New York State is seeking proposals to develop more than 40 acres of land at Republic Airport in East Farmingdale, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office announced Thursday.
The request for bids, published this week, seeks to attract developers interested in transforming 41.5 acres of unused land across five parcels for aviation or other compatible uses, with the first 10 years of a long-term lease potentially tax-free under the Start-Up NY program.
Republic, a general aviation airport owned and operated by the state, is one of several regional airports, including Kennedy, LaGuardia, and upstate Stewart International that have been on Cuomo’s radar for revitalization since late 2014. Empire State Development, the agency that incentivizes business in the state through loans, grants and other financial aid, has been drumming up interest in developing unused acres at the airport for the last year, and published the RFP.
“Republic is already a key part of New York’s regional transportation network and, with this action, we are seeking to unlock its potential as a major economic engine for Long Island,” Cuomo said in a statement.
Lease terms could be as long as 49 years, and successful respondents “will be required to commit to a 30 percent Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises goal,” the RFP said.
At a meeting at Canon USA’s Melville headquarters last year, Empire State Development President Howard Zemsky told a crowd of developers that the acreage at Republic is suited for “private aviation purposes, there are parcels ideally suited for commercial purposes and there are parcels that are potentially ideally suited for transit-oriented development.”
Bid responses are due April 15, the state said, and residential uses won’t be considered. A sixth parcel at Conklin Street and Route 110 was initially lumped in with the others being marketed for aviation and commercial uses, but the state is now considering redeveloping that area into a 12.5- acre mixed-use, transit-oriented development with a new Long Island Rail Road stop.
This RFP marks the second time this year Cuomo has dropped major news about Republic. When the governor announced several sweeping transportation and infrastructure projects on Long Island last month, he revealed that aviation management company AvPORTS, of Virginia, won a bid award to become the airport’s new operator. Terms of that 40-year contract are being negotiated, officials have said.