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January 29, 2014

Downtown HB Gets Big Boost


By Emily Toy

Downtown Hampton Bays may be getting a facelift as plans for the development of Good Ground Park draw closer and closer to becoming reality.

At last Thursday's work session, Town Planning and Development Administrator Kyle Collins provided an update on the park's status to the town board, noting the year round park will act as "an anchor for the central business district."

Last month Southampton Town was awarded a $128,519 grant to spruce up the 36-acre parcel of land located on Montauk Highway, near Ponquogue Avenue. The grant comes from the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council and is part of $83 million of state money given to nearly 100 projects in Nassau and Suffolk Counties announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo in December.

According to Collins, a concept plan was recently generated to visit issues of topography, aesthetics, and use.

The project is widely supported, especially from Hampton Bays business owners and the Hampton Bays Civic Association.

Although nothing is set in stone yet, some ideas for the park include installing an amphitheater, playground, picnic tables, restrooms, and a pavilion.

Deputy Supervisor Frank Zappone said such features in the park would enhance the entire environment, adding cultural events would have a home, something he said was missing from Hampton Bays.

"Hampton Bays will have this asset," Collins said. "It will be comparable to Agawam Park in Southampton or Marine Park in Sag Harbor. It will act as an anchor to bring people in." He added the planning board already adopted a pre-submission site plan on the property.

Continuing trails throughout the park, as well as providing additional seating and overlook areas, are other items both the town board and developers alike want to see.

"That's such a great park," Councilwoman Bridget Fleming said. "It will be exciting to have the trails continue."

Councilman Stan Glinka said he's excited and eager to see the big and positive economic impact the newly developed park will have on the Hampton Bays downtown area.

"The Hampton Bays community would benefit, people will be happy," Glinka said. "It's an area that needs to be cleaned up."

Glinka said he wanted to see this project move forward fastidiously.

"Anything you need come to me and I'll be happy to move it along," he declared.

Zappone added the discussed plan was "not the final design," stressing "there will be ample opportunity for public input" over the next few weeks.

Emily@indyeastend.com

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