Celebrating Long Island’s Downtowns

Being as close as we are to Wall Street it’s easy to forget the main streets in our backyards.

Yes, we drive through them to get from point a to point b, but when was the last time you really looked around and appreciated your main street?

“There’s a lot of good things happening in local communities,” Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander said, adding that the local of Long Island sometimes gets washed into the regional.

On Saturday, May 3, Vision Long Island will celebrate the local with tours of six local downtowns.

“We want to paint the picture of transformation across the area,” Alexander said.

The six communities, Westbury, Mineola, Farmingdale, Huntington, Bayshore and Patchogue were chosen because they’ve won multiple Smart Growth Awards and have different projects to show.

Smart Growth Awards honor people, places and projects that are creating sustainable communities through the expansion of economic opportunities, by protecting public health and the environment and by improving the overall quality of life.

While Vision Long Island has conducted tours of Smart Growth projects before this is the first time they’ve made it an event. Alexander said he is expecting about 100 people on the tours, and that he hopes the six communities will be springboards for what other communities can do.

Each tour is free, but Vision Long Island is asking people to RSVP. Tours will gather at 11 a.m. for a presentation before the tour. More information is available on their website. Here are the six tours:

Mineola: Meet at the railroad station (Station Plaza North ) at 11 a.m. Tour will be led by Village of Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss and will include: The Hudson 140, Mineola Properties apartments, the Marquis, the Winthrop, LaunchPad, the intermodal facility and others.

Westbury: Meet at The Space (250 Post Avenue) at ll a.m. Tour will be led by Village of Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro and will include: The Space, Horizons as well as rejuvenated retail, and other mixed use and multi-family housing.

Farmingdale: Meet at Village Hall (361 Main Street) at ll a.m. Tour will be led by Village of Farmingdale officials and Vision’s Eric Alednaer and will include: Jefferson Plaza, Main Street, a new pocket park and a rejuvenated retail.

Huntington: Meet at the Paramount (370 New York Avenue) at 11 a.m. Tour will be led by Long Island Business Council’s Bob Fonti and will include: the Paramount, new residential and mixed use development, Gerald Street roundabout and others.

Bay Shore: Meet at Greenview Properties (5 Shore Lane) at 11 am. Tour will be led by Islip Councilman Steve Flotteron and will include: Chelsea Place, 5 Shore Lofts, Chatham Square, Boulton Center and others.

Patchogue: meet at the Riverwalk (27 Lager Lane) at 11 am. Tour will be led by Village of Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri, Deputy Mayor Lori Devlin & Mike Kelly of GRB Development and will include: the Riverwalk, Cooper Beech Village, New Village, Artspace and other arts and music venues.