Governor Hochul Announces 17 Transformational Projects on Long Island as Part of Downtown Revitalization Initiative and NY Forward Programs (2024)

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a total of 17 transformational projects for Long Island as part of two economic development programs: the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) and NY Forward. Six projects were announced for Huntington Station, the Round 6 winner of a $10 million DRI award; four projects were announced for the City of Long Beach, a Round 1 winner of a $4.5 million NY Forward award; and seven projects were announced for the Village of Lindenhurst, also a Round 1 winner of a $4.5 million NY Forward award.

“Through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and NY Forward, we are investing in New York’s downtowns – the heartbeat of our communities,” Governor Hochul said. “These projects will help Huntington Station, Long Beach, and Lindenhurst reimagine their downtowns to enhance the quality of life for residents, draw visitors, and spur economic opportunity throughout their communities for generations to come.”

Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI)

Huntington Station was named Long Island’s winner of the sixth round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative in 2023. The six projects selected seek to provide more housing, improve public gathering spaces, and increase pedestrian connectivity along New York Avenue south of the LIRR to further encourage the walkable lifestyle and sense of community.

The Town and its partners envision new attractive mixed-use buildings, a centralized park and public plaza, colorful pedestrian-friendly cross walks, the elimination of above-ground utility lines, bike safety improvements, new trees planted throughout the area, integrated informational and safety kiosks and facade improvements to existing buildings, all which will attract people to the downtown. The creation of aesthetically pleasing parklets throughout the area will create opportunities for people to gather with their neighbors and enjoy the many benefits of green space.

New investment combined with past investments will create a robust environment for the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of historic downtown buildings and infill development that incorporates mixed-income residential opportunities.

The DRI investments are part of the Governor's ongoing efforts to revitalize the economy and create more opportunities on Long Island. The DRI is led by the Department of State, which provides technical assistance as each participating community develops a Strategic Investment Plan identifying specific projects with a unique vision for the revitalization of the downtown area.

The specific projects to be funded through the DRI support several goals and strategies contained in the community’s Strategic Investment Plan, such as amplifying the city's unique sense of place with a genuine and authentic experience that will be catalytic for future organic growth and will foster development that is inclusive while embracing its strong heritage and ethnic diversity.

Huntington Station joined the communities of Westbury, Hicksville, Central Islip, Baldwin, Amityville and Riverhead, which were Long Island's winners in the first five DRI rounds.

The $9.7 million State investment in these projects through the DRI will leverage additional public and private investments as the revitalization process proceeds and builds momentum.

The Huntington Station DRI projects, totaling $9.7 million, include:

Redevelop Southgate Affordable Rental Housing Redevelopment at 1264-1268 New York Avenue ($2,000,000)
This project involves the demolition of existing buildings and the redevelopment of the site into a mixed-use, three-story building. The new building would provide new commercial sites on the ground floor and apartments on the second and third floors.

Transform 1328 New York Avenue into The Concord Mixed-Use Development ($1,087,000)
This project will transform an underutilized site into two three-story mixed-use buildings containing workforce housing and retail space. The development will include residential units, residential amenity space and commercial space.

Create New Open Space and Play Area at Huntington Public Library Station Branch ($536,000)
This project involves transforming approximately 3,400 SF of outdoor spaces at the Huntington Public Library Station Branch into a secure outdoor children’s learning garden on the west side of the library building and an adult reading and program space within the front courtyard. Improvements would include landscaping, decorative paving, fencing, permanent seating, lighting, signage and play structures.

Implement New York Avenue Streetscape Improvements ($4,675,000)
This project will implement roadway and pedestrian improvements along New York Avenue between Depot Road and 9th Street (11th Street if funding allows) to improve walkability, safety and attractiveness.

Implement Small Business Facade and Renovation Grant Fund ($600,00)
The Town of Huntington Economic Development Corporation will establish a grant fund to assist small businesses with (re)investing in their commercial space within the DRI area. The grant will fund exterior renovations including: signage/awnings, windows, entrances/patios, doors, lighting, painting and exteriors/sidings. The Town will establish design guidelines for the grant fund.

