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25 LI plans vie for shot at state aid bid

Desmond Ryan, left, of the Association for a

Desmond Ryan, left, of the Association for a Better Long Island, and Bill Wahlig, of the LI Forum for Technology, attend the Regional Economic Development Council meeting in Stony Brook. (June 20, 2012) Credit: Barry Sloan

Redevelopment of the Nassau Hub has lots of competition for state aid, officials said Wednesday.

The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council has received about 25 proposals for projects to be designated as "transformative" to the economy. Formal applications are due July 16.

In addition to the Hub, projects vying for "transformative" status and a shot at potentially sharing $25 million in state money include a Montauk icehouse for the fishing industry, redevelopment of the dilapidated United Artists theater in Coram and a transit service for tourists called Bolt Bus.

Some projects receiving help last year have applied for more. They include the Wyandanch Rising blight-removal plan, Brentwood's Heartland minicity, the Ronkonkoma LIRR/MacArthur Airport transit hub, and redevelopment of downtown Hempstead, sources told Newsday.

Proposals will be scrutinized by the council, which Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo established as an entry point for state aid. Last year the council designated 13 projects, out of 44 submissions, as transformative. Redevelopment of the Nassau Hub, including Veterans Memorial Coliseum, wasn't among the winners.

Council member Desmond M. Ryan of the developers' group Association for a Better Long Island, is looking forward to reviewing the applications. "From what I have heard, we have some interesting proposals," he said.

Applicants will be judged on the number of jobs created, readiness to begin construction and compatibility with the council's development plan. Cuomo also wants private money to outweigh state funds, 10 to 1, said Andrea Lohneiss of Empire State Development Corp.

She told the council, meeting at Stony Brook University Wednesday, that most of the projects splitting last year's $101.6 million in awards now have contracts laying out milestones to receive the state aid.

Eight of last year's winners declined state tax credits, including Arkwin Industries, Avco Industries, Love and Quiches Desserts and G4 Synergetics. Lohneiss said their tax credits were given to The Hain Celestial Group, which is moving its headquarters to Lake Success from Melville. Hain had considered leaving for New Jersey or Colorado.

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