While the Plainview-Old Bethpage area continues to lean more towards accommodating the retired community, neighboring Hicksville is set to break ground on a project that will benefit residents that don’t fit into that niche category.
After six planning committee meetings and three public workshops offered to embrace the vision of residents, Governor Andrew Cuomo awarded nearly $10 million in Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) awards funds to four transformational projects for downtown Hicksville. The projects, nominated by the Downtown Hicksville Revitalization Local Planning Committee, will support increased access to transportation, improve walkability and attract new housing opportunities.
These projects, along with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s $132 million investment in the Hicksville railroad station, will continue to transform Hicksville into a downtown for down-sizers, empty nesters, senior citizens and millennials who seek to stay on Long Island.
“The centerpiece of these proposals links the train station to Broadway and the rest of downtown to incentivize private development and job creation,” said Supervisor Joseph Saladino. “Together, these plans will create new public open space, decrease automobile congestion, improve pedestrian safety and encourage residents and visitors to spend more time in downtown Hicksville supporting local businesses.”
The specific projects to be funded through the DRI include:
• Hicksville Station Access Improvements ($3.6 million): Create a new entry drive for the Hicksville Long Island Rail Road Station lobby that will enhance the appearance of the area, improve station access for both cars and pedestrians, and relieve congestion along Route 106 and Newbridge Road. The new entry will increase the linear footage for rider drop-off.
• Public Space at New Station Plaza ($2.6 million): Create new public open space adjacent to the Hicksville LIRR Station lobby to accommodate the twice daily surge of commuters. The plaza will allow for intermodal transfers, enhance the pedestrian experience, and provide green space for residents to enjoy passive activities. The open space will link to a new commercial corridor on West Barclay Street.
• Public Space at Festival Plaza ($2.5 million): Create a new pedestrian passageway and public open space to establish a safer and more engaging walkway from the station lobby to Jerusalem Avenue and nearby parking lots. Trees, seating, and temporary pavilions will enhance this public space. The new Festival Plaza will also support seasonal activities and pop-up ventures that can be appreciated by both residents and commuters.
• New Housing and Retail Opportunities at Hicksville Station ($1 million): Redevelopment of an underutilized property adjacent to the Hicksville LIRR Station on Nelson Avenue for mixed-uses. The proposed development will include three buildings with more than 180 mixed-income residential units, below-grade parking and retail and restaurants on the street level.
The town developed a Strategic Investment Plan to revitalize Hicksville with $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 led the effort, supported by a team of private sector experts and state planners. The Strategic Investment Plan for Hicksville examined local assets and opportunities and identified economic development, transportation, housing and community projects that align with the community’s vision for downtown revitalization and that are poised for implementation.
“Hicksville in on the verge of a major renaissance,” said Councilman Anthony Macagnone. “The downtown’s prime location for transit-oriented development and public support for revitalization, coupled with the state’s investment of funding, will allow downtown Hicksville to achieve the type of revitalization it needs and deserves.”
Senator Elaine Phillips said that revitalizing the downtown Hicksville area will bring a much-needed economic boost to the entire region.
“[It] will not only create jobs, but will attract businesses and improve the quality of life for current residents and future generations,” said Phillips. “Investing in our local communities is paramount to our region’s future and this project has been a long time coming for Hicksville.”
The Town of Oyster Bay will continue to seek State investments in downtown Hicksville through the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council and the Empire State Development Corporation. Video archives of public workshops are available at www.oysterbaytown.com/hicksville-downtown-revitalization-initiative.
“Governor Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative is transforming communities across the state, and we are honored to see Hicksville benefit from the program,” said Legislator Rose Marie Walker. “These investments will support the Hamlet’s role as an important transit hub and foster smart growth throughout the community.”