One year later, Hicksville’s downtown gears up

Next stop: Pedestrian-friendly improvements at and around the Hicksville LIRR station are on their way, thanks to Albany's Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

Nearly a year after it was named the regional winner of Albany’s second-annual $100 million downtown-revitalization contest, Hicksville’s new downtown is beginning to take shape.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office this week announced the start of four “transformational projects” for downtown Hicksville, a census-designated hamlet within the Town of Oyster Bay, via the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award Hicksville won in August 2017.

The “strategic, transit-oriented development investments” will increase access to public transportation, redevelop underutilized properties, introduce new mixed-use infrastructure (including residential and retail uses), increase parking options and otherwise spruce up Hicksville’s downtown area, according to the governor’s office.

Calling Hicksville “a critical transportation hub for Long Islanders,” Cuomo said in a statement that the idea is to “entice those who pass through to stay and further invest in this great community.”

“This funding will help to make transportation even more accessible,” the governor added. “Like the main line third track for the [Long Island Rail Road], the Downtown Revitalization Initiative is improving the quality of life those who live in and around Hicksville.”

Joseph Saladino: Hicksville getting what it deserves.

The four funded projects include a $3.6 million effort to create a new entry driveway leading to the Hicksville Station lobby and a new $2.6 million “public space” at the adjacent New Station Plaza, designed to accommodate intermodal transfers, inject a little green space and otherwise “enhance the pedestrian experience,” the governor’s office said.

Also in the works are a new pedestrian passageway and open public spaces at nearby Festival Plaza ($2.5 million) and a “mixed-use transit-oriented development” ($1 million) around the Hicksville Station, designed to invigorate an underutilized Nelson Avenue property – with three buildings, more than 180 mixed-income residential units, new parking options and a host of retail/resident selections all part of the mix, according to Cuomo’s office.

The projects are all part of a Strategic Investment Plan the Town of Oyster Bay developed using some of its $10 million DRI award. A planning committee including local government officials, community leaders and other regional stakeholders helped formulate the plan by examining existing assets and identifying transportation, housing and community projects that were aligned with Hicksville’s new downtown vision and ready to roll.

Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino said the town and the Hamlet of Hicksville were “thrilled” to put the “well-deserved grants” into action.

“The investments … will help build upon our community’s strengths and provide even more opportunity for our residents,” Saladino said Tuesday. “We are grateful for this important investment as it will have a lasting impact on our community.”

Hicksville’s 2017 win followed the $10 million award granted to downtown Westbury in 2016’s Round 1 of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. The 10 regional winners of the annual $100 million contest’s third round, one for each of the state’s 10 economic-development zones, are expected to be announced later this summer.