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$1.5M playground to replace cleaned-up lot in Blue Point

State Sen. Monica R. Martinez (D-Brentwood) secured the

State Sen. Monica R. Martinez (D-Brentwood) secured the State and Municipal Facilities grant to assist with work on the park that is expected to start early next year. Credit: Danielle Silverman

The site of a former self-service laundry in Blue Point that was cleaned of contaminants will be converted into a $1.5 million recreational space.

A $500,000 state grant and $1 million from Suffolk County will fund the construction of the 2-acre park on Park Street.

State Sen. Monica R. Martinez (D-Brentwood) secured the State and Municipal Facilities grant to assist with work on the park that is expected to start early next year.

Completion of the project should be done by spring. The park will have playground equipment, basketball courts, surfaces for deck hockey, and plantings.

“This site has been an eyesore in the neighborhood for decades and it is time that we banded together to transform this location,” Martinez said in a statement.

The concrete site was once a self-service laundry facility, dry cleaner, car repair shop, auto garage and lumber storage area among other commercial uses going back decades, county officials said.

The laundry fell into foreclosure because of unpaid taxes, and Suffolk County seized the property in 1998.

Contamination issues also arose related to heating fuel seeping into the ground. The county partnered with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Spills Unit to remediate the site, county officials said.

Suffolk also spent about $1.5 million on the cleanup efforts, said Suffolk County Legis. Rob Calarco (D-Patchogue), who represents Blue Point.

"We had to clean that up," Calarco said.

The county plans to hand ownership of the park to Brookhaven Town, which would maintain the park after construction, county and town officials said.

"This process has been going on a very long time, well over 10 years," said Brookhaven Town Councilman Neil Foley, who represents Blue Point. "The neighborhood is embracing the park. If this park was not built, really nothing would be built there." 

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