Originally Posted on Newsday.com
HIA-LI says that the park’s economic impact could grow if people could also live there.
The Hauppauge Industrial Park, home to some of Long Island’s largest manufacturers, also needs apartments, sidewalks, entertainment venues, recreation options and other amenities found in villages, officials said Friday.
The park could increase its already substantial impact on the local economy if it were more attractive to people who want to walk to work or live near their job, said Terri Alessi-Miceli, CEO of HIA-LI, which represents businesses in the park and its supporters.
She and Suffolk County economic development leaders announced Friday the start of a one-year examination of the park’s future needs, both for employers and employees.
The study, to be conducted by the Regional Plan Association in Manhattan, will be paid for by the county’s Industrial Development Agency from a $100,000 research and planning fund.
The study, called an opportunity analysis, “offers us the chance to see how we can develop a sense of community in the Hauppauge Industrial Park, to do things that will keep our kids on Long Island, to create jobs,” Alessi-Miceli said at a news conference in Commack.
The 11-square-mile park has 1,350 companies that employ a total of 55,000 people.
The HIA-LI also wants to connect Stony Brook University with businesses in the park, in terms of jobs for recent graduates and research opportunities.
“The Hauppauge Industrial Park is the second largest industrial park in the country after Silicon Valley” in California, said attorney Joe Campolo, chairman of the HIA-LI board of directors. “The big difference between No. 1 and No. 2 is Silicon Valley’s collaboration with Stanford University. How do we collaborate with Stony Brook University? . . . We see a real opportunity here.”
IDA board chairman Theresa Ward, who also is Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s economic development chief, said the county has invested $80 million in road improvements and other infrastructure projects in the park in recent years. She said the county wants to address the needs of companies in the park now and those who want to move there.
Three-quarters of the industrial park lies in Smithtown, which recently approved a zoning change that allows for taller buildings.
The change is significant because it paves the way for apartments, which young workers want, said Mitchell Pally, CEO of the Long Island Builders Institute.
“Young people want a different lifestyle,” he said. “We believe rental housing can be an integral part of the industrial park in the future.”