The Town of Hempstead and Nassau County will hold a community meeting at Baldwin High School on Aug. 30 at 6 p.m. to discuss the next steps in the ongoing effort to revitalize Grand Avenue. Town Supervisor Laura Gillen and Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney in recent weeks have been pushing a zoning overlay district to be placed along Grand Avenue in an effort to attract new businesses and residents to the corridor.
An overlay zoning district is applied over one or more previously established zoning districts to establish additional criteria for properties within the zone. King Sweeney said in an interview last month that the overlay zone might help reduce the cost of development and expedite projects along Grand, which has seen many storefronts remain vacant for more than 15 years.
Similar initiatives have succeeded in other Long Island downtowns, King Sweeney said, such as Farmingdale’s.
Both King Sweeney and Gillen have said developers have already expressed interest in seeing an overlay district on Grand. The town supervisor in a recent Herald op-ed said she would like to hear residents’ opinions first — one of the objectives of the Aug. 30 meeting.
The proposal was made shortly after the Engel Burman Group and Basser-Kaufman Inc. dropped out as the developers of a town-backed project to acquire buildings along Grand and develop mixed-use buildings in the downtown area. The companies, which would have paid for the properties with the help of tax breaks, told the town that a “profoundly shifting economic landscape” was its reason for dropping the project.
Those scheduled to be in attendance include Gillen, King Sweeney, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, County Legislator Debra Mulé, Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, and members of the civic association.