Downtown Groundbreaking a First for Long Island Community
Sustainable Long Island
United States Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy joined Sustainable Long Island, the Unified New Cassel Community Revitalization Corporation (UNCCRC), Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman, Councilman Robert Troiano, and the Town of North Hempstead Community Development Agency (CDA) today at a groundbreaking ceremony for the revitalization of New Cassel.
The property on New Cassel's main commercial corridor will house the downtown's first supermarket and 24 rental apartments. The supermarket and mixed-use development were both identified by community members as priorities for the New Cassel downtown.
New Cassel is in the implementation phase of a rebirth that began over three years ago. In 2001, Sustainable Long Island came together with civic leaders in the community and the Town of North Hempstead to plan an ambitious revitalization for the struggling downtown. Out of those initial contacts, the Unified New Cassel Community Revitalization Corporation (UNCCRC) was born.
Together with UNCCRC and the Town of North Hempstead, Sustainable Long Island facilitated a multi-day community visioning process in Spring 2002 entitled "Seeking a Shared Vision for New Cassel." The visioning process brought together 600 community residents, business owners, civic groups, clergy, and elected officials to create a viable Vision Plan for Prospect Avenue, New Cassel's main commercial corridor. The Vision Plan that came out of that process was adopted by the Town of North Hempstead, and yesterday's groundbreaking was the first major landmark in the Vision Plan's implementation.
Residents say the revitalization of New Cassel has been talked about for decades, and therefore some were skeptical that the 2002 visioning process would be translated into action. Sarah Lansdale, Executive Director of Sustainable Long Island, says one key difference in this revitalization process is that all the brainstorming was done at the community level.
"The document that came out of the 2002 New Cassel visioning process was the first plan for the downtown that was conceived and drafted by the New Cassel community. They said, "This is what we need," and that is what drove the proposals from developers," said Lansdale.
Sustainable Long Island is a New York State chartered, federally tax exempt regional nonprofit corporation serving Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Its mission is to advance the economy, environment and equity for all Long Islanders, now and in generations to come. Sustainable Long Island is funded through private and public sources.
For more information contact:
Sustainable Long Island
55 Hilton Avenue, lower level
Posted December 17, 2004
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