Construct Pedestrian Walkway Improvements Connecting to LIRR Station ($802,000)
This project will redesign a portion of the parking lot south of the LIRR station to provide an attractive and inviting pedestrian walkway and seating area. The walkway connects the LIRR station to New York Avenue.

NY Forward

Building on the momentum of the State's successful Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI), the $100 million NY Forward program adopts the same "Plan-then-Act" strategy as the DRI to support a more equitable downtown recovery for New York's smaller and rural communities. NY Forward investments are part of the Governor's ongoing efforts to revitalize the economy and create more opportunities on Long Island.

The Four Long Beach NY Forward Projects, totaling $4.5 Million, include:

Redesign Kennedy Plaza ($2,150,000)
Renovation to the civic space of Kennedy Plaza and the surrounding area by using a combination of urban design elements such as paving patterns, landscaping, wayfinding, lighting and enhanced pedestrian crossings.

Improve Streetscape and Pedestrian Conditions ($1,209,000)
Implementation of a two-part project to improve walkability and pedestrian safety through upgrades of sidewalks, crosswalks and the overall public realm conditions, with a focus on the train station area.

New Commercial Building with Performance Space ($941,000)
Remediation of a contaminated site and construction of a new commercial building with four retail spaces at ground floor and performance spaces on the second floor.

Convert Five Single-Family Homes into Two-Family ($200,000)
Conversion of five single-family homes to two-family homes with workforce housing components to increase the supply of affordable housing in the North Park neighborhood.

The Seven Lindenhurst NY Forward Projects, totaling $4.5 Million, include:

Expand and Enhance Village Square as a Center of Downtown Activity ($2,300,000)
Expand and redesign Village Square to provide a focal point for downtown events, with enlarged public space, a bandshell structure and enhanced amenities.

Renovate and Expand the BACCA Arts Center Building on North Wellwood Avenue ($90,000)
Renovate the BACCA multi-use arts center, including interiors and façade improvements and a rear expansion to create additional rehearsal and practice spaces.

Create the Lindenhurst Greenway ($639,000)
Create a Greenway/Walking Trail to better link Village Park to the LIRR Station, as the first phase of a longer-term greenway network. This will include improving pedestrian infrastructure and expanding walkways through the Heling Boulevard median and the commuter parking lot along the creek.

Establish a Small Project Fund to Support Local Businesses ($300,000)
Create a fund to support small businesses and property owners in improving their properties. Fund could be used for interior/exterior renovations, major equipment, public art, handicapped accessibility and green building measures.

Improve Pedestrian Streetscapes with a Focus on Hoffman and Wellwood Avenues ($765,000)
Complete streetscape enhancements along Hoffman and Wellwood Avenues to improve pedestrian safety, connectivity and overall aesthetics.

Upgrade Façade of 101-109 North Wellwood Avenue ($322,000)
Enhance the façade of a large corner building at the Hoffmann-Wellwood intersection, including resurfacing and upgraded features such as windows, crown molding and storefronts.

Improve Facades of Storefronts at 197-201 South Wellwood Avenue ($84,000)
Update and enhance the façade of a four-unit building to create a more uniform look that adds to the quality of the South Wellwood Avenue streetscape.

Acting New York Secretary of State Brendan C. Hughes said, “These projects in Huntington Station, Long Beach and Lindenhurst have been identified directly by community members to advance their vision for revitalization. From repurposing old buildings into community assets and diverse housing, to improving walkability and creating more public gathering spaces, these projects will enhance the quality of life for existing residents while attracting new residents to call these desirable communities home.”

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “The DRI and NY Forward programs are catalysts for positive change, breathing new life into Long Island's downtowns. The investments in Huntington Station, Long Beach, and Lindenhurst will foster inclusive growth and create vibrant spaces that embrace the region's rich heritage and diversity. These transformative projects not only revitalize the physical landscape but also open doors to new opportunities, strengthening the economic fabric of Long Island for generations to come.”

Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “New York State is taking the lead in empowering communities including Cohoes, Cambridge, Coxsackie, and Kinderhook to chart and fund their own inclusive economic growth potential. These diverse projects range from rebuilding a fire-damaged residential building to creating new artists' housing. Congratulations to the awardees and thanks to Governor Hochul's powerful advocacy for the Housing Communities initiative to accelerate housing production and preservation on behalf of all New Yorkers, we will be celebrating more progress with groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings and more good quality homes in the near future. Every home makes a big, big difference.

LIREDC Co-Chairs Linda Armyn, President & CEO at Bethpage Federal Credit Union and Dr. John Nader, President of Farmingdale State College, said, “The DRI and NY Forward awards are transforming Long Island's communities by strategically investing in projects informed by each locality's unique vision and aspirations. By supporting actionable plans that both celebrate and build on the characteristics of each area, these groundbreaking initiatives will create a ripple effect of economic growth and opportunity throughout the region. We look forward to seeing the dynamic changes these projects will deliver.”

State Senator Monica R. Martinez said, “When we invest in our downtowns we invest in the fabric and souls of our communities. The seven projects being funded within the Village of Lindenhurst will not only renovate this beautiful business district but will also reinvigorate its liveliness. Thank you to the Department of State, the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, NY Forward, and Governor Hochul for supporting projects throughout Long Island, including in the Village of Lindenhurst.”

City of Long Beach Manager Daniel Creighton said, “I would like to thank Governor Hochul, the Department of State, Empire State Development and the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council for their recognition of the needs of our barrier island community. Thanks to their hard work, this investment will help transform our Central Business District into a more vibrant and thriving economic hub for the region.”

Village of Lindenhurst Mayor Michael A. Lavorata said, “We are deeply grateful to Governor Hochul for her unwavering support and commitment to the revitalization of the Village of Lindenhurst. Over the last five years, the Village of Lindenhurst has undergone a transformative revitalization. These new transformational projects will further breathe new life into our community, fostering economic growth and enhancing the quality of life for our residents. We would also like to thank the Department of State, Empire State Development, and the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council. We look forward to the positive impact these initiatives will bring to Lindenhurst.”

Town of Huntington Supervisor Ed Smyth said, “On behalf of the Town of Huntington, I would like to thank the Governor’s office, the Department of State, Empire State Development, and the Long Island Regional Economic Development for their generous Downtown Revitalization Initiative award, which will contribute to the restoration of Huntington Station’s New York Avenue business district. With this award, we will be able to restore Huntington Station to the vibrant community we know it can be, and I am looking forward to working with the State to achieve this.”

DRI and NY Forward communities developed Strategic Implementation Plans (SIPs), which create a vision for future of their downtown and identify and recommend a slate of complementary, transformative and implementable projects that support that vision. The SIPs are guided by a Local Planning Committee (LPC) comprised of local and regional leaders, stakeholders, and community representatives, with the assistance of an assigned consultant and DOS staff, all of whom conduct extensive community outreach and engagement when determining projects.

About the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and NY Forward

The Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) and NY Forward are cornerstones of the state’s economic development policy. 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. NY Forward was created in 2022 to revitalize smaller and rural communities throughout the state so that all communities can benefit from the state’s revitalization efforts, regardless of size, character, needs and challenges. Led by the Department of State—with assistance from Empire State Development, Homes and Community Renewal and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority the DRI and NY Forward represent an unprecedented and innovative "plan-then-act" strategy that couples strategic planning with immediate implementation. Both programs are creating a critical mass of vibrant downtowns in every region of the state that is enhancing economic development, promoting quality of life, fostering socio-economic development and achieving the state’s bold climate goals.

In the first seven rounds of the DRI, the state has committed $800 million, investing in 81 downtowns ripe for revitalization that have the potential to become magnets for redevelopment, business, job creation, greater economic and housing diversity and opportunity. In the first two rounds of NY Forward, the state has committed $200 million, investing in 43 smaller and rural downtowns.

With the Governor’s commitment this year of an additional $100 million each for the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and NY Forward, the State has now invested a combined total of $1.2 billion in both programs since their inception, serving 124 downtown communities combined.

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474-8418
New York City: (212) 681-4640

[emailprotected]

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Governor Hochul Announces 17 Transformational Projects on Long Island as Part of Downtown Revitalization Initiative and NY Forward Programs (2024)
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