Officials with Islip, Brookhaven, Suffolk County and the Long Island Rail Road have created a new entity to help guide the massive Ronkonkoma Hub development project.
The newly created Ronkonkoma Hub Regional Alliance is touted as the first of its kind in the region that brings the project partners together to meet on a regular basis.
"We understand the importance of working together," said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, flanked by Brookhaven Supervisor Edward P. Romaine and Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter, at a news conference at the Ronkonkoma train station Wednesday.storyRonkonkoma Hub project moves forwardEditorialEditorial: A too-rare event on Long Island
Bellone said the alliance was a move to "put politics aside, and parochialism aside" for the sake of advancing the project.
The 58-acre Hub project is a mixed-use transit oriented development at the Ronkonkoma train station that will have 1,450 multi-family apartment units, 360,000 square feet of commercial space and 195,000 square feet of retail space.
The project is estimated to cost $475 million and will be paid for with a mix of public and private financing.
The alliance will hold meetings at least four times a year "for a great exchange of ideas" as well as lobby for state and federal funding for the project, Bellone said.
Romaine said the partnership would help the entities work together on a project that sprawls across town borders.
"Opportunities and problems don't respect boundaries," Romaine said.
Carpenter echoed the sentiment, saying, "I see problems as opportunity" and emphasizing Islip's transportation options at the town-owned Long Island MacArthur Airport as another component to revitalizing Long Island.
"We have to make the region competitive," Bellone said.
"The Ronkonkoma Hub can show us the way."