntington Station seeks to re-energize its urban core and attract new opportunities to build on its vibrant, diverse and walkable downtown. Huntington Station’s vision is to transform the downtown by developing key sites for mixed-use projects, burying and/or relocating utilities and overhead wires along the New York Avenue corridor, expanding broadband, creating a centralized park or public gathering space, implementing a business façade program and making streetscape and transportation improvements.
The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council conducted a thorough and competitive review process of proposals submitted from communities throughout the region and considered the criteria below before recommending Huntington Station as the nominee:
Huntington Station has been awarded $10 million in state funding and investments to revitalize its downtown neighborhood and generate new opportunities for long-term growth following the local planning process. Huntington Station joins the communities of Westbury, Hicksville, Central Islip, Baldwin, Amityville and Riverhead, which were Long Island’s winners in the first five DRI rounds.
Huntington Station will begin the process of developing a Strategic Investment Plan to revitalize its downtown with up to $300,000 in planning funds from the $10 million DRI grant. A Local Planning Committee made up of municipal representatives, community leaders and other stakeholders will lead the effort, supported by a team of private sector experts and state planners. The Strategic Investment Plan will examine local assets and opportunities to identify economic development, transportation, housing, and community projects that align with each community’s vision for downtown revitalization and that are poised for implementation. The Strategic Investment Plan will guide the investment of DRI grant funds in revitalization projects that will advance the community’s vision for its downtown and that can leverage and expand upon the state’s $10 million investment. Plans for the DRI’s sixth round will be complete in 2023.
Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, “The Downtown Revitalization Initiative is helping communities in every corner of the state realize their visions for downtown and economic resurgence. Huntington Station is already beginning to undergo commercial development that will attract new visitors and residents to the area, and funding provided through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative will further secure its future as a premiere local and regional destination on Long Island.”
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “The DRI has demonstrated that investing strategically in local assets can lead to thriving and economically robust downtown areas across New York State. With this $10 million grant, Huntington Station will be revitalized through projects aimed at creating a more interconnected and pedestrian-friendly neighborhood center that serves as a hub of opportunity for residents, visitors, and businesses.”
Long Island Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Linda Armyn, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Bethpage Federal Credit Union and President of Farmingdale State College Dr. John Nader said, “Thriving city centers are key to generating economic opportunity. This DRI award recognizes the importance of walkable, transit-oriented districts, especially here on Long Island, and demonstrates New York State’s commitment to revisioning downtowns that attract people to live, visit and do business here.”
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “The Downtown Revitalization Initiative’s $10 million award to the Huntington Station neighborhood will breathe new life into a growing, walkable, and transit-oriented community. By working with local leaders to build on progress made by the East Side Access Project, the state is only further re-energizing Huntington’s urban core and attracting new economic and housing opportunities to this vibrant community. This is yet another example of Governor Hochul’s commitment to expanding housing production near New York’s transit hubs.”
Assemblymember Steve Stern said, “As the Assemblyman representing the Huntington Station community, I have been a strong advocate for the long overdue revitalization of our downtown neighborhoods. This critical $10 million Downtown Revitalization Grant will help transform our community into a vibrant center of commerce, with a public plaza, new facades, pocket parks, improved pedestrian safety and most importantly, opportunity, improved quality of life and enhanced public safety. I thank Governor Hochul and the Long Island Regional Development Council for this vital funding and their continued support for our Huntington Station community.”
Huntington Town Supervisor Ed Smyth said, “The Town of Huntington is so incredibly thrilled to receive the DRI Award for Huntington Station. This $10,000,000 will help to continue the Town’s efforts to rejuvenate this community through infrastructure projects, developing and improving the business district and encouraging new industry. All efforts to encourage growth and jobs. We are grateful to Governor Hochul, the Empire State Development Agency and the Department of State for recognizing the great potential in Huntington Station with this amazing award. I also want to thank Anthony Alosio, the Town’s Director of Planning, for his foresight and work on this project. We look forward to putting our plans in motion for the betterment of the entire community. Once again, our thanks to Governor Hochul and the EDC for this demonstration of your confidence in local government. We will not disappoint you or our taxpayers.”
About the Downtown Revitalization Initiative
The Downtown Revitalization Initiative was created in 2016 to accelerate and expand the revitalization of downtowns and neighborhoods in all ten regions of the state to serve as centers of activity and catalysts for investment. Led by the Department of State with assistance from Empire State Development, Homes and Community Renewal and NYSERDA, the DRI represents an unprecedented and innovative “plan-then-act” strategy that couples strategic planning with immediate implementation and results in compact, walkable downtowns that are a key ingredient to helping New York State rebuild its economy from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to achieving the State’s bold climate goals by promoting the use of public transit and reducing dependence on private vehicles.
In the first five years of the program, the state committed $600 million investing in 59 downtowns ripe for revitalization and that have the potential to become magnets for redevelopment, business, job creation, greater economic and housing diversity and opportunity. Participating communities are nominated by the state’s 10 Regional Economic Development Councils based on the downtown’s potential for transformation. Each community is awarded $10 million to develop a downtown strategic investment plan and implement key catalytic projects that advance the community’s vision for revitalization and leverage additional private and public investments.
More information on the DRI is available here.
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