Construction on the $100 million Arboretum Project — a 292-unit community of single-family homes and condominiums that is expected to revitalize the hamlet of Farmingville — has been pushed back and isn’t expected to start for at least another year.
Brookhaven Town officials announced the project a year ago, hailing it as a game changer that would go a long way toward improving Farmingville.
However, Mike Kelly, owner of Patchogue-based developer Kelly Builders and Development Group, which will build the project, said he must complete a housing project in Selden before starting in Farmingville.
Construction on Arboretum had been scheduled to begin this summer.
“We don’t want to overpromise and underdeliver,” Kelly said. “It’s a large redevelopment. It’s a lot of work. It’s a big parcel and has a lot of components to it. Hopefully, we can break ground next spring.”
Despite the delay, Brookhaven Town Councilman Kevin LaValle, who represents the area, said the purchase-to-own condominiums are a welcome addition to a hamlet needing more attractions.
“I don’t think this deters the momentum in Farmingville about what we have going on. We’re willing to work the developer to move the project along,” he said.
He added, “It’s exciting, there’s going to be some life. Residents haven’t seen much of a change, but now they’re seeing development and that’s what we’re striving for.”
The Arboretum will be built just west of Horseblock Road and Hanrahan Avenue, near the Farmingville business district. As envisioned, it will include three restaurants, office space and a pond.
It will sit directly behind a post office and across the street from Farmingville Hills County Park, a 102-acre park with walking trails.
Marisa Pizza, executive director of the Farmingville Residents Association, said many would-be homeowners are eager for the construction.
The biggest concern residents had about the project was traffic flow and having a stop light at the entrance of the complex on Horseblock Road. Suffolk County is in the process of doing a traffic study, officials said.
“I get contacted from people all the time asking to move” to the complex, Pizza said, adding that she has met with Kelly to discuss residents’ concerns.
In addition to the project, an LA Fitness is scheduled to open next week inside a regional shopping center at the intersection of Horseblock Road and County Road 83. The center is already home to a Kmart and a Stop & Shop supermarket.
And, more than $80,000 in grant money from Suffolk County and Brookhaven is being used this summer to spruce up Triangle Park in the hamlet, with new benches, brick and landscaping, LaValle said.
Farmingville is noted for having the highest points on Long Island: Bald Hill and Telescope Hill. A decade ago, the hamlet was known for its population of day laborers, many of whom stood on street corners looking for work, and a rash of hate crimes against Latinos, including the firebombing of a home rented by day laborers.
MORE ON THE ARBORETUM PROJECT
- The Arboretum Project would be on 65 acres of land.
- The residential portion would have 51 single-family homes, 164 two-bedroom apartments, 63 town houses, 14 three-bedroom units and a 7,500-square-foot clubhouse for residents.
- A 7,728-square-foot sewage treatment plant would be built at the site to process more than 150,000 gallons of waste daily.
- The development would include a 7.28-acre public park and 1.66 acres of ponds and additional recreational areas for Arboretum residents.
Source: Brookhaven Town