Vision LI – June 4, 2023

June 2, 2023

Photo: Courtesy of Hempstead IDA.
Rendering of the mixed-use, transit-oriented development proposed for West Hempstead.

West Hempstead $212M Mixed-Use Project Advances Planned Locally

The Town of Hempstead Industrial Development Agency (IDA) has reauthorized an economic incentive for a proposed $212 million mixed-use development in West Hempstead, Long Island Business News (LIBN) reports.

Heatherwood Luxury Rentals, from Commack-based Heatherwood Luxury Rentals LLC, will bring two four-story buildings, totaling 481,089 square feet, 428 apartments, 5,575 square feet of retail space and parking for 740 cars, to the blighted 9.4-acre former National Wholesale Liquidators site at 111 Hempstead Turnpike.

The property, located a short walk to the West Hempstead Long Island Rail Road station, has approvals from the Town of Hempstead, the outlet reports. The Hempstead IDA had previously awarded benefits to the project in October 2021, but had to reauthorize the benefits after the plan went from three buildings to two.

The developer was granted a 20-year payment-lieu-of-taxes agreement with the IDA under which it would pay an average of $2.1 million each year to various taxing jurisdictions. Annual PILOT payments would start at $771,088, which are the current taxes on site, and after a three-year freeze would increase over the balance of the PILOT to $5.312 million. Heatherwood also is seeking an exemption from the mortgage recording tax and sales-tax exemption for construction materials, LIBN outlines.

The project is expected to generate 250 construction jobs and seven permanent jobs, according to an IDA statement. Construction is expected to begin in January, following the demolition of the existing building and be fully completed in 2027.

Secret to Riverhead’s Revival:
Grant Money

Riverhead News Review has complied a thorough and thoughtful piece summarizing the success Riverhead has garnered in redeveloping its downtown. One key ingredient is securing grant money.

Since 2017, Riverhead has secured more than $26 million in public funding, the outlet reports. The breakdown includes:

  • $627,000 grant to replace lead water-service pipes,
  • $800,000 state economic development grant for the Town Square project,
  • $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant,
  • $15 million in federal funding to connect dozens of homes in Calverton and Manorville to safe drinking water, after many of those homes’ wells were found to be contaminated with toxic chemicals,
  • Pair of $200,000 grants for riverfront projects,
  • $124,613 in community development block grants in 2019 and an additional $200,000 in 2022.

Riverhead’s downtown Business Improvement District Management Association (BID) alone has nearly a quarter-million dollars in grant applications currently pending, the outlet reports.

The reasons for its success in this area includes:

  • Decades ago, the town designated three key locations as urban renewal districts: the Enterprise Park at Calverton, the Railroad Avenue LIRR station and East Main Street. That designation gives the town much more leverage within these districts to negotiate with developers to get the best deal for the town.
  • Demographics of Riverhead are also very helpful because it is in an area of persistent poverty, Riverhead’s community development director, Dawn Thomas told the outlet. Its downtown census tract is a historically disadvantaged area, social justice, all these things bear on its scoring.
  • Persistence is also key to grant writing.

Still, town officials and local business leaders tell the Riverhead News Review, the true engine driving Riverhead’s renaissance is Ms. Thomas and her community development team. “In communities like ours, the only way for us to grow and revitalize and change — is with grant money,” said Kristy Verity, executive director of Riverhead’s downtown BID, who works closely with the town community development team to plan projects eligible for county, state and federal funding.

Ms. Thomas explains that an enormous amount of work, thought and planning goes into each grant application, adding increasing home and apartment ownership in Riverhead is a crucial part of revitalizing the area.

Discussing the town board, Ms. Thomas explains, “This board has been incredibly brave … because they’ll pull the trigger on stuff, because the grants don’t just come in at 100% — it’s usually a match — so we have to pony up half to show that we have skin in the game, and they have to authorize that.”

Looking ahead, Ms. Thomas tells the outlet her development department has for years been pursuing a $24.6 million grant — and may be close to winning it. The grant would be used to build a parking garage near the LIRR train station on Railroad Avenue, complete flood mitigation projects near the riverfront and construct a “Complete Streets” pedestrian path from the train station to Main Street.

