A rendering of the proposed Midway Crossing development in Ronkonkoma, which...

A rendering of the proposed Midway Crossing development in Ronkonkoma, which would include a convention center, hotel and a new air terminal at Long Island MacArthur Airport and is expected to take 10 to 15 years to complete. Credit: JLL/Crawford Architects

The Suffolk County Legislature threw its support on Wednesday behind the formation of a local development corporation to help fund construction of the $2.8 billion Midway Crossing development in Ronkonkoma.

Officials said the LDC, a joint venture between the county and Islip Town, will help raise money for the massive project by issuing tax-exempt bonds and applying for state and federal grants.

The legislature voted 14-1 to approve separate measures forming the corporation and formally naming Chicago real estate giant JLL, or Jones Lang LaSalle, as the project’s master developer.

The dissenting votes were cast by Legis. Anthony Piccirillo (R-Holtsville), whose district includes part of Ronkonkoma. He said his office has been inundated with messages from constituents expressing concern “about the size and scope of this project and [asking lawmakers] to please scale it down so it doesn’t destroy communities.”

Three lawmakers abstained while demanding that the legislature have a larger say as the development moves forward. 

“No representation, no vote,” said Legis. Robert Trotta (R-Fort Salonga).

Presiding Officer Kevin McCaffrey (R-Lindenhurst) said the legislature is expected to have a role in approving the county’s nominees for the LDC, but the law does not provide for legislators to serve on the body.

The votes came after a JLL representative announced Friday that the developer may drop plans for indoor and outdoor arenas that had been part of the project. Community opposition to that part of the proposal had threatened to delay votes by the legislature.

In a statement released after the vote Wednesday, JLL vice chairman Derek Trulson said revenues generated by the project will “help keep property taxes in check.”

“Careers give young people a future on Long Island,” Trulson said. “Smart development ensures projects reduce congestion, not create it. And Midway Crossing will be developed smartly and subjected to extensive local, state and federal regulatory reviews.” 

The proposal calls for 2.7 million square feet of new construction, including a convention center; a 300-room hotel; health sciences facilities; a new air terminal at Long Island MacArthur Airport; and a walkway connecting the airport and Ronkonkoma’s Long Island Rail Road station. Construction is expected to take 10 to 15 years.

Suffolk Economic Development and Planning Commissioner Sarah Lansdale said Wednesday that the project “will be a financial plus,” generating over the next 30 years $4 billion in direct and indirect economic activity and $1.1 billion in sales, property and other tax revenues. She projected the development will create 10,000 construction jobs and 10,000 permanent jobs.

McCaffrey said the LDC will help “streamline” the county’s role in the project. The Islip Town Board voted last month to approve its role in the LDC.

The seven-member LDC board will include three county appointees and three members appointed by Islip Town. One person, who will chair the board, will be appointed jointly by the town and county.

Legis. Jason Richberg (D-West Babylon) voted for the corporation but said the panel should have at least two members from the legislature “to ensure that all of our communities are heard.”

“We cannot do that if we are not working together cooperatively, and we also can’t do that if we don’t have a seat at the table,” Richberg said before the votes. “To have a $3 billion project in which this legislature does not have a seat at the table, if not two, is problematic.”

McCaffrey said he had held concerns about the project in past years, questioning assertions from county officials that the project had broad support among Ronkonkoma residents. But he said Lansdale helped to allay those concerns.

“I think everyone has a different level of trust since she’s been in there,” McCaffrey said, referring to Lansdale’s increased role in the project. “I stand with the county executive when he says that if there isn’t community support, it’s not going to go forward.”

Besides Trotta, Legislators Al Krupski (D-Riverhead) and Bridget Fleming (D-Noyac) abstained.

Piccirillo warned the project was moving at “warp speed” despite questions about community support.

“There’s never money to fix the communities that we all live in, but all of a sudden we have a billion dollars of taxpayer money to give to a private developer,” he said.

