Derek Trulson, vice chairman of JLL Real Estate Company, the developer...

Derek Trulson, vice chairman of JLL Real Estate Company, the developer behind the Midway Crossing project, speaks about economic development in the Town of Islip at a forum at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma on Tuesday. Credit: James Carbone

More than $3.5 billion will be poured into various projects in the Town of Islip over the next 10 years, many hinging on Long Island MacArthur Airport and the surrounding area, community and business leaders said Tuesday.

Business and government leaders at the HIA-LI conference at MacArthur Airport discussed development of several projects that are underway including the town-owned airport in Ronkonkoma, the $2.8 billion Midway Crossing project and the planned expansion of publicly owned Jake’s 58 casino.

“Economic development needs to be reasonable, and it needs to be practical,” said Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter, emphasizing the need for projects to be “embraced by the community.”

“You can’t raise taxes and you can’t cut services or cut jobs. So what do you do? You try growing the base. But again, it's got to be done in a reasonable, sustainable way that the community can embrace,” she added. 

Long Island MacArthur Airport Commissioner Shelley LaRose-Arken speaks at a forum...

Long Island MacArthur Airport Commissioner Shelley LaRose-Arken speaks at a forum Tuesday. To her left is Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter. Credit: James Carbone

At MacArthur, Breeze Airways has added new destinations unserved by other airlines, said airport commissioner Shelley LaRose-Arken, including Pittsburgh and Richmond, Virginia. 

The commissioner also highlighted $26 million in improvements underway at the airport and the recently completed ground transportation center. With the $26 million, the total invested in capital improvements at the airport over the past seven years reaches $100 million.

The airport, which is self-sufficient, currently has $11 million in surplus. A town spokesperson said the goal is to grow the fund balance to about $15 or $16 million to function as a "rainy day fund." Fiscal operations at the airport are separate from the town. 

Planned improvements are underway with parallel projects to build a north terminal at the airport and the ongoing Midway Crossing development.

Midway Crossing — which JLL Real Estate Company’s vice chairman Derek Trulson said is one of “the most transformational” projects for “the next 50, maybe 100 years” — calls for 2.7 million square feet of new construction, including a convention center; a 300-room hotel; health sciences facilities; and a walkway connecting the airport and Ronkonkoma’s Long Island Rail Road station.

The first phase of the project — encompassing engineering, planning, parking, traffic and environmental — will begin in 2023 or 2024, according to a slideshow accompanying Trulson’s presentation. JLL anticipates Midway Crossing will be “shovel ready” by 2025.

Across town, Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center will invest $525 million into a Patient Care Pavilion that will include an additional 300,000 square feet “of new, state-of-the art clinical space,” said Catholic Health president and CEO Dr. Patrick O’Shaughnessy. 

The new pavilion will encompass 36 private rooms, with "shelled space" for an additional 72 private rooms on the fifth and sixth floors, as well as a 75-bay emergency room. Occupancy of the pavilion is expected in the later half of 2025. 

President and CEO of Suffolk Regional OTB Phil Boyle, representing Jake’s 58 casino, said all profits from the public benefit corporation go toward the New York State Department of Education in Suffolk County. Jake's 58 casino-hotel in Islandia is set for a $200 million expansion to the north, including 1,000 additional video lottery terminals, restaurants, pubs, conference rooms and a pool. 

Jake’s 58 also wants to partner with “one of the larger companies” for mobile sports betting, he said. Boyle said he could not yet name the company.

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