Photo credit: The Village of Greenport

Greenport’s Carousel Reopens

Greenport’s Mitchell Park carousel has reopened just in time for summer fun, after a restoration company finished removing lead paint from the attraction ahead of schedule, Mayor Kevin Stuessi told the Suffolk Times. Last month, village officials learned that lead paint was detected during a test restoration on one of the carousel horses, leading to the popular attraction’s immediate closure.

The estimated cost for the entire project — including original testing, remediation and restoration work, and post-restoration testing — is between $60,000 and $70,000, the outlet reports.

Carousel Information
•    100 Years Old
•    Open Daily In Season – Now through Labor Day, 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM
•    Open Weekends In Off Season
•    $2.50 Per Single Ride
•    $25.00 Per 15-Ticker (Bulk) Purchase
•    Gifted From Grumman Aircraft Corp.

Public Information Session Announced for the Bay Park Conveyance Project

DEC and the Nassau County Department of Public Works (NCDPW) are hosting a virtual public information session with the Design-Build Team, Western Bays Constructors (WBC), on Wednesday, June 14, at 6:00 PM via Zoom. WBC will provide information on upcoming construction activities and the Project Team will be available to answer questions.

The Project will reduce nitrogen in the Western Bays of Long Island by conveying treated water from the South Shore Water Reclamation Facility (previously known as the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant) to the Cedar Creek Water Pollution Control Plant’s ocean outfall, which discharges and diffuses treated water three miles offshore in the Atlantic Ocean.

Since the open ocean has higher tidal mixing capabilities, nitrogen will not build up in the ocean like it does in the Western Bays. As a result, communities near the Western Bays will experience enhanced quality of life, improved water quality, revitalized shellfish habitat and restored vital marshlands that protect communities from wave action and coastal surge.
Please visit the Bay Park Conveyance website ( for Project details and meeting information.

The Nassau County Main Street Recovery Grant Program awards grants of $10,000 to small businesses and non-profits that experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19. Financial assistance is available to those in need on a first come, first served basis. Per Internal Revenue Service guidance, these grants are taxable.

To qualify for Recovery Grant Program, an applicant must:

  1. Be the principal i.e., majority owner of the applicant entity.
  2. Be a small business owner or nonprofit executive currently operating within Nassau County. Businesses that have ceased operations are ineligible.
  3. Be an eligible for-profit business or 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(19) nonprofit organization.
  4. Have less than 50 full-time equivalent (FTE) W-2 employees.
  5. Have had less than $5 million in 2021 and 2022 gross revenues.
  6. Certify and demonstrate they experienced economic or financial hardship due to COVID-19. Examples include demonstrating reduction in revenues, increases in expenses, costs related to COVID compliance, staffing difficulties, etc.
  7. Not have received a grant from Nassau County within the past 3 years. Applicants that already received grant funds from Nassau County are not eligible to apply.
  8. Not be in default or arrears on past or current federal, state, or local financing or funding programs.
  9. Not be in current litigation with, or have any conflict of interest with, Nassau County or the third-party administrator (NDC).

ELIGIBLE USE OF PROCEEDS: Eligible uses of grant proceeds include working capital to mitigate the economic and financial hardships caused by COVID-19 such as the purchase of inventory/supplies, rent, utilities, lease or purchase of equipment, operating and emergency maintenance, etc.

HOW TO APPLY: Applicants can make full application at Incomplete applications may not be reviewed. Only one (1) application per Tax ID.

Applicants needing assistance can email and someone will contact you as soon as possible.

Enhance Your Open Space
Outdoor Commerce
& Beautification Grant

These grants are designed to foster economic viability, vibrancy and support of local businesses while increasing economic growth and business in downtown areas. The program provides funding to the following types of 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) organizations: Chambers of Commerce, Business Improvement Districts, Civic Associations or not-for-profits.

  • Outdoor Dining/Commerce: Includes heaters, benches, tables, chairs, umbrellas, garbage receptacles, barricades, durable safety equipment, outdoor non-holiday-specific lighting, speaker systems and limited signage,
  • Beautification Projects: includes planters, plants, mulch, landscape materials, rocks, flags, new gazebo construction and/or gazebo upgrade materials, winter seasonal décor/holiday lighting,
  • Murals,
  • “Welcome To” signage: PSEG Long Island recognition signage required.

