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Sewers needed to speed Huntington Station revitalization, developer says

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

Huntington Station's master developer has identified the next major hurdle for the hamlet's revitalization: sewers.

Ryan Porter, vice president of planning and development for Renaissance Downtowns, discussed some of the infrastructure challenges of the area south of the railroad tracks to West 11th Street on Route 110, at last week's monthly NAACP meeting at the South Huntington Public Library.

He said while his company works on projects north of the train tracks at Route 110, including a hotel and the site of a former brake shop -- where there are sewers -- redevelopment of the other area and its lack of sewers is equally important.

"We have to be strategic," Porter said. "The strategy we think is a prudent one to move forward with is to accelerate development in areas within our revitalization district that are sewered, while we spend time figuring out with the town in partnership, the infrastructure solutions for the areas that are not sewered."

The area that is under development is served by the Huntington Treatment Plant on Creek Road in Halesite. It runs from the north side of the train tracks to the treatment facility, with varying east and west boundaries.

He said resolving the sewer issue will be a complex process, but he hopes planning this year could allow for development projects to begin next year.

"We've met multiple times with the Huntington wastewater department, toured the Halesite sewer plant on multiple occasions; we know the capacity, the issues, the upgrades," he said. "That's a big push for us to collaborate with them on some of these infrastructure issues moving forward."

Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said he plans to call on Huntington's county representatives to help resolve the issue. He said one of the solutions being considered is hooking the unsewered area to the Walt Whitman Shops, which is part of the Southwest Sewer District.

"We're exploring," Petrone said. "Sewers are the way to go environmentally, and it would also permit a much faster and much more expansive restoration."

"There are a whole host of things that can be done," he said. "Each one of them has different costs, different realities, different areas it would serve. It's quite a complex process," he said. Porter said it is too early to place a price tag on any sewer project.

Zoning changes were approved last month for the centerpiece for the revitalization, a hotel, planned for the southwest corner of New York Avenue and Railroad Street. Porter said they are going through the State Environmental Quality Review Act for all the projects that have been greenlighted in the hamlet and considering brands for the hotel.

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