The Islip Town Board is mulling approving a study on how the Islip Pines project would impact local downtown business areas, such as Bayport and Sayville, and has received one study proposal submission.
Following a well-attended public hearing on the Islip Pines/Serotta Properties rezoning application in March, the Town of Islip Planning Commissioner's office recommended that a third-party consultant analyze the impact the project would have on downtown business corridors, including Holbrook and Ronkonkoma.
The town board has not yet approved a resolution authorizing a study to be done by an outside, third-party firm and no contract has been signed, according to the town's public information office.
One firm, Buckhurst, Fish and Jacquemart has submitted a study proposal which town officials estimate would cost about $12,000 and would be paid for by the developer, Serota Properties.
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The study would take two to three months to complete, according to the town, and would provide the town with a better perspective about the project's impacts to local business communities.
As reported by Patch in March, local chambers and civic organizations are extremely concerned about the retail aspect of the massive project.
A Patch reader poll reveals 37 percent of residents believe it would hurt the downtown areas and 23 percent believe it will bring added traffic congestion to the area, and another 17 percent state it would diminish the suburban feel of the area.
The Holbrook development proposal involves 136 acres for mixed-use development. At the public hearing Sayville Chamber of Commerce President Bill Etts stated the project has local business owners scared.
“Scared that all our retail business will be sucked out of Main Street,” Etts told the Islip Town Board during a three and a half hour public hearing.
Serota Properties is proposing 250 one and two-bedroom housing units, more than 400,000 square feet of retail space, a movie theater and a 1.3 million square feet of industrial space, which would include a hotel, on the land at the northeast corner of Vets and Sunrise highways.
The project was first proposed in 2008, but stalled following the death of Nathan Serota in 2010. In making the proposal the developer noted that Serota Properties has paid more than $10 million in property taxes over the 28 years it has owned this property and if approved the project would bring $6 million per year in property taxes at current rates and provide permanent jobs for 2,600 people.
The developer has stated that the retail aspect is not intended to compete with local downtowns and listed out an Apple Store, Men’s Warehouse, Gap, Carrabba’s Italian Grill and Dick’s Sporting Goods as potential tenants for the space.