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Brownfield Opportunity Area

Supervisor Frank Petrone. File photo by Rachel Shapiro

By Joseph Wolkin

Huntington Station is being revitalized as a state Brownfield Opportunity Area through Huntington Town. The designation is now one of 38 statewide which helps communities with tax credit incentives and enhances chances to receive grants.

For Huntington Station, a 640-acre portion of the town has been added to the brownfield initiative, centered on the Long Island Rail Road station. Administered by the New York Department of State, the BOA is meant to encourage municipalities to revitalize sections of towns in need of redevelopment.

“We at the Department of State are proud to have supported the work done by local leaders to envision a path forward in the renaissance of the Empire State and leave a vibrant economic legacy to our cities and towns,” New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said in a statement. “Brownfield Opportunity Area designation not only signals our commitment to assisting the communities to reach their own goals for revitalization, but also provides real incentives to attract private and public investment to these blighted areas.”

The Town of Huntington’s BOA designation followed planning activities financed by a $340,000 state grant.

In the initial application for the designation Huntington cited at least 27 potential brownfield areas, including garages, parking lots and vacant locations near the train station.

Along with Huntington, Riverhead Town and Southampton Town were among the 12 new recipients of the brownfield designation. Riverhead was awarded a $567,000 grant to finance planning activities, while Southampton received $236,900.

“The Brownfield Opportunity Area designation will help augment and speed the ongoing revitalization efforts in Huntington Station and help restore what was a vibrant community a half-century ago,” Supervisor Frank Petrone (D) said in a statement. “This designation will help the town take advantage of the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program tax credits and get preference in applying for grants and financing, which should provide significant boosts in implementing the town’s plans.”

“The designation of Brownfield Opportunity Areas facilitates the restoration and development of devastated communities across the state,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said in a statement. “Each of these sites possesses tremendous potential for economic development and job creation, and these designations will equip local partners with the resources they need to implement their vision for community revitalization.”

The focal point of the project, according to a state press release, will be building a hotel, making streetscape improvements, and adding commercial, retail and parking development within the area. Additionally, the plan includes the remediation and redevelopment of brownfield sites near the train station.

Some factors that played a role in Huntington Station’s selection during the application process included environmental impact, land use laws and community input.