Land owned by the state in Huntington Station that is central to redevelopment plans of the hamlet has been approved for transfer to Huntington Town.
The State Legislature last Wednesday approved the transfer of 4.16 acres of land on New York Avenue from the state Department of Transportation in one of the final acts of the 2018 state legislative session.
The properties include a portion of the lot next to the Community First Aid Squad on Railroad Street where there are plans to build a hotel, and the linear lot between Railroad and Church streets where artist lofts are proposed.
The transferred land will be appraised for fair market value according to state law and DOT requirements and then sold to the town, town officials said. The land will then be sold to the master developer of the hamlet, Plainview-based Renaissance Downtowns.
Town Attorney Nick Ciapetta said the terms of the transfer between the town and Renaissance have not yet been finalized.
The parcels are used mostly as a parking lot for Huntington Long Island Rail Road commuters. The town already owns a majority of the site of the proposed hotel.
Ryan Porter, co-chief executive and president of Renaissance Downtowns, said the transfer is the culmination of more than four years of negotiations of a “complicated” process among the state, town, the community and his company.
“We still have some processes that have to go on now that the vote has passed in order to get the transfer effectuated,” Porter said.
Town board member Joan Cergol, who offered a resolution at the June 5 town board meeting urging the legislature to approve the transfer, said she is grateful it was approved and points out that the site is the location of Huntington Station’s original downtown that was lost to Urban Renewal.
“This legislative act triggers the first step in an extensive process by which New York State-owned land can be utilized to fulfill a community supported vision for redevelopment,” she said.
Town board member Ed Smyth who has been critical of the agreement between the town and Renaissance, said he is not thrilled with this latest deal.
“The town is going to buy high and sell low,” Smyth said.
Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci said the approval of the transfer is a positive step in the redevelopment of the hamlet.
“We want to promote the area to bring more businesses to the area and welcome more families, too.”