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Developer updates residents on Huntington Station plans

A boutique hotel and office space at southwest

A boutique hotel and office space at southwest corner of Railroad Street and New York Avenue in Huntington Station is proposed during a hearing on April 26, 2013. Credit: Renaissance Downtowns

An official for the master developer for Huntington Station has updated residents on the latest in approvals, applications and images for projects on the drawing board for the community and discussed the Community Benefits Agreement being finalized with the town.

Ryan Porter, vice president of planning and development for the Plainview-based Renaissance Downtowns, addressed about 20 curious residents at Monday night's meeting of the Huntington Town Economic Development Corp.

"It's always a great opportunity to get out there and speak with the community about the plans," Porter said after fielding questions during the two-hour meeting. "I think people get frustrated because they think things aren't happening, but when you lay out the details -- but not too much details because there is a lot of technical stuff -- about what's going on, it gives them a sense of ease that things are moving and that they understand what's going on."

Three sites are under state environmental review, including a complex on the southwest corner of New York Avenue and Railroad Street that will feature a 140-room hotel with a 100,000-square-foot office building, both four stories, and a parking structure, Porter said. There are also 21 live-work units with a one-level parking deck on the commuter lot between Railroad and Church streets along New York Avenue, with 28 artist lofts on the north end of the lot; 34 studios and 34 one-bedroom market-rate apartments to be built above 16,000 square feet of retail space at 1000 New York Ave. and neighboring properties.

Porter said all development will come with a parking management plan to offset loss of parking caused by new construction.

Scott Fried, who three months ago moved from Plainview to Huntington Station, said the meeting was informative.

"When I moved in, I had heard about it and did some research about the revitalization and was curious as to where they are in the process," he said. "Anything that's going to bring business, bring life to the area is critical for success."

William Walter, president of the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association in Huntington Station, said he came to find out more about what is going on with the redevelopment and to see how the association could be a partner in the revitalization effort.

"I was wondering how students in the station area who are not particularly interested in sports but who instead are interested in art, if there is some role we can play," he said.

After hearing from Porter, Walter said, "There should be some way for all of us to get together in helping all kids," he said.

Porter says he's working with town officials to wrap up a CBA, an agreement that will dictate how fees derived from revitalization projects will be used to benefit the community. The town board could vote on the agreement next month.

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