To chants of "Huntington Station," a ribbon was cut, and the Renaissance Downtowns Huntington Station office -- packed with stakeholders -- erupted in applause.
Officials said the office was ready to bring the vision of a socially, economically and environmentally responsible revitalization to the area.
The Plainview-based development company's grand opening celebration on Wednesday was intended to let residents know they are welcome at its community outreach center at 1266 New York Ave. Residents can come in and speak to representatives about redevelopment plans for the New York Avenue corridor, from Olive Street to just south of the Long Island Rail Road station in Huntington.
"We make a point in every community we work in to demonstrate the transparency by which we do things," said Donald Monti, chief executive of Renaissance Downtowns, the master developer selected last year by the town to oversee revitalization efforts. "A community informational office is part of our business model."
Renaissance officials said they will use meetings, online forums and social networks to reach residents so -- together -- they can come up with a redevelopment plan. Company officials are especially excited about sourcethestation.com, a website for residents to register ideas about stores and amenities they want in Huntington Station. When ideas get a certain number of votes, Renaissance officials will conduct a study to see which are economically feasible.
Ellen Fleury, 56, a resident of Huntington Station for 30 years, said she is hopeful about this latest effort to revitalize her community.
"We have wonderful people in Huntington Station, and that is a strength," she said. "I think we will be able to come up with some great ideas and once and for all have a community."
Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said the outreach center's location in the heart of Huntington Station was selected because of its proximity to the most impacted community members.
"This office is the gathering place, this will be the think tank and the place where ultimately the decision of how to revitalize Huntington Station will be made," Petrone said.
Elissa Ward, 35, who moved to Huntington Station four years ago from Huntington's downtown area, said she is excited about the possibilities.
"In the village, I loved being able to walk to everything," Ward said. "So I'm hoping more businesses will come in here and offer more of that experience here."
The office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; some night and Saturday hours will be added.