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Brookhaven Seeks Developers for Ronkonkoma HUB

Form-based zoning model proposed to facilitate redevelopment, a first for Long Island.

The plans to revitalize Ronkonkoma are moving along.

This week, the Town of Brookhaven issued a request for developers to present the town with a concept plan for the Ronkonkoma Hub transit-oriented development.

The Town Board is looking to redevelop the land near the Long Island Rail Road station in Ronkonkoma and is engaging the development community to propose innovative concepts for the Ronkonkoma Hub, which will be used to create the framework, the Town said in a statement.

“The Ronkonkoma Hub is bursting with potential to create what may be the most exciting transit-oriented development location on the entire East Coast,” Supervisor Mark Lesko said in a statement. “This regionally significant project should be attractive to the private sector to develop a creative proposal on what is essentially a clean slate.  The best part is we will not be building on virgin land to create a new destination – the properties around the Ronkonkoma Train Station are blighted and we will be turning disconnected eyesores into a beautiful, new gateway to Brookhaven.”

The Town Board accepted the draft Ronkonkoma Hub Transit-Oriented Development Land Use Plan for the redevelopment and revitalization of the 54-acre area surrounding the LIRR in September 2010.

The town also said any proposal must present the highest quality design and should include progressive planning ideas that foster quality of life such as walkability and “green” design techniques.

“A hundred years ago the railroad station in Lake Ronkonkoma was a vital and dynamic component of our community,” Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization President George Schramm said. “We have an opportunity now to re-establish those qualities and create once again a transportation center that not only benefits Lake Ronkonkoma, but also the surrounding region. The civic looks forward to continuing to work with the Town and the chosen developer to bring this opportunity to fruition.”

The Land Use Plan also proposes Form-Based Zoning to make the redevelopment of the Ronkonkoma Hub a reality. If implemented, this would be the first time Form-Based Zoning is used on Long Island. Form-based code zoning is different from conventional zoning in that it emphasizes building form and appearance rather than specifying and distinguishing uses.

The town said a development team may obtain the Request for Expression of Interest form by contacting the Purchasing Department at (631) 451-6252. The responses are due by June 30. There will be a pre-bidders conference on March 28 to answer any questions and potential respondents are invited for a tour of the Ronkonkoma Hub area on May 2. Developers or development teams who respond to the RFEI will receive greater weight in the RFP process.

It is the town’s hope to receive many creative proposals that will guide the RFP, which is anticipated to be issued later in 2011.

Jamie March 08, 2011 at 10:40 AM
Too bad Mr. Lesko and Mr. Mazzei do not care about ALL parts of Ronkonkoma. We all know they certainly do not care about our neighborhood.
Lynn Apgar March 08, 2011 at 02:29 PM
why would you want to drive a stake through the already limp downtown? makes no sense.
mike tuffy March 08, 2011 at 07:19 PM
Ronkonkoma has become a dumping ground for all three towns it encompasses . From the airport (ISLIP) , this new Hub (Brookhaven) and Smithtown dumping their Section 8 housing and sober homes . There is no regard for the taxpaying home owners of Ronkonkoma because they don't want any of these problems in the more affluent sections of their Townships. The politicians can talk all they want about how these things will benefit the community.... but the only benefit is to themselves and the elitist crowd they hang around with who can help them get re-elected .
Jamie March 08, 2011 at 11:39 PM
Amen Mike!!!
peg March 09, 2011 at 03:12 AM
How about we start holding MTA accountable to keep the lots and areas surrounding the tracks neat and tidy.It is disgraceful the amount of trash & garbage that never seems to go away .Our town gets dumped on from all the commuters and it needs to be addressed as well as the buildings.

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