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Huntington condemns property for revitalization project

Huntington Town is moving forward with its revitalization efforts in Huntington Station, condemning one property and taking two others by eminent domain.

The board on Monday night set June 15 for a public hearing about acquiring 1000 New York Ave. through condemnation.

The building, a former automotive repair shop, has long been described by officials and residents as an eyesore.

Last month, the town entered into an agreement with the property owner, Dish Realty, to tear down the existing building and replace it with a 10,800-square-foot building with retail on the first floor and four apartments above. But town officials say Dish Realty officials have so far not signed the agreement. The town has 90 days from the public hearing to continue eminent domain procedures.

Last year the town received $1.17 million in Restore New York community grant money from the state to redevelop the property on the corner of New York Avenue and Olive Street. The developer of the site will be responsible for the remainder of the $3.5-million cost of the project.

"We attempted to work with Dish Realty and their attorneys but they had some concerns about the funding coming from the state," Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said Monday night. "They're holding us up. We have to move on."

Ron Goldstein, attorney for Dish Realty, declined to comment.

In other action Monday, board members approved taking two properties in Huntington Station by eminent domain to complete the creation of Gateway Park at New York and Lowndes avenues.

Also at the meeting town officials approved the appropriation of up to $120,000 from its environmental open space and park improvement fund to create a community garden at the 1.3-acre Gateway Park site. The town began clearing the site this spring after purchasing several other parcels under its open space program. A final parcel owned by the state will be transferred to the town after its acquisition of the two private parcels.

The only board member to vote against all three measures, Mark Mayoka, said he wants to see a comprehensive plan for Huntington Station.

"I don't favor a piecemeal approach where we're doing one thing or another at a time," he said.

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