Another major step towards revitalizing downtown Mastic Beach was made when the Town of Brookhaven designated Beechwood as the Master Developer for Mastic Beach pursuant to the request for qualifications process, last week.
“I look forward to working with them on this project and know that they possess the ability and credentials essential to realize the comprehensive mixed-use redevelopment that has been sought after by residents for quite some time,” councilman Dan Panico said. “Brick by brick, and block by block, every action we take is in furtherance of writing a new positive chapter in the history of Mastic Beach.”
Earlier this year, the town released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for a master developer to redevelop the downtown area of Mastic Beach. The RFQ, according to the town, tasked interested developers with creating a mixed-use plan to replace blighted structures in the Neighborhood Road Redevelopment area.
In 2019, the Town conducted a blight study of Neighborhood Road and surrounding streets. The study confirmed that the area had a sufficient amount of blight, code violations. The Town then sought a Master Developer tasked with creating a comprehensive plan that would showcase a variety of land uses, such as housing, retail and restaurants, aimed at replacing existing decay along Neighborhood Road.
The goal, Panico said, is to create a vibrancy and sense of place for the community with potential for restaurants, housing and other uses. The plan comes after Suffolk County’s announcement in moving forward with the Forge River Sewer District, making way for development.
The area within in the proposal includes Neighborhood Road west from Commack Road, east to Doris Drive, as well as streets to the north, including Victoria Place and Linden Place. The plan does not include the municipally-owned-and-operated parcels where the Mastic Beach Ambulance Headquarters is located, or the former Mastic Beach Village Hall, where the Mastic-Moriches-Shirley Library Annex will open.
Among the uses, Panico said that he would like to see a mix of residential and businesses, like restaurants and even, perhaps, a small brewery.
“Something that will attract people to walk on Neighborhood Road and go out to dinner,” he said.
However, one of the main concerns about the project is the sewer connection and the cost for businesses. As of now, federal monies are only available to homeowners, so businesses could face construction costs of up to $20,000 for the system. A $250,000 grant is also available from the county to businesses, as well as another $250,000 grant secured by former New York State Sen. Monica Martinez, which would be split up between those who apply, out of the 154 in total.
Legis. James Mazzarella promises to petition the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development & Planning to seek additional grant funding. Last month, he also announced, Suffolk County received approval from the Office of the State Comptroller to establish the Forge River Watershed Sewer District, with construction to begin this fall for phase 1.
Moving forward, Beechwood said they will work closely with the Town and the Mastic Beach community to further develop and define the vision for Neighborhood Road and complete an Urban Renewal Plan that will serve as the agreed planning guide.
"We thank The Town of Brookhaven for selecting us to help give new life and purpose to Mastic Beach's Neighborhood Road,” said Steven Dubb, Principal, The Beechwood Organization. “Our top priority is to gain a deeper understanding from the people who live, work and own here about what they would like to see happen. Thoughtful discussion with all of our stakeholders is key to the vision of what the new mixed-use development can and will become."
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