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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

There was a time when people knew what they were eating. Frozen meals, fast food chains and ingredients impossible to pronounce were non-existent. Instead, simple ingredients and meals were all made from scratch.

Joann P. Magri, owner of The Divine Olive, is keeping this way of eating alive. Offering hungry customers with a choice in quality foods and ingredients, Magri encourages customers to make their own meals. With shelves stocked full of 18-year-old vinegars straight from Modena, Italy, to extra virgin olive oils infused with various herbs and flavors, the Divine Olive features a variety of organic and vegan products, all 100 percent natural. It even has handmade spaghetti and fresh bread, which perfectly pairs with all of their other products.

It’s a cute little ‘bug.’ What it represents, however, is anything but cute.

An unusual-looking Volkswagen is toodling around Long Island this month. Painted to resemble the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), the VW Beetle is part of efforts by the US Department of Agriculture to eliminate the pest, which can destroy 70 percent of an area’s tree canopy, according to the agency. Initially, officials held hope for complete eradication from about 23 square miles of LI designated as infested or at risk by 2016. Instead, this “landcape-altering pest” is spreading.


Sports

It will be difficult to top the exhilaration of being crowned Nassau County Champs, but the 2014 Farmingdale Dalers will begin their defense of the title on Sept. 13 at rival Massapequa—whom they beat to claim the crown.

“The attitude is that we have to prove it again,” said Head Coach Buddy Krumenacker, who has been at the helm since 1993. “But I think we’ll be okay,” he added.

Register now as classes fill up quickly and you don’t want to miss out on the chance to join in trapeze workshops at Eisenhower Park’s I.FLY this fall.

 

“I.FLY was designed to give kids and adults the ability to fulfill their dreams of being in the circus,” says instructor Anthony Rosamilia.  “Flying through the air never gets boring.  At I.FLY, we help people create lifelong memories.” 


Calendar

Board of Education Special Meeting

Wednesday, Aug. 27

Movies on the Green: The Nut Job

Thursday, Aug. 28

Warbirds Legends Weekend

Friday, Aug. 29



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