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Smithtown-Kings Park receives $10 million for downtown revitalization

Smithtown-Kings Park, Long Island has been awarded $10 million as winner of the seventh round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. Also, Brookhaven-North Bellport and Mineola will each receive $4.5 million.

“Through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and NY Forward, we are investing in New York’s downtowns – the heartbeat of our communities,” Governor Hochul said. “With this funding, Smithtown-Kings Park, Brookhaven-North Bellport and Mineola will have the tools they need to reimagine their downtowns to enhance the quality of life for residents, draw visitors, and spur economic opportunity throughout their communities.”

The Town of Smithtown has already taken significant steps toward revitalizing Kings Park, making zoning changes in the DRI designated area that will allow for 300 more housing units and future development.

Also,  the County has started construction on a sewer expansion project in the DRI area of Kings Park, a step toward building a walkable, mixed-use business district centered around the LIRR station with access to restaurants, commercial development, community space and new diverse housing opportunities.

Smithtown-Kings Park will now develop a strategic investment plan to revitalize its downtown with up to $300,000 in planning funds from the $10 million DRI grant. A Local Planning Committee made up of municipal representatives, community leaders and other stakeholders will lead the effort, supported by a team of private sector experts and state planners who will examine local assets and opportunities for transportation, housing, and community projects.

The plan will guide spending in revitalization projects that will advance the community’s vision for its downtown and that can leverage and expand upon the state’s $10 million investment. Plans for the DRI’s seventh round will be complete in 2024.

The Town of Brookhaven will use public/private partnerships to develop new affordable housing close and accessible to the LIRR station.

The Village of Mineola has approved zoning changes to create over 1,400 housing units during the last decade. With this NY Forward award, the Village will create more public spaces in the downtown, developing vacant parcels into mixed-use buildings; and completing placemaking and pedestrian improvements.

“The Village of Mineola has been leading the way in downtown revitalization, smart growth, and transit-oriented development for nearly two decades. Mineola has served as an example to other communities as to how you can both meet housing demands on Long Island while still protecting a suburban quality of life,” said Mayor Paul A. Pereira. “This award not only validates the work that the Village has been doing for the last 20 years, but it also prepares us for the next 20 years. It will help the village better prepare its infrastructure for the continued growth and development of our downtown.”

The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council conducted a thorough and competitive review process of proposals submitted from communities throughout the region and considered all criteria below before recommending these communities as nominees:

  • The downtown should be compact, with well-defined boundaries;
  • The downtown is able to capitalize on prior or catalyze future private and public investment in the neighborhood and its surrounding areas;
  • There should be recent or impending job growth within, or in close proximity to the downtown that can attract workers to the downtown, support redevelopment and make growth sustainable;
  • The downtown must be an attractive and livable community for diverse populations of all ages, income, gender, identity, ability, mobility and cultural background;
  • The municipality should already embrace or have the ability to create and implement policies that increase livability and quality of life;
  • The municipality should have conducted an open and robust community engagement process resulting in a vision for downtown revitalization and a preliminary list of projects and initiatives that may be included in a Strategic Investment Plan;
  • The municipality has identified transformative projects that will be ready for near-term implementation with an infusion of DRI or NY Forward funds; and
  • The municipality has the local capacity to manage the planning process and implementation of projects, including the ability to oversee contracts for awarded municipal projects.
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