The Suffolk County Legislature has voted to support a move to buy land where a Middle Island department store was demolished last year, and turn it into a Brookhaven Town park.
The legislature voted unanimously Tuesday to make a bid to purchase 21 acres on Middle Country Road from Garden City-based developer Wilbur Breslin. The site is part of a 75-acre parcel where an abandoned Kmart store was torn down last year.
State officials are expected to buy 28 acres on the northern portion of the parcel for open space preservation. Breslin would keep the remaining 26 acres for future development, officials have said.
The 21-acre site eyed by the county is on the southwestern part of the property. The purchase hinges on whether Breslin accepts the bid, which is based on the parcel’s fair market value, as determined by county planners.
The bid prepared by the county is nonnegotiable, said Legis. Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai), who represents Middle Island.
“We’re saying our prayers, crossing our fingers, that Mr. Breslin will accept the appraised value,” Anker said.
Breslin did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Brookhaven Town officials have said they will build a park with four baseball fields if the county buys the site.
“It’s going to be beautiful,” Town Councilman Michael Loguercio, who represents Middle Island, said in an interview.
Officials have said the park may be managed by a community group, the Longwood Youth Sports Association, which provides sports leagues for more than 3,000 children in Middle Island and neighboring communities.
Anker said she could not disclose the bid amount. She said Breslin was “very supportive” of the park plan when she discussed it with him last year.
“It’s really a legacy that he will have forever,” Anker said. “Because of his involvement, the community will have an amazing asset that will affect so many people, especially children.”
If Breslin accepts the offer, the legislature would vote later on whether to formally purchase the property.
“Anytime we can partner with another municipality to do something that benefits our residents, especially children, we should try to take advantage of the opportunity,” Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory (D-Amityville) said in a statement. “I am glad we are able to pursue acquiring this long-term blighted property for the purpose of turning it into a park and fields for youth sports organizations.”