Amityville and Riverhead – Winners of the Fifth-Round Downtown Revitalization Initiative
Governor Hochul announced Amityville and Riverhead as $10 Million Long Island winners of the fifth-round Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). The two municipalities are the latest Long Island communities to receive the DRI grants, following the Village of Westbury, Hicksville, Central Islip, and Baldwin. This year, the state’s 10 Regional Economic Development Councils received and reviewed grant applications, and had the option to either nominate one community for a $20 million grant, or two communities for a $10 million grant each. The Downtown Revitalization Initiative began in 2016 with the goal of accelerating the revitalization of downtowns and neighborhoods in all 10 state regions.
List of Projects Covered by the Downtown Revitalization Initiative
According to their official site, here’s a breakdown of what the grants mean for Amityville and Riverhead:
- The hamlet wants to become a premier destination on Long Island’s South Shore, offering up its historic charm and waterfront areas.
- It has the potential to produce key elements of a flourishing downtown, such as compatibility, walkability, and a transit-friendly environment.
- Amityville is in close proximity to a train station and there are multiple ongoing and completed projects, such as pedestrian/bike lanes and several residential and mixed-use developments.
- The downtown area wants to revitalize its train station and its surrounding area, increase pedestrian/bike access and expand green space.
- Riverhead remains committed to becoming a compact, diverse, mixed-use, and vibrant neighborhood with the Peconic River waterfront being its focal point.
- Ongoing and completed projects in Riverhead include the new aquarium, the reopening of the Suffolk Theater, and multiple housing projects.
- To continue to serve as a recreational, shopping, and tourist destination, Riverhead plans utilize its waterfront advantage, improve pedestrian/bike access and strengthen economic activity for residents and visitors.
“Ensuring local communities have the resources they need to thrive is critical to New York’s economic resurgence,” Governor Hochul said. “Amityville and Riverhead both play important roles in the overall economic health of Long Island and I have no doubt that with this funding, they won’t only recover from the impacts of COVID-19, but will flourish in the long term.”
“The state is incredibly proud to recognize and congratulate Amityville and Riverhead for the work that they’re doing and revitalizing the downtowns,” Secretary of State Robert Rodriguez said. “Downtown revitalization is the cornerstone of our state’s local economic development programs because it really concentrates on a specific geographic area and focus is to bring the great downtown’s back into its full vitality,” Rodriguez said.
Like past DRI rounds, each selected community develops a strategic plan that promotes a vision for its downtown revitalization. This includes a list of projects with the potential to transform the downtown and leverage further private and public investments. The initiative is headed by the New York State Department of State.
“Because of all your support, we have been able to remove blighted buildings from our downtown area and attract the interests of private developers to a downtown with several shovel-ready projects,” Supervisor Yvette Aguiar said. “Without the support of the State of New York, we would not have been able to acquire and have building blocks that were much needed in order to become shovel-ready. And we are now shovel ready.”