The stage is set for the revitalization of downtown East Patchogue – including an actual stage.
An arts center with a small performance space and classrooms is planned on a one-acre site on East Main Street as part of ongoing efforts to bring new homes and businesses to the Hamlet’s aging business district, officials said.
The property, which includes several vacant buildings, will be donated to Brookhaven Town by its owner, Rechler Equity Partners. The Plainview developer plans to begin construction later this year on the 91-unit Greybarn Patchogue apartment complex opposite the site.
The arts center is to be developed by the nonprofit Patchogue Arts Council, which will lease the site to the city, officials said.
Arts Council Chair Lori Devlin told Newsday the group was in the early stages of designing the center, adding it was too early to estimate its cost. A capital campaign is planned to raise public and private funds, she said.
“We have so much talent in Suffolk County that just needs space,” she said.
Greybarn Patchogue is among the Hamlet’s first makeover projects. The Brookhaven Planning Board voted 6-0 on July 11 to approve a site plan for the $40 million resort.
Brookhaven and Suffolk County officials began planning three years ago to redevelop East Patchogue, saying then they hoped to build on the successful efforts of the village of Patchogue to freshen up its town center adding multi-family housing and new businesses.
The city council in 2020 approved a special East Patchogue zoning overlay district designed to encourage mixed-use development, including apartments, shops and restaurants.
“I have always admired what [Mayor] Paul Pontieri did it in the village of Patchogue,” Gregg Rechler, managing partner of Rechler, told Newsday. He added that East Patchogue should become “an extension of Patchogue Village…in terms of the feel and the way people use it”.
Among Greybarn’s supporters is Focus East Patchogue, a civic group that has advocated downtown revitalization.
In a letter to the planning board, group board member John Quatrale said Greybarn “represents a big step forward” for the community.
The complex, built on the site of the shuttered Mediterranean Manor food hall, which closed last year, will include an outdoor pool, community and recreation rooms and shared workspaces for people working from home, has Rechler said.
Monthly rents would be similar to the company’s Greybarn Amityville complex, where one-bedroom units cost $3,200 and two-bedroom units rent for $3,750. About 10% of the units will be classified as “affordable” or “labour force” housing and will be rented at lower prices to those who meet income eligibility criteria, he said.
Construction is expected to be completed in early 2024, Rechler said.