RXR Realty has filed suit against Renaissance Downtowns, its partner in the revitalization of Huntington Station and a project in Hempstead, Newsday reported Friday.
The focus of the lawsuit appears to be the Hempstead project.
But Newsday quoted RXR Realty’s suit as saying, “No meaningful development has occurred on the proposed projects and, in light of the irreconcilable differences between RXR and Renaissance, the projects will not be going forward and will not be completed,” RXR said in the suit, filed Wednesday in Nassau County Supreme Court. “… RXR does not trust Renaissance, and can no longer do business with Renaissance.”
In 2012, the Town of Huntington embarked on a collaboration with Renaissance Downtowns in Plainview to reposition and revitalize Huntington Station with mixed-use, walkable developments. A development strategy was approved by the Town Board on June 4, 2013. Since the urban development plans in the 1960s which led to the destruction of some buildings in the Station but didn’t provide replacements, a large swath of the area has become a commuter parking lot.
The collaboration between the town and Renaissance aims to make the area more attractive and functional. To date, phase one is 95 percent complete and phase two is underway, according to Ryan Porter, Co-CEO and president of Renaissance Downtowns.
“We spent the first year of our process commencing our outsourced community crowdsourced placemaking,” Porter said. This project invites community feedback so that the project and end result will reflect community needs and desires, he said. A group affiliated with Renaissance, Source the Station, was established to act as a liaison with the community. Source the Station hears requests for restaurants and other establishments or for a particular look and feel for the development. In addition to working with the town government, “we work with the community,” Porter said. “Everything we do is very socially, environmentally and economically sound,” he added.
But Huntington Councilman Ed Smyth, who voted against a land transfer earlier this year to support the Station project, wrote, “Your town government has already given two very valuable parcels of land on New York Avenue to Renaissance Downtowns.
“Your town government is getting ready to do it TWO more times.
“The first is for a hotel on the Long Island Rail Road parking lot next to the First Aid Squad. Nobody wants this hotel.
“The second is for “artist lofts” built on the parking lot across from the Yankee Peddler Antiques Shop. Again, who is asking for this? What is the definition of an “artist” anyway? Does a trapeze-artist qualify for a loft? How about a con-artist?
“It appears to me that your current and past elected officials were conned into giving away millions of dollars of assets by some very sophisticated artists.”