Residents with questions on the Heartland Town Square project before it heads to a final vote by the Islip Town Board this spring can submit them to a dedicated webpage set to launch Thursday, officials said.
The webpage will be linked to Islip Town’s website, islipny.gov, said town spokeswoman Caroline Smith, and will allow residents to submit questions that are expected to be addressed and answered at a change of zone meeting in late April or early May.
On March 30, the town will hold an informational meeting at 11 a.m. inside the board room at Islip Town Hall. At the meeting, town planners will give a slideshow presentation on developer Jerry Wolkoff’s plans to build a development that would bring millions of square feet of living, work and retail space to the former Pilgrim State property between Commack Road and the Sagtikos Parkway in Brentwood.
No public comments will be taken at the March meeting, Smith said.
In February, the Suffolk County Planning Commission unanimously voted to recommend that the Islip Town Board grant a zoning change, which would be the last approval Wolkoff would need to start construction.
Wolkoff, who purchased the 450-acre plot from the state in 2002 for $20 million, is seeking a zone change from residential to a newly established Pilgrim State Planned Redevelopment District.
Wolkoff and his team have been before the Islip Town Planning Board for more than 13 years in an effort to get the needed approvals, which has resulted in several changes to the plans.
The planning board in August recommended a portion of the project that includes development on 133 acres for the first phase of construction, which would allow the town to monitor traffic and infrastructure impacts before considering building out future phases. Building height limits were also capped at five stories, which reduces the over size by about 1.9 million square feet.
The original proposal by Wolkoff was for a mixed-use development with 9,000 apartments, 3 million square feet of office space and 1 million square feet of retail.
Several concerns over the project’s expanse brought up at numerous public meetings and hearings over the years include stress on the Brentwood school district, which some officials say is already above capacity; traffic; and the lack of local labor unions being used to build the massive project.
Some residents have been in favor of Heartland, citing the need for more housing options and a space to attract companies with high-paying salaries.