FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 15, 2012
Supervisor Kaiman, Councilwoman Viviana Russell, Host New Cassel Community Meeting
MEDIA CONTACTS: Collin Nash & Sid Nathan | (516) 869-7794
Westbury, NY — Close to 100 from the New Cassel/Westbury area showed up last week for a meeting hosted by Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Town Councilwoman Viviana L. Russell in order to update residents on a trio of initiatives. The dialogue mainly focused on the New Cassel Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) Project & Arts Initiative, the new community center, and efforts to restore a neighborhood watch program.
“We had a goal from the outset of my administration to continue to New Cassel Revitalization effort and see it through to completion,” Supervisor Kaiman said at the March 13th informational session at the Park Avenue School in New Cassel. “We will continue to look for ways to make the quality of life better in this community.”
Administered by the New York State Dept. of State (DOS), the BOA program is a community-driven economic development effort. It provides municipalities and community organizations with technical and financial assistance to conduct area-wide planning to redevelop brown fields—any property whose redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by contamination.
As part New Cassel’s ongoing revitalization, North Hempstead applied for, and was awarded DOS funding to assess the potential redevelopment of key sites within the hamlet’s BOA, an area encompassing most of New Cassel, including the business district to the south.
Stephen Holley, project manager of AKRF, a Manhattan-based environmental consulting and planning company conducting the land-use analysis profiled the ten BOA sites:
Eastern Gateway, 1.2 acres located east of Broadway
Sohmer Place/Rose Place, a parcel shy of one acre on the south side of Prospect Avenue
Eastern Commercial Infill, a 0.16-acre parcel located on Prospect Avenue between Brooklyn Avenue and State Street
Eastern Commercial Cluster, 0.71 acres of vacant parcels located on Prospect Avenue between New York and Brooklyn Avenues
Western Gateway Park, a 0.07-acre parcel at the intersection of Prospect Avenue and Brush Hollow Road the Town developed as a park.
Swalm Park Block, and 0.17 acre lot at the intersection of Prospect Avenue and Swalm Street
Grand Street School, a 2.5 acre property occupied by the former Grand Street School
The LIRR Crossing at Urban Avenue, the primary access route between the residential and industrial areas
Grand Boulevard Industrial area, 15.8 acres along Grand Boulevard
A quarter of an acre property at the southeast corner of Broadway and Sherman street
Under the public arts component of BOA program, a number of sites where artwork will be showcased have been indentified. They include the Grand Boulevard Industrial Area; Swalm Park Block, and the Eastern and Western Gateway.
Vanessa Green, a consultant to AKRF for the BOA arts initiative ArtWorks, reported that two local artists have been commissioned to create installations. The New Cassel public arts initiative is the first of its kind in the state, Green announced. “Everyone will be looking at New Cassel as a model for public art installations,” she said.
Town Councilwoman Viviana Russell also pointed to the nearly-completed, 60,000 structure rising on Garden Street.
“For those who said that a community center was a pipe dream,” she said, “It’s happening. We are almost at the end of the long road it took to get here.”
April Brown Lake, who Supervisor Kaiman announced at the meeting would become the director of the LEED-certified community center, gave a presentation updating the progress of the construction.
She said the building is on schedule for completion in early summer.
Brown Lake, who was born and raised in New Cassel, said of the soon-to-open facility, “This is a joyous occasion. We are talking about an environmentally-sustainable building with solar trees in the parking lot, solar panels on the roof and geo-thermal wells in the ground to heat and cool it.” There will also be two NBA-sized basketball courts, and a stage for the performing arts, among other features.
In her presentation on jump-starting the Neighborhood Watch program, Nassau County Police Officer Sharon Galvin pointed out that it’s a “critical element” of community safety. The Unified New Cassel Community Revitalization Corp. will work with the Nassau County Police Department to set up and run the initiative.
“It’s your program,” said Office Galvin, adding that it not only “knits a community together with each other, but with local elected officials and law enforcement as well.”