Hauppauge, NY (March 27, 2019)—Suffolk County and the Town of Brookhaven, along with residents and community groups, announced plans to redevelop and revitalize a significant portion of East Patchogue’s Main Street. With funding from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency (IDA), Regional Plan Association (RPA) facilitated the community-driven comprehensive plan for redeveloping a mile-long corridor known as the commercial “strip.” Several parcels of land along the corridor are being eyed to create a mixed-use, walkable downtown to provide a boon for local residents, businesses and the overall economy.
“The residents of East Patchogue realized the true potential of this area and have been the driving force behind the process of re-envisioning East Main Street,” said Rob Calarco, Suffolk County Legislator. “What currently exists is something of a blank slate. This Plan lays the groundwork for a redevelopment of Main Street that complements the good work done in downtown Patchogue, but gives East Patchogue an identity and growth model all its own. When realized, this redevelopment will mark a new era for East Patchogue, one that will attract future generations and prove a boon to the local economy.”
“We are excited for the residents of East Patchogue and for what this opportunity means to our businesses and overall community,” said Brookhaven Councilman Neil Foley. “Great things occur when people come together, collaborate and align on the best, most prosperous path forward. That is exactly what happened with this project and we look forward to seeing this plan come to fruition and experiencing all of the benefits this much-needed redevelopment will create.”
For East Patchogue, the Village of Patchogue has served as both motivation and a model for successful redevelopment. The Patchogue Theatre for Performing Arts has made the Village of Patchogue a cultural destination for artists and entertainment. Coupled with affordable housing and various mixed-use spaces, the Village of Patchogue is the quintessential example of successful redevelopment. East Patchogue is looking to build upon the success of the Village of Patchogue and make the most of the lessons learned to create a product unique to East Patchogue. One of the first expected developments would be the proposed Plaza Media Arts Center (PlazaMAC).
“The smartest way to go about redevelopment is working collaboratively and bringing together experts with members of the community to maximize the potential of their local downtown,” said Steve Bellone, Suffolk County Executive. “Redeveloping downtowns is an integral component of creating a vibrant innovation economy that creates jobs and increases the long-term tax base. One after another, communities are taking notice of the extraordinary progress that is occurring in neighboring towns and villages and want in on that success. We look forward to the progress that will soon be made in East Patchogue and the benefits it will bring to the area.”
Creating an identity of their own is important to a local civic organization called Focus East Patchogue—a group that has worked closely on improving areas throughout East Patchogue for several years. Much of the necessary and desired initiatives have already been proposed, including: bus shelter improvements, protecting single-family residences, clarify the boundary between the commercial properties and the neighborhood, incorporate existing sidewalk-oriented buildings, and enable incremental redevelopment in the context of a comprehensive plan. Focus believes the Main Street strip is primed for growth, as it already possesses good zoning, sewer lines and large vacant parcels that are ripe for redevelopment.
“We sincerely thank our Suffolk County Legislator Robert Calarco who made the East Patchogue revitalization study possible by connecting the community with the Suffolk County IDA and RPA,” said Focus East Patchogue representative John Quatrale. “By going through the process of completing the study we came to envision the potential opportunity for East Patchogue to become a place where re-vitalization could occur and where people would want to be. With optimism we look forward to appropriate, well conceived re-development possibilities outlined in the study. Focus will continue to advocate for re-vitalization on behalf of the community in East Patchogue and welcomes the positive changes to come.”
“We regard this moment in time where the planning of East Main Street will lead the community not in just a residential/retail venture, but a truly cultural adventure that will make the South Shore a hub for media specialists, film buffs, and at the heart a media arts center for our youth, our future,” said Campbell Dalglish, Co-Founder of Plaza MAC. “For ten years we have dreamed of returning the spirit of cinema to its origin on the Old Plaza Property on East Main Street.”
Dating back to 2014, the Suffolk IDA partnered with the Regional Plan Association to offer opportunity analyses to participating jurisdictions looking to realize the potential of their downtown or business corridors. The collaboration’s initiatives stem from Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s Connect Long Island and are aimed to spur economic activity. Six completed opportunity analyses have resulted in $40 million in state infrastructure funding awards, more than $560,000 in state and county planning grants, and new zoning codes have been adopted to provide a framework for developers.
“While many of Long Island’s downtowns are in need of revitalization, East Patchogue is in a truly unique position to act swiftly on these plans as many of the necessary hurdles have already been cleared,” said Kelly Morris, Deputy Executive Director of the Suffolk County IDA. “The IDA is eager to continue to play an active role in providing local communities with the resources they need to realize their potential. East Patchogue officials, community members and organizations can look right down the street for a prime example of transit-oriented development while writing their own story and realizing the seeds for growth that have already been planted.”
The Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) is a public benefit corporation of the State of New York. The purpose of the agency is to promote economic development within Suffolk County. The operations of the agency are not supported by taxpayer funds, but rather fees generated by the applicants. The Suffolk County IDA works in synergy with Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone and the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Planning to foster positive economic development within the County. For more information regarding the Suffolk County IDA log on to www.suffolkida.org.
Focus East Patchogue (Focus) is a group of concerned residents, business owners and professionals who have been working to improve the quality of life in the unincorporated area of Patchogue located to the east of the Village of Patchogue. The group was formed in response to areas of the community, especially the East Main Street corridor, that are in need of significant redevelopment. Focus has grown day by day and garnered the support of local business owners and government officials. As result, there has been an increase in attention and action towards stimulating the previously neglected area.
The Regional Plan Association (RPA) is America’s most distinguished urban research and advocacy organization. RPA works to improve the prosperity, infrastructure, sustainability and quality of life of the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut metropolitan region. Some of the region’s most significant public works, economic development and open space projects have their roots in RPA ideas and initiatives, from the location of the George Washington Bridge to the revitalization of downtown Brooklyn, Stamford and Newark to the preservation of open space and development of parks in the Palisades, Governors Island and Gateway National Recreation Area. RPA has pursued these goals by conducting independent research, planning, advocacy and vigorous public-engagement efforts. A cornerstone of their work is the development of long-range plans and policies to guide the region’s growth. Since the 1920s, RPA has produced four landmark plans for the region, the most recent was released in November 2017.