Accepting applications until December 31, 2023 or until funds are exhausted. Pre-approval by PSEG Long Island required prior to any purchase.

Click here for details

Revitalize Communities
Main Street Revitalization

The Main Street Revitalization Program is designed to encourage economic vitality of a business district and to optimize the use of existing electric infrastructure. This program offers financial incentive awards for projects in a local business district that is expected to improve the economic stability and growth of a municipality.

Eligible projects may include:

  • Interior renovations,
  • Façade improvements,
  • Streetscape improvements,
  • Other investments that would enhance the economic viability/vibrancy of the business district.

The Applicant may one or more of the following:

  • Property owner or developer,
  • Local Development Corporation, Business Improvement District, or Chamber of Commerce. Or similar agent of a municipality,
  • Not-for-profit 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), or 501(c)(6), acting in partnership with a municipality, county or local development corporation on improvements in a business district.
Programs will continue based on available funding.
Click here for more details
Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a federally funded program designed to help low-income households meet the high cost of home energy. Applications for the 2022-2023 HEAP Cooling Assistance benefit are open now through August 31, or until funding runs out.
If you are eligible, you may receive one regular HEAP benefit per program year and could also be eligible for emergency HEAP benefits if you are in danger of running out of fuel or having your utility service shut off.
Applications for Regular HEAP may be submitted online at myBenefits during the HEAP season.
Applicants age 60 and over as well as those who are permanently disabled may apply for regular HEAP by mail to:
Nassau County Office for the Aging
60 Charles Lindbergh Blvd.
Uniondale, NY 11553
Phone 516-227-7386
All others (including applicants age 60 and over or permanently disabled, with an emergency) may apply in person or by mail to:
EAC Inc.
175 Fulton Avenue
4th Floor
Hempstead, New York 11550
Phone 516-565-4327
Further information, including benefit amounts, is available through the New York State OTDA HEAP website.
To visit the NYS OTDA HEAP Website Click Here
Long Island homeowners looking to play a role in reducing stormwater runoff, which is one of the leading causes of nitrogen pollution in Long Island waterways, are eligible for grants to help cover the cost and maintenance of runoff mitigation projects on their property.
The Long Island Regional Planning Council (LIRPC), in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and NEIWPCC, is introducing the Long Island Garden Rewards Program. The program will provide up to $500 to offset the expense of installing green infrastructure on their properties including rain barrels, native plantings, and rain gardens.
Rain Barrels: Rain Barrels reduce stormwater runoff by collecting and storing rainwater for homeowners to later use in their yards and gardens, also helping conserve water consumption. Barrels must be a minimum of 50 gallons and are required to have mosquito netting or screening.
Rain Gardens: Rain gardens collect rainwater from roofs, driveways and other surfaces and allow that rain to soak into the ground. Rain gardens can filter stormwater before it reaches local waterways, mitigate flooding caused by pavement and enhance your yard with low maintenance landscaping. To be eligible, a rain garden must be a minimum of 20 square feet, use native plants and be maintained for at least three years.
Native Plantings: Native plants are heartier and more resilient to local climate conditions. Native plant gardens can reduce fertilizer and pesticide usage, reduce water usage, and promote biodiversity. These native plants support a healthy ecosystem and are more resistant to local weather.
To assist with the revitalization of the meetings and events industry, New York State has allocated $25 million for the Meet In New York Grant Program.
Empire State Development’s Division of Tourism will award grants to qualifying New York State event venues and lodging properties as they competitively bid on new meeting and event business. The program will subsidize a portion of negotiated client discounts, up to $2 million dollars, on meeting space rental fees and group overnight lodging rates. To capitalize on the economic impact of the program, eligible event types will be limited to those that drive tourism and visitors to New York State.
This grant:
  • Does not require a match
  • Is not a loan, and does not need to be paid back
  • Is open to all venues that host conferences, meetings, convention, tradeshows and events
  • Is for events that take place prior to 12/31/25
To be eligible for grants, applicants must:
  • Be incorporated in New York State, or licensed or registered to do business in New York State
  • Have experienced economic harm resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, as evidenced by a year-to-year decrease of at least 15% of gross receipts and/or gross wages between 2019 and 2020
  • Have event facilities that accommodate a minimum capacity of 50 people.
Completed applications are due by June 30, 2023. Required event completion date 12/31/2025.
Program Contact:
For assistance with the application process, consultations with an application advisor are available by calling 518-292-5206.
Round XIII Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Initiative has been announced. Round XIII includes core capital grant and tax-credit funding combined with a wide range of programs from 10 State agencies, including $150 million in grant funds from Empire State Development, available to projects on a continuous basis.

