LI planning panel hears about major projects

A rendering of the proposed Glen Cove ferry

A rendering of the proposed Glen Cove ferry terminal, which is a major component of the city's waterfront revitalization, produced by Urbitran, an engineering, architecture and planning firm that is working with the city on the project. (Aug. 2, 2012) (Credit: Urbitran)

Glen Cove officials are moving forward with the city's $1 billion waterfront redevelopment, planning to issue a request for proposals next month for the ferry terminal building, a project centerpiece.

City officials also next month expect to receive a site plan for part of the project that includes two rental apartment buildings and a recreational area called Renaissance Park.

They announced the updates Wednesday at a meeting of the Long Island Regional Planning Council at Hofstra University, where officials were also apprised of three other council-deemed "projects of regional significance": the Hempstead Village downtown revitalization; Heartland Square, a mini-city in Brentwood; and the public/private initiative Wyandanch Rising.

Jonathan Keyes, director of downtown revitalization for Babylon Town, updated the council on the $500 million Wyandanch Rising redevelopment, which seeks to revitalize the downtown with mixed-use buildings and open park space.

Keyes said the town has invested $60 million to $70 million, much of it for property acquisitions and the sewer line being installed down Straight Path, which the town hopes to finish by year's end. He said construction of a roadway network around the train station should start in November.

The developer of the $4 billion Heartland project predicted Islip officials would move swiftly to give final zoning approval to begin construction. The development has been in the works for a decade.

David Wolkoff said he was confident the more than 9,000 apartments, 4 million square feet of office and retail space, would be approved "by the end of this year or early next year."

Planning Council chairman John D. Cameron Jr. had expressed frustration yesterday with the slow pace of the process. "We need this thing to happen," he said. "Suffolk County is losing."

Islip spokeswoman Inez Birbiglia reacted lukewarmly to Wolkoff's expected timeline, saying, "A good deal of the success is based on how aggressive he is with his own application."

Dave Genaway, Islip's commissioner of planning and development, said several issues need to be addressed, including sewage capacity and traffic mitigation.

Wolkoff said he plans to issue a request for proposals this week for engineering plans to repave and widen Crooked Hill Road. Wolkoff said the roadwork project could begin construction as early as next year.

A re-envisioned Hempstead Village downtown, presented to the council by Brandon Palanker of developer Renaissance Downtowns, is also reaching a critical point. "We have been going at light speed," Palanker said of the $2 billion project.

The first site plan is to be submitted later this month, with construction to begin sometime next year, he said."When we say 'shovel-ready,' we are not kidding," he said.

Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi said work on a mixed-use development with a hotel, 860 residential units, parks and commercial space, has become more tangible. "All the work we've been doing up to now has been below the radar," he said after the meeting. Progress has included grant-seeking and creek dredging, he said. With Denise Bonilla

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