4 builders drawn to hub plan; more sought

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The Ronkonkoma Hub project has attracted the interest of four developers, including a multinational firm, Brookhaven Town officials said last week.

The town plans to issue a request for qualifications Monday that it hopes will attract more developers for the next phase of the project to revitalize the Ronkonkoma train station and 50 surrounding acres into a vibrant mixed-use and pedestrian-friendly development. The deadline for the request for qualifications is Oct. 28.

Brookhaven has hired Jason Duckworth, a Pennsylvania-based consultant who also worked with Babylon Town on the Wyandanch Rising project, which had similar transit-oriented goals. He will help the town solicit developers.

The companies that submitted expressions of interest to the town this summer were Renaissance Downtowns of Plainview, TRITEC Real Estate of East Setauket, Jobco of Great Neck and Jones Lang LaSalle of Chicago.

Renaissance Downtowns is the master developer for the planned Hempstead Main Street project. TRITEC developed the 31 West Building, a mixed-use property in Patchogue. Jobco has worked on government projects with the Town of North Hempstead Housing Authority and the city of Glen Cove.

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The biggest developer, Jones Lang LaSalle, built a National Institutes of Health building in Bethesda, Md., parts of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and various branches of HSBC Bank. The company has worked in 60 countries, according to its website.

Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesko said the four developers were "blue-chip" candidates, but he hoped more would participate in the next phase.

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