The Councils are encouraged to support projects that advance or address strategic State priorities -including green buildings and sustainable development, child care, distressed communities, and innovative public-private partnerships; those projects, will be eligible for additional award funding.

New this year, two new micro programs will award capital grants to support New York State craft beverage manufacturers and non-profit organizations, and a new $30 million Challenge competition will award $10 million to up to three regions to implement creative solutions to tackle persistent barriers to economic growth. Also, for the first time since 2015, the Councils will be tasked with updating their strategic regional economic development plans.

The Regional Councils will score projects submitted through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA), the State’s single application for State resources which includes programs from numerous agencies.

The 2023 REDC Guidebook and a list of additional resources available to REDC Members are accessible here. The CFA is available here.

The deadline for applications is Friday, July 28 at 4 p.m. Open enrollment programs are not subject to the July 28 deadline and will continue to accept applications on an ongoing basis until funds are exhausted.

The Long Island Empire State Development Office will be holding open office hours both in person and via zoom where businesses can discuss their potential projects with staff. Registration is required. Please CLICK HERE for more information and to register.

Long Island Empire State Development Office also will be hosting a few Consolidated Funding Application sessions across Long Island during the month of June. These sessions are currently scheduled at a few town halls in Suffolk County. Registration is required. Representatives from NYS Department of State and NYS Parks will be on hand to discuss their programs and answer questions at the town halls. Stay tuned for a date in Nassau County.
June 14th – 9:30am – Riverhead Town Hall
June 14th – 1:00pm – Islip Town Hall
June 27th – 1:00pm – Huntington Town Hall

The New York Department of State is offering more than $26 million in funding to municipalities for a variety of planning, revitalization and efficiency programs, the Longs Island Business News reports.

The five programs, which include Smart Growth Community Planning and Zoning, Countywide Resiliency Planning, Brownfield Opportunity Area, Local Waterfront Revitalization and Local Government Efficiency, can all be applied for through a single application form – the Consolidated Funding Application.

  • $16.3 million is available through the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, which provides grants to communities to develop a vision for their waterfront. There are currently 93 fully approved LWRPs, representing 113 municipalities throughout the state.
  • $4 million Local Government Efficiency Grant Program incentivizes local governments to reduce the cost of municipal operations and modernize delivery of local services, limiting growth in property taxes. About $3.6 million will be awarded for implementation projects, and about $400,000 will be awarded for planning projects.
  • $2 million for the Smart Growth Planning and Zoning Grant Program helps communities develop comprehensive municipal-wide plans and zoning ordinances, as well as targeted area plans and zoning for downtowns, central business districts and transit-orient development districts.
  • $2 million for the Smart Growth Countywide Resiliency Planning Program aids in the development of countywide plans that address climate change resiliency, risks and vulnerabilities and identify strategies for planning and implementing projects in a socially, environmentally, fiscally and economically sustainable way.
  • $2 million for the Brownfield Opportunity Area program is available to assist the transformation of brownfield sites from liabilities to community assets, which in turn generate and support new businesses, jobs, housing and public amenities.

“New York State offers an unparalleled suite of programs that have proven to be key to our state’s economic and social resurgence after the pandemic,” Secretary of State Robert Rodriguez said in the statement to the Long Island Business News. “These five programs administered by the Department of State will provide critical funding to municipalities and local governments so they can continue to grow and improve, putting us on a path to a safer, greener and more business-friendly New York.”

