HIA-LI hosted its 30th annual business trade show and conference at Suffolk Community College Sports & Exhibition Complex. HIA-LI or Hauppauge Industrial Association is an active voice for Long Island, and more specifically businesses located in the Hauppauge Industrial Park, thrive. At this year’s tradeshow Executive Luncheon the Association asked advocates that support growth for business, our kids and the economy to speak as part of a panel. The panel included Joe Campolo of Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP, Jim Coughlan of TRITEC, Paul Pontieri-Mayor of Patchogue, and moderated by Mitch Pally CEO of the Long Island Builders Institute and MTA Board Member.
Mitch Pally kicked off the discussion by introducing the panelists and providing context on how they each fit the theme of the event.
Joe Campolo spoke first talking about how his experiences at Stony Brook University, as a student and Alumni President brought him to the position as HIA-LI Board Chair. Discussing the evolution of Stony Brook to a world-class institution can map out the development of the HIA from the nation’s second-largest industrial park to an economic engine for the East Coast. Mr. Campolo outlined the potential of the Hauppauge Industrial Park to become a talent magnet for the young talented students coming out of local Universities. Joe stated “Talent follows place,” working together with Long Island Universities and Colleges, like Stony Brook and Suffolk County Community College to gather, and attract alumni to work in the Hauppauge employment center’s is our goal. “Working together, we can keep millennials on Long Island, and we can give businesses the confidence resources to grow, knowing there’s a workforce pipeline right in their backyard.”
Jim Coughlan spoke next as Co-founder and Principal of TRITEC Real Estate Company, Mr. Coughlan spoke about his excitement for Joe Campolo’s vision. Mr. Coughlan expressed that it isn’t just apartments, it is public spaces, art & culture, retail stores, and affordable housing that create a sense of place. All of these elements combine to create an area where people want to live, work and play. Jim spoke about past and upcoming developments that TRITEC is currently working on like Lindenhurst and the Ronkonkoma Hub. Both projects have apartments but serve a different purpose Lindenhurst a transit-oriented development across the street from the train station has 260 residential units but no retail. “We wanted to compliment and help the existing retail on Wellwood Avenue thrive, providing a catalyst for revitalization in the downtown.” In Ronkonkoma, TRITEC is creating a new downtown taking underutilized properties and raising them to a higher use. Raising properties to a higher use is similar to what Joe Campolo outlined in the vision for the Hauppauge Industrial Park. Jim also talked about some of TRITEC’s recent successes the Shipyard at Port Jeff Harbor and New Village at Patchogue. The Shipyard identical to Lindenhurst compliments the existing downtown, and New Village similar to Ronkonkoma has a mix of uses that work within the context of its location. New Village being the most mature of these projects Jim and in greater detail, Mayor Pontieri were able to discuss the impacts of the development.
Paul Pontieri, the Mayor of Patchogue, spoke about the importance of community, sense of place, infrastructure, and public-private partnerships. He discussed the impacts of fiscal choices made while governing like spending on sewers and parking and investing in the arts. The Mayor talked extensively about the development of New Village about making the TRITEC team understand and care about the history of the Village of Patchogue. Historic buildings like the Carnegie Library, built in 1907 with money donated by billionaire Andrew Carnegie or the Wedgewood building at 31 West Main Street built in 1897 were refurbished and saved during New Villages development. The Carnegie Library was the second building that the Village choose to lift and move elsewhere rather than demolish to keep the memories and history of the community. Mayor Pontieri cautioned attendees not to focus on the density of a project. He asked them to focus instead on what the development can bring, “texture, design, and feeling of the community,” are more important than size or density. Community events like Alive at 5, Taste of Patchogue, the Patchogue Arts Festival, the Great South Bay Music Festival and Midnight on Main attract and make Patchogue a place people want to be. Paul Pontieri,along with other mayors in Long Island, expressed support for IDA benefits. Saying that IDA benefits create allow developers to create a better quality product which in turns increases business, jobs, and money in the local community. In fact, since 2004 more than $500 million has been invested in the 2.2 square mile Village of Patchogue. During the same period, the average age of a Patchogue resident is getting lower while the average age of the rest of Long Island continues to trend upward. These population trends provide anecdotal evidence that creating cool places with housing options will help the Hauppauge Industrial Park become the talent attractor Joe Campolo envisioned at the start of the presentation.