About 30 people heard community leaders discuss issues ranging from improvements to the LIRR's Ronkonkoma line, downtown business development and the lingering questions about the old Walbaum's property.
LIRR representative Hector Garcia reported on the double track rail project, saying that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and railroad officials realized that the Ronkonkoma line was the fastest to fix and because it was less damaged from Superstorm Sandy than other main lines.
“The north and south shore lines were ravaged by the storm flood waters and downed trees and branches,” Garcia said. “The Ronkonkoma line was taking on extra passengers to get to and from Long Island”.
Garcia estimated $300 million dollars is needed for the additional double track of 12.6 miles along the line. But the investment would improve service and enable faster recovery following service disruptions.
Transit improvement is critical to local developments.
Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand told the group of the many projects set to enhance the face of the village. He and deputy-mayor Pat Christiansen, trustees Cheryl Parisi and Bill Barrett announced that the three major building components of revitalization are moving forward.
Bartone Plaza, a proposed three-story
mix of apartments and retail space would take over a vacant warehouse,
providing 115 apartments and several retail shops. This project at Secatogue
Ave and South Front Street is envisioned as a transit-orient district,
meant to be pedestrian-friendly.
Rents for the units will be priced at market rates. Ten percent of the units are reserved for affordable or work-force housing., a requirement mandated by the state.
Ekstrand announced that he already has been touring the area with large retailers interested in the retail space. The Staller project, a mixed use building proposed for Main Street north of Conklin Street, would replace vacant stores.
would be 31,000 sq. ft. retail on ground level and 27 rental one and
two bedroom apartments above with balconies facing Main St. Apartment
rentals starting at $2,000 for one bedroom. There would be parking for
apartment dwellers in a garage on the bottom level.
project to be located on Eastern Parkway of 27 residential apartments
only, may be aesthetically revised from drawings that were shown at
the last Village Board meeting, adding brick buildings for a better
fit into the Farmingdale architecture style, the mayor said.
Patch will have more information from this wide-ranging meeting in an upcoming edition.