For more information on these funding programs visit the DOS website at

NICE Bus Supports Athletes of the Games for the Physically Challenged
June 2 and June 3, 2023

Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE), the county’s official public transportation agency, is providing athletes and their families free shuttle services throughout the 37th annual Nassau County Games for the Physically Challenged. The games will be held June 2 and June 3, 2023 at the Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale.

The goals of the games include: Offering physically challenged youth the exciting opportunity to participate in competitive sports and recreational activities adapted to best suit their unique abilities; Encouraging promotion of sports for physically challenged individuals of all ages; Enabling youth to learn and develop skills required for a successful experience in sports competition and fitness; To familiarize the general public with the abilities of physically challenged individuals.

NICE Bus, which provides fixed-route services to 80,000 weekly riders and paratransit services through its Able-Ride program, is always happy to participate in the annual competition “as both a financial sponsor and a provider of transportation for all the athletes and caregivers,” according to NICE Bus CEO Jack Khzouz. “This is an event that our employees look forward to being part of every year.”

NICE will transport athletes and their families from the housing accommodations at Hofstra University to the events.

The games are projected to attract more than 1,000 athletes from across New York State (ages 5 to 21) and their entourages, with NICE Bus rolling out gratis rides for the 12th time.

Long Island Coalition for the Homeless (LICH) was founded in 1985 as a grassroots local advocacy effort to bring non-profits and other community partners together to unite around the cause of homelessness, seeking to expand and enhance services to meet local needs. Its mission is “To end homelessness on Long Island, and alleviate the issues associated with homelessness and poverty for homeless and at-risk persons in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.” LICH has expanded services to continually align with local community needs and approaches that evidence shows to be most effective in addressing homelessness.
Right now, LICH has two calls to action:
1. Veterans Community Garden – Starting on April 5th, community service hours are available to help with the organic vegetable garden located on the north side of Amityville Community Resource Center, 600 Albany Avenue, Amityville. The Garden Club meets Wednesdays, 4 PM to 7 PM from April through November. Email Bailey at for more information or to RSVP.
2. The Scott Martella Supply Our School Drive, May through July 26, 2023. Items needed include backpacks, folders, notebooks, pens, lunchboxes, glue sticks, binders, index cards, scissors, calculators, highlighters, hand sanitizer and more. For more information visit or Facebook/backpackpirates.
Times are tough, let’s all extend a helping hand.

The Scott Martella School Supplies Drive for LI Coalition for the Homeless

Through July 26th

Long Island Coalition for the Homeless (LICH) was founded in 1985 as a grassroots local advocacy effort to bring non-profits and other community partners together to unite around the cause of homelessness by seeking to expand and enhance services to meet local needs.

Each year, LICH collects new school supplies and backpacks to distribute to Long Island kids in need. There are over 2,000 kids living in shelters; many thousands more are at risk of homelessness. Its goal is to collect and distribute over 5,000 back packs so students can start their school year with the tools they need to succeed.

The drive is held in memory of Scott Martella. The Scott Martella School Supplies Drive began in 2017 in memory of Scott, the former Communications Director for County Executive Bellone, who was tragically killed in a car accident on the Long Island Expressway.

Participating in this drive can be a great team-building exercise amongst any office or organization. Please see flyer for a full list of what new items are being accepted. LICH can supply the boxes and pick them up once the drive concludes. The drives can begin as soon as possible (beginning no later than early July) and must conclude by 7/26/23.

If you’d prefer to skip the store, you can donate via Amazon Wishlist by clicking here

Contact Bailey Riekkinen, Community Engagement Specialist LIHC at with questions.

Freeport Nautical Mile Festival & Summer Concerts

June 3rd, from 10 AM til 6 PM

The Freeport Nautical Mile Festival will be held on Saturday, June 3rd, from 10 AM to 6 PM. Stroll along Woodcleft Avenue and enjoy food, music, crafts, rides, games, vendors and more. The Long Island Arts Council at Freeport will have a table at this fantastic family fun festivity. Stop by and say hi.
Also mark your calendar, the Long Island Arts Council at Freeport will host its annual free Summer Concerts on the Nautical Mile on Thursday nights in July and August, 7 PM to 8:30 PM, at the Esplanade.
Click here for more information