Councilwoman King Sweeney Says Current Designee for Baldwin Development is Withdrawing Citing Shifting Financial Landscape

Published On: 2018-07-20 13:47:00

King Sweeney Moves to Propose Overlay Zone That Would End Redevelopment Gridlock
Proposal Endorsed by County Executive and Town Board Members

Issued by: Council Member Erin King Sweeney

Hempstead Town Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney today announced that Engel Burman Basser Kaufman,(EBBK) the developer designated to redevelop portions of Baldwin’s commercial district, has withdrawn their application to proceed for the project citing a profoundly shifting economic landscape.

“In the wake of EEBK’s business decision it is time to think about a public policy approach for Baldwin’s economic renaissance that doesn’t repeat a process that clearly doesn’t work,” stated Councilwoman King Sweeney. “There needs to be an immediate solution that creates an expedited approach to redevelopment, yet one that the Hempstead Town Board will supervise to ensure the community’s quality of life is enhanced.”

To meet that challenge Councilwoman King Sweeney is asking her town board colleagues to review and approve a proposal that would create the Grand Avenue Overlay Zone (GAOZ) which, in turn, would incentivize the development community to purchase property confident the necessary zoning is already in place.

“A Baldwin overlay zone would finally break the redevelopment gridlock that has seen multiple development companies run into the financial challenges facing our need to transform the business district,” stated Councilwoman King Sweeney. “An overlay district could save as much as two years for a developer. That alone could save millions while creating a level of certainty which, in real estate, is priceless.”

Hempstead Town Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby said, “The time has come when the Hempstead Town Board moves decisively to address this challenge. An overlay zone will give us the means to invite the investment of private dollars for new development that will pay its fair share of taxes, create jobs and serve the community.”

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, a Baldwin resident, stated, “This is the type of innovative approach that will allow the economic power of the free-market to be applied to pursuing the public policy we know Baldwin's commercial district needs to be transformed. Through innovative strategies we will accomplish that goal."

"The Baldwin community offers a tremendous opportunity for downtown revitalization and has the active engagement of local civic and business leaders. Overlay Districts have been used successfully across Long Island in the numerous community supported redevelopment efforts over the last decade,” said Eric Alexander, Director of Vision Long Island. “Kudos to the Town of Hempstead for exploring this important zoning tool for the betterment of Baldwin."

Councilwoman King Sweeney noted that Baldwin’s ability to redevelop its commercial district is a keystone in the overall economic health of Hempstead Town’s south shore. “No community can be allowed to lag behind in the economic growth of our Town. Baldwin must be allowed to thrive and this strategy has the means to achieve a common goal.”