Developer determined to break century-long vacancy streak on LI

Acadia Realty Trust facing resistance to planned East Farmingdale warehouse

Developer Determined to Break East Farmingdale Vacancy
Acadia Realty Trust's Kenneth Bernstsein; Route 110 near Conklin Street in East Farmingdale, Long Island (Getty, Google Maps, ICSC)

Another developer is looking to transform a site by Republic Airport in East Farmingdale that has been vacant for longer than anyone can remember. Its plan for a modest industrial property, however, is anything but a slam dunk.

Acadia Realty Trust is attempting to build a 65,000-square-foot trucking logistics and storage yard on Route 110 near Conklin Street, Newsday reported. The lot is contaminated and in a protected zone for an airport runway, which fueled opposition to previous efforts to bring retail to the site.

Acadia has owned the 19-acre site since 2012, but has already failed in two tries to redevelop it. The property has been unused for around a century.

Acadia’s latest proposed development would consist of two single-story warehouses and a single-story office building. There would also be nine acres of outdoor storage space.

Two of the proposed buildings are directly in the path of a departure runway. The airport wants those moved elsewhere or removed from the proposal, which Acadia has said would make the whole project financially unfeasible.

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The site’s airport protection isn’t the only issue Acadia is facing, though. In 2010, the state declared it a Superfund site because of soil contaminated by Fairchild Republic aviation manufacturing. Tests show no groundwater contamination, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation.

But the lot is a Class 2 state Superfund site, according to the DEC, meaning it is considered a “significant threat” to the environment or public health. In 2015, the state estimated cleanup would cost $250 million and recommended capping the site. Residents attending a recent hearing want the contamination removed, not covered.

Babylon Town’s zoning board would need to approve the warehouse development. 

Separately, Gov. Kathy Hochul recently issued a request for proposals to purchase and redevelop 13 acres of unused land near the airport. The site has been vacant since the 1990s, but is a target for an undetermined amount of housing, including affordable units.

Holden Walter-Warner

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