The Village of Hempstead today announced the groundbreaking on the revitalization of its Downtown Main Street District. This is the first step of the major redevelopment of downtown Hempstead, including four recently approved site plans in the North Main Street area, including mixed-use housing, retail stores and corporate offices. Mayor Wayne J. Hall Sr., Deputy Mayor Luis Figueroa, Trustees Waylyn Hobbs, Don Ryan and Perry Pettus joined a host of local elected officials and the Master Developer, Renaissance Downtowns/UrbanAmerica and RXR Realty, to commence the demolition of 178 Main Street—the site of the former Markowitz Oldsmobile dealership—which will be followed by construction on the first site.
“After nine years of debate, an extensive RFP process, countless public hearings, volumes of legal and engineering reports, complicated zoning revisions, lawsuits, appraisals and contract negotiations, today we are proud to break ground on the future of the Village of Hempstead and its new downtown,” said Village of Hempstead Mayor Wayne J. Hall Sr. “This effort will provide much needed, high-paying construction and permanent jobs to our residents; expand our tax base; enhance public safety; and restore pride to the Village of Hempstead. This has been a long journey, and I want to thank my team, the Master Developer and the people of the Village for their ongoing support to reach this milestone.”
The downtown revitalization initiative is expected to create 12,000 construction job years and 6,000 permanent full-time jobs; it is expected to generate tens of millions in new annual tax revenue at full build out. In addition, the project has been responsible for garnering more than $30 million for public infrastructure improvements to help move the project forward. The project will transform Hempstead’s downtown into a vibrant mixed-use, walkable neighborhood that will provide significant economic, social and environmental benefits for the entire Hempstead community. “While this ceremony represents the fourth groundbreaking that my Company has been a part of this month, there is something truly special about today” said Donald Monti, founder of Renaissance Downtowns. “This one really allows our Company to showcase the true value of socially, environmentally and economically responsible development - the Triple Bottom Line.”
“Downtown Hempstead is a key transportation hub with excellent Long Island Rail Road, bus and automobile access in the center of Nassau County,” said Scott Rechler, the principal of RXR. “It is the ideal location in which to create a modern, mixed-use destination, combining residential, retail, hospitality, cultural and office space. What we are in the process of creating will once again make Hempstead Nassau County’s downtown for the next generation and generations to come.”
“The Village’s Renaissance Project will provide important housing opportunities and economic activity that will ignite a downtown revitalization which is also happening in many other villages throughout Nassau County,” Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano stated.
“Americans want their downtowns to be a pedestrian friendly, walkable environment that reclaims acres of asphalt and reimagines them as environmentally friendly and safe neighborhoods,” said Richmond McCoy, CEO of UrbanAmerica. “The Village’s new downtown will attract residents to live, work, shop, play and learn. I applaud the Mayor for his vison and commitment to seeing this through and for working with Don and Scott to bring us to this point today.”
The groundbreaking comes following the approval of four site plans by the Village of Hempstead Planning Board on November 29, 2016. North Main Street Blocks 37, 38, 39 and 42 will include mixed-use housing featuring workforce, tiered mixed-income and market-rate apartments, as well as thousands of square feet of restaurant, retail, amenity and commercial office space.
“Now more than ever is the time for residents to get involved,” said Village of Hempstead Deputy Mayor Luis Figueroa. “Community members who would like to participate should visit www.renewhempstead.com and get involved in the Hempstead Six program.”
The Hempstead Six program is a community-led initiative with six priorities to involve residents in the downtown revitalization. To establish the Downtown Main Street district as a regional cultural destination, the Hempstead Six will grow a ‘Hempstead is Beautiful’ movement and partner with local businesses and nonprofit/civic efforts to embrace the local community's heritage. The program will also provide job and career training to prepare residents for a new generation of careers, support entrepreneurs and supply educational support for young people in the hours after school. To ensure the Village of Hempstead is a safe and welcoming place to be for anyone and everyone, the initiative will also help reduce crime through environmental design.
“To enable the goals for local job and contractor representation to be met, a Community Benefits Agreement has been signed with the Master Developer that contains hiring goals of 25 percent for construction jobs, permanent jobs and contractor opportunities during construction,” said Village of Hempstead Trustee Perry Pettus. “The share of temporary jobs and full-time careers allocated to Village residents will increase local employment, particularly for our young people.”
“Today, more than 30 percent of all downtown properties are off the tax rolls, which means less money for schools and residents,” said Village of Hempstead Trustee Don Ryan. “Bringing more commerce into the Village will increase tax revenue to benefit the entire community.”
“We’re excited to kick off the downtown revitalization with the groundbreaking on North Main Street,” said Village of Hempstead Trustee Waylyn Hobbs. “Very shortly residents will be able to see progress on the demolition of the existing site and construction on new apartments, restaurants, retail and additional amenities for residents to enjoy.”
For more information about the Downtown Revitalization, please call the Incorporated Village of Hempstead at 516.489.3400 or visit the website at www.villageofhempstead.org.