Town of Huntington buying brownfield site

Huntington Town Hall Huntington Town Hall Photo Credit: Alexi Knock

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The Town of Huntington has settled a decade-old issue over a brownfield property in Huntington Station, agreeing to buy it from the owner for $1.65 million.

In 2006 the town took by eminent domain the property at 1345 New York Ave., owned by Port-Washington based Dejana Industries. The town had commenced the eminent domain proceeding in 2002 for the 2.12-acre property, which had been used at one time to process construction and demolition debris.

"It was a complete blight on the neighborhood," Town Board member Mark Cuthbertson said. "That's when this proceeding was commenced. Not only was it a blight that we were trying to get rid of, but there was an opportunity for a part of Huntington Station to revitalized."

The town board voted unanimously to approve the settlement at Tuesday's meeting.

Town officials said coming to an agreement on the price of the property was the only challenge to the condemnation proceeding because the cost of cleaning up the site has yet to be determined.

Since the 1990s the site has been the target of complaints about a laundry list of environmental violations, including improper control of odor, dust and litter. At one point the state Department of Environmental Conservation yanked the center's operating permit and levied fines in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Calls to Peter Dejana, president of Dejana Industries, and John Terrana, the Uniondale-based lawyer representing the company in the eminent domain proceeding, were not returned.

In July 2012, Dejana Industries, under the name of New York Avenue Properties, asked the court to be paid $3.25 million for the property.

The two sides recently came to a settlement when the town agreed to pay the owners in three installments.

The first payment of $200,000 will be made on Nov. 15; a second payment of $200,000 on Dec. 15 and on March 31 final payments of $1.25 million, plus $37,500 for interest.

Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said the cost and type of the cleanup will depend on what is built on the site.

"Renaissance Downtowns is going to do a development plan," Petrone said, referring to the master developer for Huntington Station. "We'll evaluate with them what's the best use of the property."

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