Islip Town officials have cleared the way for a developer to build a sports complex on town-owned property in Central Islip by signing an amended lease.
Negotiations on the lease had held up the project for several months as officials discussed the project's financing, makeup and timeline.
Islip officials and the complex's developer, Andy Borgia, reached an agreement Wednesday that gives Borgia more time to construct the project, reduces his payments to the town, and allows him to reduce the number and type of fields he plans to build.
"It took some time but we worked with the community and the developer and now we have a concept that everyone agrees upon," Islip Town Supervisor Phil Nolan said Thursday. "I know people are always looking for a field to play on and this allows us to get more fields."
Borgia said he is pleased to have signed the amended lease and plans to move forward with the project by submitting an amended site plan and an environmental impact study, and by applying to obtain various permits to start construction.
"I anticipate a speedy process to hopefully be up and running for next year," he said. "It's just going to be a great facility for youth and adult sports."
Under a 50-year deal signed in October, Islip had agreed to lease to Borgia 36 acres of town-owned land on Carleton Avenue for the $20 million, 205,000-square-foot Ultimate Game Sports Complex -- with indoor fields and seven outdoor fields for baseball, soccer, lacrosse and football.
The new plan calls for five outdoor multipurpose fields for lacrosse, soccer, football and softball, Borgia said. It also includes an option not to construct the building for indoor fields, while reducing the building's size and the number of light poles on outdoor fields. The plan would create about 60 permanent and seasonal jobs through league tournaments and outdoor camps, Borgia said.
Borgia also agreed to build new fields for the Central Islip Little League, which would be displaced by the project. Construction on the Little League and outdoor fields, costing about $6 million, could begin next spring, he said.
Debbie Cavanagh, president of the Central Islip Coalition of Good Neighbors, and other local civic leaders have praised the project, saying such a facility is long overdue in Central Islip.
"This is something that the community desperately needs and now we will have it," she said.