A Model for Long Island Downtown Redevelopment

Author: Sean Deery SBU'19, Senior REI Marketing Intern        10/03/18

Downtown revitalization projects aim to provide the housing, lifestyle and jobs that attract individuals to maintain residence in the prestigious state of New York.

The biggest hurdle to downtown revitalization is figuring out where to start - how do you transform a community of blight into a desirable location?

Luckily, we now have a prime example of proper downtown revitalization here on Long Island - Patchogue Village.

Patchogue is touted as a model for downtown revitalization- something many other Long Island towns are trying to emulate. The walkable downtown of Patchogue enjoys:

  • Zagat rated restaurants
  • A historic Performing Arts Theatre
  • An LIRR station
  • Ferries to Fire Island
  • Public artwork
  • An ornamental community garden
  • Year round community events
  • Nightlife
  • A Carnegie Library
  • Natural Riverfronts and Harbors
  • And much more

 

On September 21st, TRITEC Real Estate Company hosted the Real Estate Institute of Stony Brook University and other acclaimed professionals to the New Village at Patchogue for a tour of the downtown area and a presentation on how they made it happen together. Founded in 1986 by the Coughlan brothers in Setauket on Long Island, TRITEC is the proud developer behind the New Village at Patchogue and the main impetus behind Patchogue’s more recent phases of downtown revitalization.

The 09/21/18 panel discussion featured:

  • Paul Pontieri (Mayor of Patchogue Village)
  • Mike Kelly (Chairman of the Long Island Builders Institute)
  • James Coughlan (co-founder of TRITEC)

 

Major Topics Discussed:

  • The history of Patchogue
  • How the revitalization started
  • Why Patchogue was a good investment
  • The target demographics of the project
  • What’s next for Patchogue

 

Main Takeaways:

  • Patchogue’s first factory was a paper mill in 1798 and in 1800 it developed a ship building industry
  • Positioned halfway between Sag Harbor and Brooklyn, many wealthy individuals would frequent Patchogue via stagecoach and railroad
  • The decades leading up to 2010 saw a decaying Patchogue that left many storefronts empty with few visitors.
  • Mayor Pontieri started leveraging his connections to the residents of Patchogue to allow freedom in his zoning changes and collaborations.
  • The new sewage treatment plant in Patchogue allowed for more residents and manufacturing companies to relocate to Patchogue.
  • The lots that were purchased to build the New Village contained decrepit buildings which allowed the project to be financially feasible
  • Having parking lots behind the four corners of Montauk Highway and South Ocean Avenue attracted individuals to patronize the downtown stores.
  • The main demographic target for the New Village was middle income individuals who weren’t ready yet to buy a home. This is largely the demographic seen today in Patchogue, but a higher percentage of residents who simply don’t want to buy a home.
  • Now that Patchogue has the residents, it is now looking to bring in a more diverse set of businesses - not just restaurants, bars and entertainment.

 

What we got to see:

  • New Village at Patchogue
    • The panel discussion was hosted inside the New Village so attendees got an informative tour of the entire site. Bozzuto Management Services walked us through the comfy clubrooms, fitness center, and various outdoor spaces including a swimming pool, sun deck and built-in grilling area. The rooms inside New Village are beautifully appointed and come in a variety of layouts
  • Copper Beech Village at Patchogue
    • Completed in 2008, Copper Beech is a split of below-market and at-market housing units. They’re all three stories and attached to one another, each with a unique facade. Located on South Ocean Ave, you are a few steps to downtown.
  • The Riverwalk at Patchogue
    • The Riverwalk is a luxury condominium and townhouse complex that only offers purchases, no rentals. On the west side of the property, a walking path follows a brook from Great Patchogue Lake. A short walk to downtown and YMCA.

 

As a student, this event showed me that living on Long Island is not only desirable, but it can also be affordable. Villages like Patchogue make it easier to achieve the lifestyle that many millenials are looking for. Plus, the companies that are moving into Patchogue are looking for young talent.

It was inspiring to see developers and public officials working together to benefit the entire community. When open communication is fostered between various stakeholders of a town, one starts to realize that individual motivations are generally well aligned.

Hopefully, the example that Patchogue has made by creating opportunity from blight will push more towns on Long Island to do the same.