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Third Times A Charm

Project Could Create New Community Center

For most village residents the Eastern-most quadrant of Farmingdale, across the Rt. 110 border, offers little more than just the Multiplex Cinema, Republic Airport, the Long Island National Cemetery, Dave &

Busters, and Adventureland. However, plans for a potential 10-15 year transit-oriented development project, centered around the former LIRR train station, could mean more business, housing and green space for the residents of East Farmingdale.

 

Located within the boundaries of the Town of Babylon, the East Farmingdale transit-oriented development project has historically received the support of Farmingdale village officials, including former Mayor

“Butch” Starkie who had been an advocate for the development along the East Farmingdale corridor.

 

Farmingdale’s current Mayor Ralph Ekstrand says that while he is in support of the town’s efforts to revitalize the area as a downtown hub, he said that historically people and consumers don’t tread across the Rt. 110 barrier.

 

“[For the residents of East Farmingdale] to drive to a restaurant in the village has never been a common thing,” Ekstrand said. “We would love to have a lunch crowd [on Main Street]… but in my opinion it’s not going to work.”

 

Similarly, the Village of Farmingdale has been working on its own transit-oriented development near the LIRR station at 120 Secatogue Ave.

 

“I am a firm believer in transit-oriented development mixed use buildings or affordable housing,” Ekstrand said. “They’re doing the same thing we’re doing, they just have more space to do it.”

 

The project, while still in the preliminary stages, originated in 2002 when former Babylon Town Supervisor Steve Bellone called for the reopening of the LIRR station off of Rt. 110.  Due to an MTA

budgetary shortfall, plans to reopen the station fell through, until 2010, when the town hired consultants with Speck & Associates. 

 

“Long Island does not need to be tethered to a car,” Jeff Speck told the Farmingdale Observer in March 2010. “If you give people a reason to walk instead of drive, you improve everyone’s quality of life.” 

 

According to Jonathan Keyes, the director of downtown development for the Town of Babylon, the goal of the project is to create a “downtown” hub for residents living in the East Farmingdale community.

Working with members of the East Farmingdale Civic Association, the town’s consultants proposed developing on top of 120 acres of property around the Airport Shopping Center. 

 

The proposed development calls for 2.2 million square feet of new retail, residential, industrial and office spaces. Other key features include 4,300 new parking spaces and aesthetic improvements to some of the major roadways, sidewalks, streetlights, and plantings in the area. 

 

“There are a few things we are looking for,” explained East Farmingdale Civic Association President Thomas Joseph Jr. “We don’t have a place for our children.” 

 

According to the East Farmingdale Civic Association, one of the key elements to the project involves “next generation housing,” which would provide affordable living space with the goal of enticing young adults to stay in the area. He added that the project would also make the area friendlier to small business by creating a walkable community.

 

However, Joseph Jr. said that nothing is set in stone until the town selects a master builder. 

 

In addition to any potential development, the proposal will once again look to try and reopen the currently defunct LIRR station after being shut down for more than 25 years. 

 

Keyes adds that he hopes to see “commercial synergy” between some of the Farmingdale businesses in support of the 10-to-15 year long construction project, which is intended to generate tax revenue for the town. Although the town’s consultants previously stated that depending on the cost of construction, the project could be a $1-billion venture; Keyes said it would be premature to try and quantify how much money the town can expect to make as a result.


News

At a recent meeting of the Farmingdale Board of Education, school district superintendent John Lorentz discussed New York State’s proposal to invest $2 billion into districts statewide

through the Smart Schools Bond Act.

 

If approved by voters in the upcoming general elections, the act would allow the state to borrow $2 billion in the form of a capital bond to provide students with access to classroom

technology and high-speed internet connectivity, with the goal of equalizing opportunities for children to learn, adding classroom space, expanding pre-kindergarten programs, replacing classroom trailers with permanent instructional space and installing high-tech security features in schools. 

Over the weekend, thousands of Long Island residents flocked to the Village of Farmingdale for its 26th annual Columbus Day Weekend Fair and Fireman’s carnival. Running from Oct. 9

to 13, the five-day affair featured live music from Farmingdale’s own Electric Dudes and Long Island party band Superbad, a Fire Department barbecue, food vendors, a street fair, fireworks, carnival rides, games for kids of all ages and, of course, the Columbus Day parade. 


Sports

Last week, officials with the St. Kilian Saints baseball team inducted John Lombardi and Aaron Powell into their Hall of Fame. 

 

—Submitted by Farmingdale PAL and St. Kilian Baseball 


The 2014 Reilly Cup finals featured the two most successful OTHG teams over the last 9 years. Sal’s Place and Singleton’s have had 11 finals appearances and 7 championships between them during this period of time. They split 2 games during the regular season and Singleton’s became the winner’s bracket representative in the 2014 Cup by beating Sal’s deep in the tournament.

 

Sal’s took the first game 14-7. The game was close until the 8th inning when Sal’s broke it open with some timely hits and taking advantage of a Singleton’s miscue or two.  Sal’s held

Singleton’s to 7 runs with outstanding all-around defense, which was particularly impressive given that some of their significant contributors were visibly fighting through late-season injuries. 


Calendar

Homecoming - October 24

Autumn Fair - October 25

St. Kilian Blood Drive - October 26


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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