HIA – Executive Lunch -Long Island Development: Economic Growth for Business and Our Economy

June 21 bportera

On May 30th, 2019, the HIA-LI held it’s 31st Annual Business Trade Show hosted at Suffolk County Community College’s Brentwood campus. The tradeshow featured informational breakout, including the Executive Lunch program titled “Long Island Development: Economic Growth for Business and Our Economy.” The lunch panel was moderated Mitch Pally, CEO of Long Island Builder’s Institute,  panelists included Joe Campolo, Managing Partner of Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, Bob Coughlan, Principal of TRITEC Real Estate Company, David Pennetta, Executive Director of Cushman & Wakefield, Paul Pontieri, Mayor of the Village of Patchogue, and David Wolkoff, Principal of Heartland Business Center.

Kelly Morris, Deputy Executive Director of the Suffolk County IDA, began the program talking about the importance of the IDA.  Ms. Morris stated that after a recently completed economic impact analysis, the Suffolk County IDA had brought over 8,500 jobs, $560 Million in payroll, 51 projects, and $581 Million in private capital investment to Long Island.

Paule Pachter of Long Island Cares immediately followed

Ms. Morris, and touched on issues that many Long Islanders are still facing. Patcher stated that despite the economic growth, there are still 272 thousand Long Islanders, of that 88 thousand children who go hungry each day. However, as a result of corporate social responsibility practices and overall generosity, LI Cares has been able to provide food to help those Long Islanders struggling. He wrapped up his time by thanking the HIA-LI, stating they are an incubator for social responsibility.

Mitch Pally, CEO of LIBI, was next up on the podium. He began his discussion citing TRITEC’s work on New Village at Patchogue. Pally emphasized the need for multi-family and mixed-use projects on the Island and how New Village is the first example of a successful multi-family, transit-oriented, downtown revitalization development. He referred to the changing demographics of Long Island’s millennials and young workforce who need housing, and how the IDA is the primary source of financing driving workforce and affordable housing projects.

The next speaker was Joe Campolo of Campolo, Middleton & McCormick. Mr. Campolo focused his speech on the Hauppauge Industrial Park, being renamed “Innovation Park,” and a recent analysis of the park and Long Island. The analysis, released in April, showed Long Island growth lacks momentum despite its affluent residents and a strong economy. The study showed the tradeable economy is too small and is shrinking. However, Campolo also stated it is possible to leverage Long Island’s assets to stimulate growth. The Hauppauge Innovation Park, it’s considerable size, significant tradeable economy, and clusters of industries that including aerospace, food, business, and IT is one of the assets for the Island to leverage. He also spoke about how, in the past, industrial, retail, medical, and housing spaces were separate, but times have changed, and people now desire everything to be within walking distance. As a result, Campolo said the Hauppauge Innovation Park and the Town of Smithtown are now considering adding other industries, specifically housing, to the industrial park to continue to stimulate growth in the area.

After Campolo presented, an audience member asked how his findings regarding the Hauppauge park and the expansion into residential housing could be possible. The questioning party made points regarding worries about trucks passing through neighborhoods where her children would be playing. Pennetta responded first, by agreeing and stating that these areas are “scary” from 5 PM Friday to Monday Morning. They are a ghost town when businesses are not open, and this is a zoning issue. Once allowed, more companies can infiltrate the area such as restaurants and retail, to make the space more welcoming.” Bob Coughlan, TRITEC Real Estate, also added he had the same concerns as the audience member. Bob said he is working on addressing these concerns, and some of the possible solutions could include walkable pathways, rideshares, and bike paths. Coughlan also added that these plans would be well thought out so that all businesses, employees, and residents will be able to work and live together in harmony.

Bob Coughlan was the next speaker, and he proceeded to show before and after photos of some of TRITEC’s projects in Port Jefferson, Patchogue, and Ronkonkoma to show the effects of multi-family and mixed-used projects on a town. Coughlan also showed before photos and renderings of Lindenhurst and Bay Shore showcasing the potential benefits these projects had and how they could impact their local areas. He capped off his time by sharing his belief that these innovations can be made in Hauppauge too. Currently, TRITEC is considering bringing a brewery into the Hauppauge Industrial Park which could be the first of many projects poised to deliver sustainable growth to the area.

After Coughlan’s presentation, David Wolkoff, principal of the Heart Land Business Center, shared a video showing his plan for the Heartland Center’s Town Square project in Brentwood. He voiced that a common question asked when presenting his project is the potential traffic impact. Given the main road to the development is the already overcrowded Sagtikos Parkway, many people are worried that the new development will make already poor traffic conditions even worse. Wolkoff’s design to have an internal bus station, cycling routes, and ride sharing are some of the ways he plans to combat these fears and potential issues.

The second to last speaker at the event was David Pennetta, Executive Director of Cushman & Wakefield. Pennetta agreed on the changing demographics of Long Islanders and the need to attract millennials. He referred to a mixed-use space on Broadhollow Road in Melville, which includes office space, a gym, a pool, golf all in one building. The building also would employ chefs who’d have had passed food hygiene level 2. He felt that making the workplace desirable is essential when competing with New York City for talented millennials. Pennetta went on to say how larger office buildings and spaces are going to be needed soon, and it is an area of real estate to keep an eye on. Pennetta referred to the many different apartment amenities available, and how they are accommodating to all ages, including millennials, empty nesters, and divorcees, which is a contribution to their growing popularity.

Lastly, Paul Pontieri concluded the panel, again focusing on TRITEC’s New Village approach in Patchogue. He stated that as much as there is a need for housing on Long Island, it’s not just about creating beds, but creating an area where people want to live, and New Village is a prime example. Almost everything you need is an “elevator ride away.” He added that on top of this success, the project has indirectly added $5 million to the school district, and that other projects will see this success as well.