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Residents seek share of project benefits

An artist's rendering of the proposed development on

An artist's rendering of the proposed development on North Main Street in Hempstead Village. Credit: Handout

A consortium of eight Hempstead Village community organizations has proposed a community benefits agreement for the village's $2 billion plan to revitalize its downtown.

Members of the Community Benefits for Hempstead Coalition pitched the proposed agreement on Thursday to a crowd of more than 100 residents at a village meeting in Kennedy Memorial Park, seeking input on the project.

The coalition's draft agreement calls for 35 percent of the housing created by the redevelopment to be income-tiered; living-wage jobs for local residents; workforce training; and displacement protections for small-business owners and tenants.

"We put together the best CBA for the community, and did it in an independent way," said Supreme Mathematics, executive director of Youth Empowerment Institute, a member of the coalition. "We are beholden to no one."

The formal agreement is being crafted by the village's Community Benefits Agreement executive board with 29 members appointed by Mayor Wayne J. Hall.

The board "can incorporate that [the coalition's draft] into the community benefits agreement that we will present to the developers," Hall said Friday. "It is time to get things down in writing and doing the negotiations."

The redevelopment plan, led by master developer Renaissance Downtowns along with UrbanAmerica Advisors, offers a combination of condominiums, co-ops and rental apartments accommodating various income levels. It also includes a hotel, shops, open spaces, parking and entertainment.

Village officials and the developers have said that a portion of the 3,500 permanent and 10,000 construction jobs expected to be created by the project would go to local residents.

Donald Monti, president of Renaissance Downtowns, announced at Thursday's meeting that developers would host a free workshop at 6 p.m. Aug. 23 for business owners and entrepreneurs about opportunities in the downtown redevelopment project. The location has not been set.

Monti also said a job fair for village residents would be held in late September. The purpose is to build a database of potential workers for construction, health care, financial, retail, culinary, hospitality, legal, education, planning and architectural opportunities.

"People would be able to learn how to get involved if they are already trained," Monti said Friday, "and if not, we would give them guidance about the training opportunity that would be available to them."

To read the coalition's draft agreement plan, visit

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