From parking spots for commuters to bustling sports and convention space, the Ronkonkoma Vision project’s grand plans are only beginning to mature in the 86-acre property between MacArthur Airport and the Long Island railroad station.
The $1.1 billion project promises a huge boost in both temporary construction jobs and permanent positions as the complex is completed, with the planning stages in motion since at least 2013. Locals hope that the project brings a boost in tourism, sporting events, and more to this corner of the metropolitan area. However, with no projected completion date in sight as of July 2019, what does it spell out for the more immediate future?
What Amenities Does the Ronkonkoma Vision Project Hope to Bring?
With the draw of local and visiting athletic teams, business sponsorships, and more, all at the center of that crucial commute between plane and train, the finished Ronkonkoma project began with more extensive plans than those that were ultimately finalized.
The proposed sports stadium, the crown jewel of the complex, once promised a mindblowing 17,500-seat capacity. Developers have reduced this number by half and are looking to attract a minor-league hockey team to make their home there. But what else is coming?
- The main arena. The 7,500-seat arena hopes to host multiple entertainment events like concerts as well as hockey and lacrosse.
- The outdoor stadium. At a smaller 6,000-seats, this venue will be home to soccer and lacrosse events.
- Three public practice fields. Not playing for a league? No problem. For professionals, semi-professionals and amateurs alike, the Ronkonkoma complex invites anyone to come to play and practice.
- Hotel space. A 300-key convention hotel will sit on the complex to house visiting teams, tourists, and any other event attendees.
- Convention center. With more than just sports to offer the brave and the curious, the convention center can host virtually any manner of event that area is not built for.
- Retail Spaces. With commuters, out-of-state visitors, and locals to attract, shopping space is not only necessary; it’s practically mandatory.
- Class A Office Space. With a preference to medical and research institutions, these will be centrally located with easy access, in a spacious and quality infrastructure.
What Does This Mean for Construction Jobs?
Once ground is broken, the breadth and scope of this project gives an “all hands on deck” sort of feel. Virtually every manner of construction, engineering, and landscaping will be needed to finish the Ronkonkoma Vision project. Short of permanent residential areas and a second airport, almost every kind of urban establishment imaginable is going into the blueprint. Following a trend in New York construction of late, many of the spaces outlined will have multifunctional vertical spaces, with different establishments on multiple floors. Tenants in the upper part of the convention center hotel can take a short elevator ride to their event or shopping down on the ground floor, for instance. Developers and tradespeople can look for a number of upcoming projects to include:
- Class A office structures. Because these buildings will command high rent from quality occupants, they will be expected to come together using the highest quality materials and building conventions, assembled and made whole by masters in their craft.
- Multiple, diverse entertainment venues. The main arena itself will need to hold the population of a small town, at its feet, cheering for their team, but steel beams are just the start, and the complex will be home to fields of green, ice, and more.
- Modern, comfortable hotel space. Beyond even just the rooms, amenities and facilities will need to be accessible and welcoming to the widest possible customer base.
All of these and more will each have their own unique challenges. The demands of a functional office, arena, and hotel rooms can be as different from each other as night and day. These all call for not just structure, but electrical, plumbing, landscaping, and roads and walkways to navigate them.