Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone announces another initiative to help the...

Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone announces another initiative to help the Route 110 corridor in Melville a year ago with Babylon Supervisor Steve Bellon. Recently Petrone announced a business partnership to help the area grow. (April 2009) Credit: Jonathan Young

Huntington political and business leaders are studying ways to help nurture and grow Melville, already regarded as the center of corporate life on Long Island.

Town Supervisor Frank Petrone and Councilman Mark Cuthbertson late last week announced they established the Melville Business Partnership "to foster Melville's continued evolution as a corporate center and development as Long Island's downtown."

"What is Melville and where do we want it to go?" Petrone said in an interview. "We want to develop some strategies. What are the types of things we can do and what types of business can work." Melville is an unincorporated part of Huntington Town.

Banks, financial offices, and brokerages line the Route 110 corridor in Melville. But far larger businesses are already in Melville or will be soon. Leviton Manufacturing Co., a giant manufacturer of electronic and electrical devices, relocated its headquarters in Melville, from Little Neck, last year. Canon Inc., the big image equipment company, just broke ground in Melville for its North American headquarters, in anticipation of leaving Lake Success in two years.

The business partnership the town envisions will look at zoning issues and creating "a new office-employment zone." It will look also at encouraging a "town center" that supports restaurants and retail stores.

Sheldon Sackstein, chairman of the Action Long Island business group in Melville, said the idea sounded similar to one several years ago called the Route 110 Re-Development Corp., which he said was "languishing." Town officials acknowledge the Re-Development Corp is no longer in existence. Sackstein said he looks forward to working with the town.

"We need to sit down with town hall and see what they expect from their future partners," Sackstein said.

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