Long Island has always been a wonderful place to live for millions. With it’s natural diversity, history and proximity to New York City, Long Island is a beautiful and convenient place for people of all backgrounds. All these advantages however, come with its challenges. Affordable housing for Long Island residents is a real struggle. Due to this problem, some towns have had difficulty getting newer, younger people and families to populate their towns and boost the local economy.
Former Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy wanted to tackle this problem. His plan was to simply create affordable housing within close proximity of the Main Street of local villages on Long Island. Simple enough right? Well Levy was able to pool together $15 million to follow through with his plan. However, most towns were not interested in new developments due to the fear of too much density in the area. Interestingly, only one town was interested in using all of that available money; and that town was Patchogue.
Patchogue had seen some decay in its township from the 1960s onward. What was once a popular shopping town, Patchogue lost a lot of its economy when major malls were built on Long Island. As the 90s emerged, it had a generally poor reputation. It was clear something had to be done to revitalize the town. Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri was willing to take whatever they were willing to give him. Soon after agreeing to this offer, three major housing complexes were built within walking distance to Main Street in Patchogue. As a result, many young people not only began occupying these new complexes, but all of the local Laundromats, supermarkets and delis saw an increase in revenues. Business owners took notice and soon thereafter, more bars, restaurants and theaters began to appear. Patchogue quickly became a thriving town. The only issue was there was not enough parking to compensate. Now people around the island are drawn to Patchogue’s nightlife and can save themselves a trip to Manhattan or Brooklyn for a fun night out.
Patchogue has become a trend for Long Island towns due to the success of Levy’s plan. Since then, many other townships such as Bay Shore and Farmingdale have followed this trend to allow developers to create projects for them to boost local business and create lively towns. This adaptation is a progression for Long Island’s changing economy. Director of Vision Long Island, a smart growth planning advocate group, Eric Alexander commented that 60 out of 100 of Long Island’s downtown business districts have revitalization plans with 40 actively in motion. What’s most rewarding for him is the feedback from business owners and new residents who are enthusiastic about improvements in their own community.
Till this day, Patchogue continues to enjoy the benefits of Levy’s proposal. While other mayors on Long Island were scared of the idea of over density in their township, Pontieri was able to epitomize the opportunities of new affordable complexes. Efforts continue to be made to keep the town of Patchogue prolific for local businesses with many events organized by the Patchogue Chamber of Commerce. Last year Patchogue hosted their very own New Year’s Celebration along with their own “ball drop”, scheduled at 9pm, so that the whole family could enjoy. The event did prove to be fun for the whole family and plans have been made to have it again this year.
Mayor Pontieri still has more plans up his sleeve for Patchogue’s future. His goal for 2018 was to finish up many projects so that he could begin his “dream projects”. They plan to account for the current popularity of the village with new parking solutions and aggressive crime management. This along with plans for expanding parks and walkways will amplify the town’s charm. The village will also begin working on brand new developments including a Main Street Hotel, a new brewery and a Shorefront Park.
We are proud at Palermo Law to be a part of the Patchogue Community and are excited for what is in store for the future of this town. We have our own office right in Patchogue village just off of Main Street. At Palermo Law, we devote ourselves to helping people in the community gain their deserved financial compensation when inflicted with injury.