Steel Signing Marks Progress at Northridge Site
Huntington Supervisor Frank P. Petrone and Town Board Members Mark Cuthbertson and Susan A. Berland joined with representatives from Huntington Station master developer Renaissance Downtowns June 8 in a steel-signing ceremony marking progress in the construction of a mixed-use building that represents the beginning of the next phase in Huntington Station’s revitalization
The building, at the intersection of Northridge Street and New York Avenue, is on a site that the Town has been looking to develop for many years. The project is also first construction undertaken by Renaissance Downtowns since being chosen as the Huntington Station master developer in 2011.
“All of you who are here have been inspirational in the process, and we know it’s taken a long time, but it’s happened,” Supervisor Petrone said in his remarks to a group of about 50 residents and civic leaders who joined in the ceremony “The collective work with the communities, with Renaissance Downtowns and with the Town has paid off…. We’re going to attract millennials to this facility, and that speaks highly because the Station is a hub, the Station is a nucleus of people who commute, especially, and that’s who we are looking to attract…. There was considerable money put into this, and commitment, because that’s the commitment necessary to start the engine of economic development.”
Councilman Mark Cuthbertson said. “This is a great achievement. We have mixed use buildings, beautiful mixed use buildings like this going up in Huntington Village and they really, really add to the downtown area. But when we can have a building like this, when the economics are right, when government and the private sector come together and are able to do this in Huntington Station, we’re certainly on the right track.”
Councilwoman Susan A. Berland said, “It has been so long in the making, but it is going to be worth the wait…..Sometimes you have to be patient. You just have to wait. They say the best things in life are worth waiting for, well, this is absolutely worth waiting for.”
Said Renaissance Downtowns chairman Don Monti, “The dream has come true, and this is just a beginning. This is the first of many to come.”
The building will include 6,500 square feet of commercial space on the first floor and a total of 16 apartments on its two upper floors. Projected rents for the studios and one-bedrooms have not been determined, but most likely will be somewhere between $2,000 and $2,500 a month, less than rents for similar newly-constructed apartments in Huntington Village. All apartments will have luxury finishes, including granite kitchen and bath counter tops, central air conditioning and individual washers and dryers.
The building, whose cost is more than $5.5 million, is being constructed by Blue & Gold Holdings, a Huntington-based business. “This project has special meaning for us,” said Blue & Gold managing partner Grant Havasy. “Not just because forever, we will be a part of the revitalization of the greatest town on Long Island, but because I grew up in Huntington. I grew up in Melville, I went to Half Hollow Hills High School East, I met my wife there. I live in the Village now and our business is in the Village. We want to make sure something very special is built here.”
Following the remarks, all of those who spoke signed a three-foot beam that is the last piece of steel to be installed. It will be placed over the doorway that will be the main entrance to the rear of the building, which will be used by employees and patrons seeking access to the first-floor businesses. Members of the community then joined in the steel-signing to add their names to this very important beam.
The building is expected to be completed in October. It is estimated the project will generate $55,007 in tax revenue the first year, rising to $132,016 (at present rates) in 15 years.
The apartments have not been offered for rent yet, but one business has signed up as the first commercial tenant: May’s Gourmet Deli, which currently has a store on West Jericho Turnpike in Huntington and plans to establish a second location in this building. The deli will sell food prepared at its original location, serving a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner takeout options that will cater to the needs of commuters and local residents.
The Town selected Renaissance Downtowns with the mandate that the company would identify Huntington Station parcels currently owned by the Town and other properties that were potential development sites and seek out partners for specific projects. The Town transferred the Northridge property to Renaissance late last year. Construction began shortly afterward.
Northridge is one of several projects Renaissance, in its role as master developer, has proposed as part of Huntington Station revitalization. Also in the approval process is a proposal for a mixed-use building at New York Avenue and Olive Street that will include 66 apartments – 33 studios and 33 one-bedrooms – as well as ground-level retail. Renaissance has also proposed a hotel and office building for New York Avenue and Railroad Street, across from the train station, and artists’ lofts in what is now a municipal parking lot at New York Avenue and Church Street.
Renaissance engaged the community in activities, obtaining input on potential projects. Through its Source the Station subsidiary, it continues to hold regular community meetings and awards small grants for community improvement initiatives.
In the photo (l-r): Ryan Porter, president, Renaissance Downtowns; Don Monti, chairman, Renaissance Downtowns; Councilwoman Susan A. Berland; Councilman Mark Cuthbertson; Supervisor Frank P. Petrone; Grant Havasy, managing partner, Blue & Gold Holdings; Robert Schepis, chief lending officer, Empire National Bank.