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Huntington, Riverhead, Southampton get redevelopment grants

An aerial view of Riverside seen from downtown

An aerial view of Riverside seen from downtown Riverhead. The hamlet is one of three Long Island sites awarded state funds for redevelopment. Credit: Doug Kuntz

Three Long Island communities have been designated as new Brownfield Opportunity Areas, opening them up to grants for development strategies of blighted sites, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Monday.

Twelve sites were designated around the state, bringing the total to 38, Cuomo said in a news release.

The three Long Island communities were awarded more than $1.1 million in grants to finance planning studies for the areas. The designations help community officials develop plans to revitalize neighborhoods affected by dormant and blighted properties.

Projects in the designated areas will be given priority status for future grants and project developers may access additional Brownfield Cleanup Program tax credit incentives. Brownfields are parcels of land previously used for industrial or commercial purposes that may have been polluted but can be cleaned up for development.

“Each of these sites possesses tremendous potential for economic development and job creation,” Cuomo said in the release. “These designations will equip local partners with the resources they need to implement their vision for community revitalization.”

The three Long Island sites are:

  • Peconic River/Route 25 in the Town of Riverhead.

The site consists of a 452-acre area in downtown Riverhead along the Peconic River, which has 18 potential brownfield and vacant sites. Revitalization objectives include bringing in agricultural and environmental tourism-related development, enhancing Main Street and the arts and historic districts, and improving waterfront access and recreational opportunities.

A $567,000 Brownfield Opportunity Area Program grant was awarded for Riverhead.

  • Huntington Station in the Town of Huntington.

This site consists of 640 acres centered on the hamlet’s Long Island Rail Road train station. There are at least 27 potential brownfield sites, state officials said. The area is composed of garages, parking lots and vacant or underutilized parcels. The revitalization objectives include mixed-use development that builds on the LIRR station and streetscape improvements.

The town received a $340,000 Brownfield Opportunity Area Program grant.

  • Hamlet of Riverside in the Town of Southampton.

This site consists of a 468-acre section of the hamlet that contains at least 15 potential brownfield sites, state officials said. The revitalization objectives include removing blight, upgrading property through redevelopment, and attracting new commercial uses to the area that will provide needed goods, services and jobs, along with taxable developments to alleviate the hamlet’s heavy school tax burden, state officials said.

A $236,900 Brownfield Opportunity Area Program grant was awarded for Riverside.

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