The Heartland Town Square Project has been hotly contested from the beginning, both by the 4 Towns Civic Association and the Brentwood School District. If it weren’t for developer Jerry Wolkoff’s determination, the initial plans would never have gotten approved and phase I construction started.
After Wolkoff passed away in July 2020, people wondered what would happen with the project. Now, it appears as if his sons will take over, with construction resuming this summer.
What Are the Details of the Project?
The overall vision of the project is to transform the 452 acre Pilgrim Psychiatric Center into a new town center, creating jobs and providing services for the community, like housing, shopping, and civic-oriented amenities.
The breakdown includes including 9,000 apartments, 34 million sf of Class A office space, 1million sf dedicated to restaurants, hotels, bars, shops and cinemas, and a $15M, approx 237,000 sf, retail building.
The work is to be completed in phases. Phase 1 has been approved, and work has begun on the first 350 of 3,000 apartments.
It is yet to be decided whether the Islip Town Board will approve the other phases of the project, as there is still opposition. If approved in its entirety, the town square will take 20 to 30 years to complete. The owners and developers of the project are G&M Realty LP.
Why Is This Project Important?
The developer estimates that Heartland Town Square will bring 2,000 construction jobs and about 25,000 permanent jobs to the area. Also, because of the diversity of the spaces being offered (restaurants, retail, office space, residential), it will attract people of all ages to live and work.
The developer also estimates that it will generate more than $50 million in property taxes to help bring relief to the area.
Why Is the Project Being Opposed?
Local area residents are contesting the project for several reasons, mainly concerns about overcrowding and the impact to their local water supply, which is deemed part of the Special Groundwater Protection Area. They fear that the sheer number of new residents, compounded with the retail and office space, could dry up their water supply – aquifers, which may no longer have ample opportunity to recharge.
Construction is expected to resume in Summer 2021, and it remains to be seen if the Town of Islip will approve further phases of the project.
For more information on this project and others, visit the CIS Leads website today.