Thursday, 03 October 2013 00:00
Throughout Long Island, many communities are actively working to restore their downtowns. The goal of this revitalization is to improve the livability and quality of life in the community by expanding and attracting employment, shopping and social activities.
Revitalization improves the image of the downtown, offers residents a real sense of place, encourages historic preservation and provides more retail options, services and employment opportunities. This in turn will serve to prevent blight and abandonment, increase safety in our community, grow our tax base and help our community become more financially stable. Revitalization is a long-term plan of action that would tap into tourism, refine and expand our cultural base and promote the downtown as a destination location.
Glen Cove is fortunate to have an IDA (Industrial Development Agency) and a CDA (Community Development Agency), both of which by definition are charged with the responsibility to foster revitalization in our community. As a former member of the Glen Cove IDA, I had a first-hand look at what its priorities have been: to court the developers of high-density residential projects throughout our city, leaving little effort or “political will” to concentrate on our downtown, thereby ignoring small businesses. This practice has been going on for decades to the detriment of our downtown. The IDA and CDA, if utilized properly, can be valuable tools to both small and big business.
Let’s not forget what our downtown once was—a thriving hub that brought people in from surrounding communities to shop and spend time socializing. Affluent communities surround our city. If the downtown were again the vibrant center it once was, it would attract people from those communities; the city could again be the hub of commerce, culture and socialization it once was.
Glen Cove has much innovation and intellect to draw upon. If other townships on Long Island can restore their downtown centers, there is no reason we can’t. We deserve no less.