Hempstead Mayor Wayne Hall Sr. said the village is on the verge of an economic boom, centered on a transit hub, a $2.5 billion downtown redevelopment and a $28.5 million sewer infrastructure project.
Hall forecast the projects during his State of the Village address Tuesday night at Hempstead Public Library.
"The state of our village is strong," he said. "We're far better off than we were 10 years ago."
The centerpiece of the village plans are its downtown revitalization, including five-story apartment buildings, a pair of mixed-use shops and apartments, a hotel, an entertainment complex and parking.
Master developer, Plainview-based Renaissance Downtowns, has proposed the $2.5 billion project on village property, multiple parking lots and vacant lots. Officials say the development will not come at any expense to the village and will not include eminent domain proceedings.
Planned construction on the redevelopment has also led to $28.5 million in state and county funds to replace the village's aging sewer system. The village must replace 640-feet of sewer line before redevelopment can begin. There is no date for construction to start.
Hall said replacing the sewer would not be possible without the downtown project. Hempstead has received a $20 million grant from Nassau County to replace its pump station, $5 million from the state Empire Development Corporation and about $2 million total in this year and next year's state budget.
Some residents and village council members have criticized the project, fearful it will price residents out of living in the village and cater to wealthy incomes. Others have complained about adding to dense population and traffic.
Hall said the revitalization is expected to create 10,000 temporary jobs during construction and 5,000 permanent jobs. Once the project is completed, the village is expected to receive $10 million in taxes and $25 million going to village schools, Hall said.
A condition of the agreement with Renaissance is that at least 25 percent of jobs for construction, permanent jobs and contractor work goes to Hempstead residents.
The first two phases of the development include a building at Washington and Front streets with 336 apartment rentals and another building at Bedell and Main streets with 240 tiered-price units and over 28,000 square feet of retail space in a five-story building.
Hall said the village needs to improve its downtown corridor and Main Street, which are lined with empty lots. "I know Hempstead has a bright future," Hall said. "We are going to do what we're supposed to do to make this a great place to live."
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated the number of units planned for a proposed apartment building at Washington and Front streets.