BID moves forward with sidewalk and Patchogue Arts Council grant
Gordon Lenz (left) talks with Patchogue Community Development Agency executive director Marian Russo (center) and Business Improvement District executive director Dennis Smith.

ADV/Leuzzi

BID moves forward with sidewalk and Patchogue Arts Council grant

Story By: LINDA LEUZZI
2/6/2014


The East Main Street Sidewalk Initiative, starting with the Mayer, Ross & Hagen attorneys on the east to Finest Fitness on the west, is about to propel forward.

  “We have a meeting set up on Feb. 11 with the building owners to plan and make arrangements to get the funding the building owners need and get it into an escrow account, so we can pay the contractor,” said Business Improvement District executive director Dennis Smith.

The Patchogue Community Development Agency is funding $80,760 of the total cost of the sidewalk project for the village property at $124,819. Private building owners are contributing $44,064 towards that amount. The sidewalk will be removed and replaced in front of private businesses whose footprint extends out to the village sidewalk, including the Burlington Coat Factory, Medi Health building, Sherwin Williams and Finest Fitness. 

“Mayer, Ross & Hagen’s portion of the property is lawn, but the village will be doing their part of the sidewalk,” Smith explained. Smith said the other buildings kicking in costs extend out from 8 to 12 feet beyond their building wall, “so the village can’t improve that,” he said. “But beyond that, it becomes municipal property.”

The former NAPA Auto Parts property won’t be included in this construction, but Smith said owner Robert Frost has indicated he would participate after the use for the empty lot is solidified, Smith said. It is presently located on the corner of Rider Avenue and East Main Street.

Sidewalk construction will stretch out to 510 linear feet. “There will be brick pavers put in and even a small garden area,” said Smith. “It will be mid-sidewalk by the Lenz building and Burlington — you can put some trees, shrubs and a couple of benches and not impede on that sidewalk area.” He said the garden spot would be about 4 feet by 12 feet.

 Jadeco Construction was selected for the project, which is expected to start the end of March — depending on the weather — with the contractor working 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. Most of the businesses have back entrances for access.

Smith was appointed to the Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Committee. “We talked about the Patchogue Arts Council grant and about the Suffolk County Round 12 grant,” Smith said of a recent meeting.

In an initiative called Destination Downtown, the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Planning requested applications for projects that support the arts, cultural affairs and downtown community development in December. Two arts councils, out of eight in Suffolk County, will be chosen, each for a $25,000 grant. 

Trustee Lori Devlin is producing the grant, due Feb. 7.

“It needs to take place in a downtown area and you have to have a partner like a BID or the chamber supporting it,” she said. “We’re proposing a new signature event called PAC MAC [Music Art Cinema].” Devlin said the event would incorporate the South by South Shore Music Festival thrust and coordinate with the area’s art galleries at the Patchogue Arts Council headquarters at ArtSpace. “The cinema component we’re envisioning would be so local filmmakers can screen their work at the BrickHouse Brewery,” she said. “For pop-up galleries, we’d use smaller vacant spaces and put it out there to other art associations that for one week, you can use this space or storefront window and would be responsible for that venue.” Devlin said the event, if funded, would be planned for autumn. Temporary sculptural works at New Village’s Village Green, the Patchogue Garden Club Community Garden and Capital One Plaza are also planned.

 “The Patchogue Arts Council will do a fundraiser at 89 North in collaboration with the restaurants so they can showcase one or two signature dishes on April 2,” she said.

Smith said the BID passed a resolution in support of the grant. “We’ve supported the Patchogue Arts Council with $2,500 in the past, so we provided a letter of support, that it’s good for business. They’ll bring pedestrian traffic into the downtown business district and it will be in conglomeration with things that come together. So people can go shopping and be exposed to art,” he said.

Other BID projects in the works:

The Rose Jewelers/Weiner Shoes East Main Street building is ready for its façade, said Smith, but the weather is holding up its completion. 

 “We have nine Main Street grant projects approved,” he said, of the grants approval committee. The next step is getting plans and environmental compliance clearance from the businesses, he said. “Four are set up with Albany; their environmentals and historic preservation, costs by the owners and our approvals to Albany are done. My goal is to get the projects started by April,” he said.

The businesses in the pipeline with Albany are Rose Jewelers/Weiner Shoes, Remember Yesteryears, Budget Buy and Sell and Goldberg’s Famous Bagels. Medi Health at 200 East Main Street is installing new interior lighting, partitions and rugs. “I’m hoping to set [owner] Sari Ceglio up with Albany and the start time is the third week in February,” Smith said of the fifth grant in the works.

“In 2005, we were awarded the grant and we put in the directional signs, in 2008, we were awarded the Roe Walkway, and in 2011 we were awarded the Patchogue Theatre walkway. They want to put a private match to it, but they want to have signature projects, $50,000, $100,000 or more. If there is a need for a park, or a public restroom, I brought it up to the mayor last week.”

Smith pitched a public restroom at the Jan. 27 village board meeting. “If the parking structure is built, I think it would be great to have a restroom,” Smith said. “There will be a presence there to keep the structure secure to begin with.” 

 

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