With Vera Chinese

The Suffolk County Legislature threw its support on Wednesday behind the formation of a local development corporation to help fund construction of the $2.8 billion Midway Crossing development in Ronkonkoma.

Officials said the LDC, a joint venture between the county and Islip Town, will help raise money for the massive project by issuing tax-exempt bonds and applying for state and federal grants.

The legislature voted 14-1 to approve separate measures forming the corporation and formally naming Chicago real estate giant JLL, or Jones Lang LaSalle, as the project’s master developer.

The dissenting votes were cast by Legis. Anthony Piccirillo (R-Holtsville), whose district includes part of Ronkonkoma. He said his office has been inundated with messages from constituents expressing concern “about the size and scope of this project and [asking lawmakers] to please scale it down so it doesn’t destroy communities.”

Three lawmakers abstained while demanding that the legislature have a larger say as the development moves forward. 

“No representation, no vote,” said Legis. Robert Trotta (R-Fort Salonga).

Presiding Officer Kevin McCaffrey (R-Lindenhurst) said the legislature is expected to have a role in approving the county’s nominees for the LDC, but the law does not provide for legislators to serve on the body.

The votes came after a JLL representative announced Friday that the developer may drop plans for indoor and outdoor arenas that had been part of the project. Community opposition to that part of the proposal had threatened to delay votes by the legislature.

In a statement released after the vote Wednesday, JLL vice chairman Derek Trulson said revenues generated by the project will “help keep property taxes in check.”

“Careers give young people a future on Long Island,” Trulson said. “Smart development ensures projects reduce congestion, not create it. And Midway Crossing will be developed smartly and subjected to extensive local, state and federal regulatory reviews.” 

The proposal calls for 2.7 million square feet of new construction, including a convention center; a 300-room hotel; health sciences facilities; a new air terminal at Long Island MacArthur Airport; and a walkway connecting the airport and Ronkonkoma’s Long Island Rail Road station. Construction is expected to take 10 to 15 years.

Suffolk Economic Development and Planning Commissioner Sarah Lansdale said Wednesday that the project “will be a financial plus,” generating over the next 30 years $4 billion in direct and indirect economic activity and $1.1 billion in sales, property and other tax revenues. She projected the development will create 10,000 construction jobs and 10,000 permanent jobs.

McCaffrey said the LDC will help “streamline” the county’s role in the project. The Islip Town Board voted last month to approve its role in the LDC.

The seven-member LDC board will include three county appointees and three members appointed by Islip Town. One person, who will chair the board, will be appointed jointly by the town and county.

Legis. Jason Richberg (D-West Babylon) voted for the corporation but said the panel should have at least two members from the legislature “to ensure that all of our communities are heard.”

“We cannot do that if we are not working together cooperatively, and we also can’t do that if we don’t have a seat at the table,” Richberg said before the votes. “To have a $3 billion project in which this legislature does not have a seat at the table, if not two, is problematic.”

McCaffrey said he had held concerns about the project in past years, questioning assertions from county officials that the project had broad support among Ronkonkoma residents. But he said Lansdale helped to allay those concerns.

“I think everyone has a different level of trust since she’s been in there,” McCaffrey said, referring to Lansdale’s increased role in the project. “I stand with the county executive when he says that if there isn’t community support, it’s not going to go forward.”

Besides Trotta, Legislators Al Krupski (D-Riverhead) and Bridget Fleming (D-Noyac) abstained.

Piccirillo warned the project was moving at “warp speed” despite questions about community support.

“There’s never money to fix the communities that we all live in, but all of a sudden we have a billion dollars of taxpayer money to give to a private developer,” he said.

With Vera Chinese

Babylon village heroes fountain … High rip current risk … Guns & Pot Credit: Newsday

North Amityville crash ... Montauk parking ... Northport/East Northport time capsule ... Make your own charm bracelet

Babylon village heroes fountain … High rip current risk … Guns & Pot Credit: Newsday

North Amityville crash ... Montauk parking ... Northport/East Northport time capsule ... Make your own charm bracelet

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