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Town details plan to replace
Huntington Station auto shop
An abandoned automobile repair shop in Huntington Station – a community eyesore for more than a decade – will be transformed into a mixed use building including retail establishments and apartments under a public-private partnership announced Tuesday by Supervisor Frank Petrone and the Town Council.The $3.5 million project will demolish the former Tilden Brakes site at 1000 New York Avenue and replace it with a 10,800-square-foot mixed-use building including stores and four apartments that will anchor the pedestrian plaza the Town is constructing directly in front. The project will be partially funded by a recently approved $1.17-million Restore NY Communities grant from New York State. The owner of the property, Dish Realty, will also serve as the developer and will be responsible for the remainder of the cost. “This project is a significant milestone in our continuing efforts to revitalize Huntington Station, replacing a structure that had become both an eyesore and a health hazard with a center that will attract business to the neighborhood and provide affordable housing,” Petrone said. “We also hope this project will set an example of how the public and private sectors can work together to reclaim and reinvigorate fallow commercial land.” The Restore NY grant is the second the town has received in the last two years. Last year, the town received a $1.56-million grant to acquire three lots on nearby Columbia Street and build 14 affordable housing units as part of the “Take Back the Blocks” program that is another facet of the town’s Huntington Station redevelopment plans. Groundbreaking on that project is expected shortly. Gov. David A. Paterson said, "In difficult economic times, when we face significant budgetary pressures, it is more important than ever to ensure that our investments of public funds achieve the highest possible return for New York's taxpayers. The allocation of $1,170,000 to the Town of Huntington from the Restore NY program represents precisely such a wise investment. Supervisor Frank Petrone and the Huntington Town Council have demonstrated a dedication to enhancing the lives of Town residents through the Take Back the Blocks initiative. I am pleased that this investment of state funds will make a significant contribution to this laudable local effort.” When completed, the new structure – which will use Green building techniques and meet today’s energy efficiency codes -- will be the first mixed use building in more than 15 years in the Huntington Station business district. Plans call for the demolition to begin late this year and for the new building to be completed by mid-2011. Both projects are part of the broader Huntington Station redevelopment initiative that the Town’s Economic Development Corp, has been working on for several years. The revitalization has also included redevelopment of the Big H Shopping Center, construction of the Highview at Huntington affordable housing project and plans to reclaim brownfields sites. The town has completed the first phase of a streetscaping project; the second phase is awaiting state Transportation Department approval. In the past several years, the town has committed approximately $13.6 million to various Huntington Station projects, including improvements at existing parks and land acquisitions to create new ones. “Establishing the environment that draws people to an area is central to its economic revival,” Councilman Mark Cuthbertson said. “When completed, this new building and the plaza in front will become a magnet that will spur commerce along all of New York Avenue.” “I am excited for the proposed revitalization work that will be done thanks to the Restore New York grant," Councilwoman Susan Berland said. "Combining living space with retail space provides the well-needed combination of business and community in an area that was once considered an eyesore. I am looking forward to the construction of this site and the revitalization of this area." Said Councilman Stuart Besen, “This project, transforming Tilden Brakes from an eyesore to a mixed use building, is a continuation of our commitment to revitalizing Huntington Station.” “The residents of Huntington Station have long deserved this type of revitalization project. Hopefully, this public-private partnership will spur other developers to seize on this success and help us fulfill the promise these redevelopment efforts hold,” Councilwoman Glenda Jackson said.
“The redevelopment of the Tilden Brakes property is an exciting part of the Town’s long-standing commitment to revitalize Huntington Station. Through the Town of Huntington’s leadership and partnership with the community, re-thinking the use of this longstanding eyesore, and re-building the site with a mixed-use building will renew this community, which is on the verge of an exciting renaissance,” said Sarah Lansdale, executive director of Sustainable Long Island. A.J. Carter is the town’s public information officer.