HIP creates plan to lure companies away from dense, urban markets
As published in the Hauppauge Reporter.
By Richard Neuman, Vice President & Long Island Market Lead
Project and Development Services
The past decade has seen a steady stream of businesses migrating from the suburbs to urban markets as they follow the talent needed to remain successful in the modern business world. Workers are gravitating to dense, vibrant and walkable communities where they can ditch a long, daily commute and have a more sustainable and social life.
The owners and developers of suburban office and industrial parks throughout the tri-state area are fighting back to recreate the best of the connected, urban experience within suburban campus-style properties. A number of suburban complexes have been successfully redeveloped and repositioned as mixed-use properties, providing amenities that attract younger workers, including restaurants, banks, stores, fitness centers and more within a walkable or bikeable campus.
The Hauppauge Industrial Park is the largest suburban park in the northeast and second largest in the entire country, accounting for approximately 1 in 20 jobs on Long Island. As industries modernize, the nature of production is changing, and these new modes of production and evolving business models are focusing on smaller and more collaborative spaces.
The workers in production industries require different skills these days, and like their counterparts in office-using industries, they increasingly value an attractive working environment and nearby commercial and community amenities. HIP must evolve to meet that need in order to remain one of Long Island’s most vital assets.
HIP is devising a revitalization plan to transform the park into a 21st century production employment center. Local, county and state officials envision creating a walkable, livable community within the park. The effort will include identifying public spaces within HIP that can be used for gatherings, interaction and creative programming as well as creating infrastructure improvements for easy public access, such as redesigning key corridors for pedestrian and bike accessibility.
The support of the municipalities that are part of HIP has been key to reviewing and implementing zoning changes to allow increased building heights, zoning overlays, mixed-use buildings and other adjustments. The plan could identify buildings appropriate for adaptive reuse to a better and more open design. HIP is also instituting design guidelines to ensure any new construction and redevelopment at the park is accretive to overall effort.
HIP is poised to take advantage of a critical lack of quality industrial space on Long Island. Redevelopment of older, obsolete industrial product into residential and commercial use has greatly reduced the amount of available space for industrial users.
There is tremendous demand across the tri-state region for smaller research and development facilities and flex spaces, particularly from expanding mid-sized life science and pharmaceutical companies. Other sectors looking for space include food and beverage, retailers, third-party logistics and self-storage companies. The park can easily accommodate all of those industries, while providing the green space and amenities required to attract the workers these businesses will need.