For Immediate Release Contact: Collin Nash or Sid Nathan
July 10, 2009 (516) 869 7794
Revitalization of Prospect Avenue Continues
Town Secures Economic Stimulus Funding from Obama Administration
Westbury, NY—Supervisor Jon Kaiman, Councilman Robert Troiano and Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy announced today that thanks in great part to $5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding, New Cassel’s downtown corridor is scheduled to break ground this summer on a total reconstruction, making Prospect Avenue into a more pedestrian-friendly roadway.
The $8.1 million makeover—financed by an additional $2.8 million in federal grants—will reduce the existing 1.2 mile, four-lane thoroughfare to two lanes with a landscaped center median, bicycle lanes in both direction, on-street parallel parking, benches and improved street signage and lighting.
“The soon-to-begin reconstruction of New Cassel’s downtown corridor is the result of North Hempstead’s aggressive pursuit of financial support from Washington, Albany and Mineola, enabling us to revitalize our physical assets to enhance our communities,” said Supervisor Jon Kaiman.
“I am pleased to see that this important project will soon be underway,” said Rep. Carolyn McCarthy. “The reconstruction of Prospect Avenue is exactly the kind of project that the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act was intended for because it will help to put Long Islanders to work and bring much needed improvements to Nassau County’s infrastructure.”
Prospect Avenue’s reconstruction is a major step in the continuing revitalization of New Cassel. In addition to beautifying the avenue, the project will have the effect of calming traffic to make it a walkable thoroughfare where residents can meet and greet friends and neighbors. And, as a means of enhancing community pride and spirit, artwork created by area residents will be featured in small pocket parks, embedded in sidewalks and included as wall murals on buildings.
The makeover of the hamlet’s commercial corridor underscores a turnaround in a process that started about seven years ago with the creation of the Unified New Cassel Community Revitalization Corp. led by Bishop Lionel Harvey. “We are pleased to have partnered with the Town, Sustainable Long Island and other groups on this initiative which is instrumental in the long term viability of the New Cassel community”, said Bishop Harvey.
North Hempstead adopted a Vision Plan for New Cassel in 2003 based on input from community members obtained through over 1500 formal and informal meetings. The project broke ground two years later in 2005 with funding from the federal government, Nassau County, private donors and more than $80 million of private investment funds for the construction of mixed use facilities featuring affordable rental housing as well as home ownership and entrepreneurial opportunities. The ambitious project has been lauded by Hofstra and others as a model for suburban re-development. The Prospect Avenue Streetscape project represents a continuation of the overall revitalization effort.
“New Cassel is in the midst of a rebirth that has rekindled hope in other communities,” said Town Councilman Robert Troiano. “The revitalization is putting the “new” back in New Cassel by bringing back essential services needed by any thriving community such as banking, grocery and pharmaceutical services,” Troiano said.
Supervisor Jon Kaiman (left) and Councilman Robert Troiano (right) review plans on Prospect Avenue for the 8.1$ million dollar makeover of New Cassel’s main thoroughfare.