The Heartland minicity project in Brentwood is among those on...

The Heartland minicity project in Brentwood is among those on Long Island getting support from the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council in its proposal to the governor. The agency is competing for $40 million to be given regionally. (March 2011) Credit: Handout

Town officials are in the final stages of choosing new outside counsel for the proposed $4 billion Heartland Town Square development.

Islip Town Attorney Robert Cicale said he and Republican Supervisor Tom Croci interviewed several firms before deciding on the office of Eugene L. De Nicola, a land use attorney based in Sayville.

“We were looking for somebody rooted in the town,” Cicale said.

The new agreement will replace Garden City-based Jaspan Schlesinger LLP, which was chosen as outside counsel to the Heartland project by the former Democratic town administration.

“It’s not a reflection upon them or their work, it’s just that this administration wanted to bring in outside counsel from within our neighborhood,” Cicale said.

De Nicola’s office will represent the town’s interest on Heartland matters, but Heartland developer Gerald Wolkoff will reimburse the town for all costs, Cicale said, adding that De Nicola’s hourly rate is being negotiated.

Cicale also said the move to appoint new outside counsel is a sign that things are progressing in the early stages of the Heartland development, which has been stalled for some time due to disagreements about labor, financing and who should have to foot the bill for road improvements outside the site.

Above: An artist's rendition of the proposed Heartland Town Square development. (March 2011)

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