Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, Town Councilman Ed Ambrosino, Town Councilman Anthony Santino and Town Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby announce a partnership to revitalize key areas in the town.
Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray and Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi announced a partnership between the county and the town to revitalize downtowns of four communities in the Town of Hempstead. The four communities chosen to be the first to receive grants to study downtown revitalization include Elmont, Baldwin, Inwood and Roosevelt.
At a press conference held at 380 Nassau Boulevard in Roosevelt, the site of a new office building built by Raj Batheja of Stoneridge Organization, Inc., Suozzi and Murray announced the four "pilot" communities as the first to receive as much as $300,000 from a $1 million "Visioning" program designed to help business districts develop their own plans, tailored to their communities' unique needs.
Suozzi has maintained that Nassau County is the first mature suburban county in the nation, meaning the county has stopped growing. With ever increasing costs, efforts have to be made to broaden the tax base through business district revitalization.
"This is a fantastic place to live. But we also have very serious problems. We have high property taxes that are out of control. We have traffic that is getting worse every day. We don't have enough housing for our young people and we have pockets of poverty that have been ignored for a long time," said Suozzi.
However, the county executive is optimistic about partnering with towns and villages for a vision for the future of the county. The Town of Hempstead is ready to make positive changes in its communities. "Supervisor Murray and I met several months ago and talked about the places we needed to focus on in developing a vision for the long term future of the county," Suozzi said.
Elmont was selected by the county and town to be one of the four communities selected for funds to begin a study as to what is best for revitalization for its downtown.
"Economic revitalization is key to our region if we are to continue to flourish and prosper. To that end, county executive Suozzi and I are committed to advancing community visioning and revitalization efforts jointly in four hamlets in Hempstead Town. Roosevelt, Baldwin, Elmont and Inwood are areas that are important to the economic vitality and social fabric of our area," said Murray.
Murray said that some positive changes have already taken place in Elmont. The town will begin a streetscape project at Hempstead Turnpike and School Street next month. In addition, the senior housing complex on Elmont Road has received a certificate of occupancy and the town will be advertising for purchasers of the affordable senior homes. Also, there has been some demolition in the Jamaica Square area and bids are being opened for a façade project between Elmont Road and School Street on the south side of Hempstead Turnpike.
Murray said there would be a "Visioning" process to determine what the residents would like to see in their downtown area. The town will be selecting a firm for the visioning process and then there will be a series of meetings within the community open to everyone and then a plan will be formulated. Murray anticipates that this spring, the town will be kicking off the "Visioning" process.
"In the next several years, I think Elmont is going to be undergoing a significant change visually and aesthetically. I think for the first time in a long time, Elmont residents will really feel like they have a downtown destination," Murray said.