Suffolk County has set aside $1.6 million toward improving the Holbrook Road/Lake Street corridor that runs parallel to West Main Street in Patchogue Village.
Among other things, the project will shift to the north the location of a large, grassy median between Holbrook Road — also called the spur. The move will create parkland and increase recreation opportunities along the lake, such as fishing or jogging.
The area bordering the lake will also be opened up, further enhancing the view.
“This is a critical project that will allow Patchogue Village to take the next step in growing its vibrant downtown,” said county Legislator Robert Calarco.
As of now, Holbrook Road awkwardly intersects with Lake Street, which then runs between the New Village apartments and the Patchogue Fire Department headquarters.
Holbrook Road itself starts at the Waverly Avenue traffic circle and heads east —behind the YMCA and the new brewery building — before turning south and hitting West Main Street. (See map below.)
The county and Patchogue Village are also looking to acquire the empty lot just north of the Bargain Bilge property for municipal parking and a bus stop. The acquisition money would come from the $1.6 million.
That money, along with funding for other capital improvement projects in the county, comes through the Jumpstart Suffolk program that was introduced two years ago.
The county Legislature approved the Jumpstart projects at its Tuesday meeting in Hauppauge, where Mayor Paul Pontieri also spoke.
Pontieri told the Legislature that with the expected hotel and influx of new activity at the brewery, it’s crucial to ease the traffic flow in that area of the village.
The improvements will also allow firefighters from the Jennings Avenue firehouse to head south into the village using Holbrook Road instead of having to go through the traffic-clogged Four Corners intersection or west to Waverly Avenue.
“And when you open up that area, and you get those views across the lake, it’s going to be a home run,” the mayor told greaterpatchogue.com, likening the experience envisioned for Patchogue Lake to Babylon’s popular Argyle Park.
The Jumpstart program is sponsored by the county’s Department of Economic Development and Planning department, and is intended to promote mixed-used residential and commercial developments that maximize access to public transportation, according to the county.
All Jumpstart projects set to receive funding meet the county’s criteria for economic development projects that include a focus on transit-oriented development in and around downtowns.
Eva Rodiguez-Greguski, who is Calarco’s chief of staff, said the road improvement project had been in the works since Brian Foley was county legislator.
She said it was initiated because of safety issues raised by firefighters and the village.
“The fire department had asked for this; local residents had asked for it,” she said. “There’s a lot of issues that will be solved with this project, and the proximity to the new brewery worked because it had that downtown tie-in. So it made sense to fund this through [Jumpstart Suffolk].”
According to Blue Point Brewing Company’s application with the Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency for tax incentives, the move will allow Blue Point to increase its capacity from 10,000 barrels to 60,000 annually.
County officials noted that Blue Point — which was purchased in 2014 by Anheuser Busch inBev, the brewers of Budweiser and Bud Lite — will be creating event space as well, “so the views of the lake will only enhances visitor’s experiences.”
“They are planning concerts, cask ale festivals (they currently have the largest in the country) and will participate in our “Alive After Five” event,” reads a Jumpstart announcement from Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s office. “These types of events create serious traffic issues and this project will help to relieve them.”
Pontieri said the Blue Point plans call for much greenspace around the brewery for those events.
“It’s going to have a very dynamic look to it,” he said.
Check back for additional details from Mayor Paul Pontieri on greaterpatchogue.com.
Photo: Looking southeast on Holbrook Road in Patchogue. (Michael White)