A state agency on Thursday awarded $50 million for the construction of parking garages at the Ronkonkoma Long Island Rail Road station, freeing up land for the proposed Ronkonkoma Hub redevelopment project.
The board of directors of Empire State Development, the state’s primary business-aid agency, approved the grant unanimously at a meeting in Manhattan.
The garages will serve LIRR customers as well as residents and shoppers drawn to the hub development.
The funds come from $550 million won by the Island’s Republican state senators in 2015 after complaints that a state budget surplus was being unfairly distributed across the state.
The three garages will be completed by August 2020, according to Simone Bethune, an ESD project manager.
She also said some of the grant money will be used for drainage around the garages.
Two of the garages will offer above-ground and below-ground parking; the third will have above-ground parking.
The Ronkonkoma Hub calls for transforming 53 acres of parking lots and industrial buildings into a complex of apartments, retail shops and a direct link to nearby Long Island MacArthur Airport.
In 2012, Brookhaven Town designated Tritec Real Estate Co. as the hub’s master developer.
A $1 million grant toward construction of the buildings was won by the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council in 2012.