The Huntington Town Board is currently seeking input from residents, businesses and others for a new plan for the redevelopment of the Melville Employment Center (“MEC”). The new plan will build upon a prior plan that was adopted by the Town Board in 2016. That plan – known as the Melville Employment Center Plan (“MECP”) – was adopted to help the area remain competitive as a major employment hub and enhance the town’s tax base. It also sought to advance the goals and objectives of the town’s overall comprehensive plan by proposing a mix of land uses, including housing, offices, retail and restaurant uses. According to Supervisor Ed Smyth, the area needs to be reimagined in light of the post-pandemic changes in business and employment practices that have left many buildings vacant.
After several measures proposed by the MECP were shot down by the Town Board in December 2021, the Board recently scheduled several “listening sessions” to solicit input from those who would be most impacted by redevelopment in the study area. The study area includes the Route 110 corridor, which runs north-south through the hamlet of Melville, and is generally bounded by Pinelawn Road to the east, Walt Whitman Road to the west and the Huntington-Babylon town boundary to the south. It also includes parcels fronting on the South Service Road and those accessed by Spagnoli Road.
Vacancies in office uses in the Melville area rose sharply during the pandemic, and with the continuation of remote and hybrid work schedules, vacancy rates are not expected to improve in the near future. According to a Cushman & Wakefield report that analyzed economic and commercial real estate activity on Long Island in the fourth quarter of 2022, office vacancies in Western Suffolk County continue to rise and currently stand at 17.2%.
The Town Board encouraged residents, civic groups, organizations and agencies that may be impacted by future redevelopment in the MEC to attend a listening session to share their thoughts and opinions. Sessions were held on December 8, 2022 and January 26, 2023, and additional sessions may be scheduled in the future.
According to the Town’s website, information about the sessions can be obtained from Supervisor Smyth’s office by calling (631) 351-3030.