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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

Over Labor Day Weekend, from Aug. 29-Sept. 1, the American Airpower Museum in East Farmingdale, treated Long Island locals to a once in a lifetime experience, taking visitors high above the clouds during its Warbird Weekend: Salute to Airpower. 

 

To kick off the celebration, on Aug. 28, tens of thousands of Long Islanders who worked in local defense plants, but were never given an official “thanks” for a job well done, were honored by the Museum. 

Sometimes when you do a job for a customer, you really have to expect the unexpected. 

 

In the case of German Cabral and Jason Galvin, energy efficiency advisors with the Farmingdale-based Green Homes Long Island, this was just the case. Who could have imagined that while trying to figure out the best way ot lower a client’s energy bills they would solve a 20-year-old mystery? 

 

On Aug. 20, certified energy efficiency experts did a home energy audit for Plainview resident Seymour Bosworth, with the goal of lowering the homeowner’s energy use by 25 percent or more. 


Sports

 

The 2014 Farmingdale Flag Football season kicked off with a blast on Sept. 7.

 

3rd Grade Division

 

The Texans and the Jets played a great opening weekend game, with the Texans getting the victory.  For the Texans, touchdown pass from Joseph Spano to Jaxon Parisi with 20 seconds in the half broke a tie that the Jets never came back from.  The Jets were led by Brendan O’Keefe, who had two rushing touchdowns and Jimmy Caputo, who picked off a pass at the goal line.

 

Farmingdale State College’s women’s tennis team opened the 2014 season with an 8-1 victory over John Jay College (0-1) on Sept. 3. The Rams (1-0) held a 2-1 advantage after doubles play before sweeping the singles matches.


Calendar

Joint Networking Event - September 10

Sept. 11 Anniversary - September 11

Downtown Music Festival - September 13


Columns

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

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com