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Developer purchases first parcel for Ronkonkoma Hub project

The Ronkonkoma MacArthur Airport Transit Hub seeks to

The Ronkonkoma MacArthur Airport Transit Hub seeks to link two key transportation services and redevelop blighted area with housing and businesses. Credit: Handout

Tritec Real Estate has acquired the first parcel for the Ronkonkoma Hub project, according to company officials.

Tritec principal Robert Coughlan said a deal to purchase 8.2 acres from Oakland Fence was finalized Monday.

He declined to reveal the purchase price for the site at the corner of Railroad Avenue and Mill Street, citing a confidentiality agreement.

“This was the first piece we were really attracted to,” Coughlan said Tuesday. “It really kicks off the project and gets us going.”

Calls to Oakland Fence president Gary Oakland were not returned Tuesday.

The $350 million development, which might be linked to Long Island MacArthur Airport, is planned for 50 acres surrounding the Long Island Rail Road station in Brookhaven and Islip towns.

Advocates tout the mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly development as having the potential to transform the region and turn the Ronkonkoma train station into an entertainment and nightlife destination.

Commercial buildings will have an average height of three stories, with retail concentrated along Railroad Avenue, while residential buildings will be three or four stories, with spaces for rental, owner-occupied and assisted-living apartments, according to the developers.

Tritec, of East Setauket, has approached most of the eight owners of the majority of 54 parcels, which includes Oakland Fence. “A number of other owners, we’re actively talking to,” Coughlan said. The properties are largely commercial.

Coughlan said the fence company will continue operating after it moves to a new site, hopefully still in Ronkonkoma.

“It’s important that everyone understands it was a negotiated acquisition. This is an operating company that wants to continue operating their business,” he said. “We’re allowing them time to find a new home, before we take over control of the property.”

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