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Farmingville’s Arboretum Project could alter hamlet’s future

Brookhaven Town Councilman Kevin LaValle at Triangle Park

Brookhaven Town Councilman Kevin LaValle at Triangle Park in Farmingville on Wednesday, March 2, 2016. Credit: Ed Betz

The hamlet of Farmingville, more of an exit off the Long Island Expressway than a destination, may have a far different future if a $100 million housing development and a host of other changes move forward.

“People always drive though Farmingville, but don’t come to Farmingville,” said Marisa Pizza, executive director of the Farmingville Residents Association.

But that will change if Brookhaven Town Councilman Kevin LaValle, who represents the district that includes Farmingville, has his way.

With an eye toward the hamlet’s revitalization, LaValle envisions the roughly $100 million Arboretum Project, a 292-unit single-family and condominium development that would be built just west of Horseblock Road and Hanrahan Avenue, as a game changer. As envisioned, the Arboretum would include three restaurants, office space and a pond.

“This is one of the greatest things to happen to Farmingville in a long time,” said Farmingville Hills Chamber of Commerce president Michael Wentz.

While Brookhaven Town has approved the zoning for the project, ground has not yet been broken. Public comment concerning the project, along with a proposal to rezone the Farmingville hamlet center and the redevelopment of a regional shopping center near Brookhaven Town Hall, is open until April 21.

Board members will hold a Town Hall public hearing on March 22.

Town officials said Farmingville has a rich history that includes the Bald Hill schoolhouse and Telescope Hill, one of the highest points on Long Island. The regional shopping center, at the intersection of Horseblock Road and County Road 83, is home to a Kmart and a Stop & Shop supermarket.

Town officials have already approved an LA Fitness to move into the shopping center and have expressed interest in adding another restaurant.

The Arboretum Project would sit directly behind a post office and across the street from Farmingville Hills County Park, a 102-acre park with walking trails, said Mike Kelly, manager of Patchogue-based Kelly Builders and Development Group, which will build the project.

“It’s a major investment in Farmingville. It’s something Farmingville has never seen,” Kelly said.

Construction would start in the summer of 2017 if the project meets all of its requirements and receives permit approvals.

“We’re running low on condominiums in the area,” LaValle said. “It’s good for young people starting out or people who are getting older and retiring.”

Pizza agreed. “This brings new life to the community. It gives people in Farmingville an option to stay in the community,” she said.

LaValle also wants the Farmingville hamlet center, on Horseblock Road between Blue Point Road and Granny Road, to be a walkable main street-style business district.

Using a $43,000 Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Grant, LaValle said the town will spruce up Triangle Park, an area with benches across the street from a Portuguese restaurant, two barbershops and a cellphone repair shop. Those improvements are scheduled to start this summer.

Arboretum Project details

  • The Arboretum Project would be on 65 acres of land.
  • The residential portion would have 51 single-family homes, 164 two-bedroom apartments, 63 town houses, 14 three-bedroom units and a 7,500-square-foot clubhouse for residents.
  • A 7,728-square-foot sewage treatment plant would be built at the site to process more than 150,000 gallons of waste daily.
  • The development would include a 7.28-acre public park and 1.66 acres of ponds and additional recreational areas for Arboretum residents.

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