While many small villages and hamlets in the Long Island area have been undergoing massive upgrades, in Oyster Bay on Long Island, the downtown area of Hicksville has long awaited its opportunity for similar updates. A mixture of development delays and a lack of funds have left the most active railroad hub on the island locked in a bygone time, with crumbling facades and outdated buildings. It seems that at long last, Hicksville’s day has come, and several sources have come together to begin an overhaul that aims to transform the face of Hicksville’s downtown area for the better.
A Template for the Future Downtown Hicksville
In late February, CBS reported that Hicksville marked the establishment of what they called their first “smart-growth” development in the downtown area. The previously vacant building had been reworked into a mixed-use space that has become popular in communities all over the metro area: shared workspace, with 18 new apartments situated above. Officials stated their belief that this would be the template for the renovations to come: a downtown area that is lived and worked in and alive.
What Is Contributing to the Funding of the Hicksville Renovation?
Much of Hicksville’s upgrades are tied to its proximity to the Hicksville Long Island Railroad Station, so not surprisingly, part of this funding is coming straight from the Metro Transit Authority, including roughly $132 million invested in the station itself. Other sources report that Oyster Bay is in talks with the MTA to construct commuter parking near the station.
This is not all, however. The Nassau County Office of Community Development has provided a $150,000 grant for “transit-oriented” improvements. Another, larger grant is coming from the New York State Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) nearing $10 million will help to fund the project going forward.
What Are Some of the Major Details on This Project?
The renovation as it kicks off is going to call for a number of different, smaller projects that are needed to create the community vision that leaders and residents share alike.
- At least 10 new buildings are to be constructed in the area.
- One property adjacent to the Hicksville LIRR has recently been offered up as a space for potential “residential transit-oriented development.”
- The overall plans will incorporate increased access to transportation, including the upgrades to the transit areas like that proposed commuter parking, a “walkable” downtown map, and residences closer to the train station.
- New housing opportunities are attached at nearly every level of this, whether through mixed-use properties or the pressing for more homes for rent rather than for sale.
In all of this, locals have emphasized a desire to maintain a more suburban look to the place and are generally averse to high raises and other new developments that feel more like what you find in larger nearby cities. For those firms pulled in to take part in the planning as they go forward, this may call for a little creativity.
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