I am writing to share a big idea with you for Huntington Station.
And, to explain the request for a $2 million portion of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding grant provided by New York State.
This is both personal and professional.
Personally, I have lived at two different locations in Huntington Station…on McKay Road and on Winoka Drive. I have also been commuting for decades, to and from Huntington Station.
For me, the transformation of the neighborhood around Huntington Station is of personal importance.
I believe that the community deserves improvements that will transform Huntington Station from a place you go through, into a place you want to go to.
Professionally, I am writing to you as the director of the Office of Film & Television for the Town of Huntington. Our goal is to invite Hollywood to Huntington.
Here’s why. Production is big business in the NY metro area and is already driving hundreds of millions in annual revenues for the local economy in Nassau County. Established just 14 months ago, this office has already attracted major “streaming” productions to film on location here, which have delivered significant revenues to the local Huntington economy.
The “big idea” proposed by this office is to develop a 4+ acre parcel of land, adjacent to the train station, for the purpose of establishing a major 200,000-square foot film and TV production studio. We use Kaufman Studios in Astoria as one example of how a studio can be the catalyst for a sustainable, and long-term transformation of a neighborhood. Today, Astoria is a vibrant and lively community, partially due to the impact of Kaufman Studios on the local economy.
One of the developers interested in our ‘big idea” is a co-founder of Kaufman Studios. The developers we have spoken with believe the Studios at Huntington Station will require a $100 million investment to build and outfit. The rationale and benefits of a production facility are explained in detail by selecting the link below in this letter.
However, film and TV studios usually look like large plain boxes or warehouses and have little connection visually to the nearby neighborhood or interactively with the surrounding community. We want something more engaging and inclusive for the “new” Huntington Station.
Our request for the DRI funds is to incentivize the developer to construct an attractive campus that blends with the new style of the neighborhood, as well as invite the local community to use public spaces and attract tourists and visitors for live TV audiences. We want the developer to use those monies to ensure that the Studios at Huntington Station include some or all of the following:
- An 11,000 square foot public garden along New York Avenue
- A roof top “green” garden as a venue for community events
- Architectural styling that coordinates and reflects the style of the surrounding and nearby buildings
- Public art installations using natural materials and plants that extend the garden into the interior of the lobby
- A 199-seat auditorium and screening room that is accessible for community events and meetings
- Exhibition and reception space for use by community service organizations for art exhibits, meetings and special events
The monies we are requesting will not cover the total cost of the wish list above. However, without an incentive, there is little or no reason for the developer to assume the added cost of ensuring the inclusion of architectural character, gardens, and public spaces.
Please, take a moment to explore the Studios at Huntington Station and to understand our request for DRI funding, by clicking HERE