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A 'New Main Street' Proposed for Port Washington

Residents are asked to share ideas on Nov. 17.

Port Washington citizens will have the chance to weigh in on an opportunity to create a new Main Street. 

The initiative stems from Residents for A More Beautiful Port Washington, along with the Town of North Hempstead and the Greater Port Washington Business Improvement District. 

Together, they are proposing a "model blocks" program along Main Street from from Port Washington Boulevard to Haven Avenue. It features upgrades to building facades and storefronts, new open spaces for pedestrian amenities, the opportunity for new mixed-use development, improved streetscape, and expanded off-street parking areas.

"Our Main Street is frozen in time, circa 1950," said Dan Donatelli, at a recent press conference. Donatelli is co-president of Residents for A More Beautiful Port Washington.

He added, "Our buildings have gotten old and outdated, and it's clear that whatever planning that was done 60 years ago, isn't working anymore." 

The organizations are working with BJF Consulting, a New York-based firm whose expertise includes planning and whose work can be seen in Garden City, Southampton and more.

After discussions with local, and state elected officials, property owners, merchants, developers, special districts, civic groups and more, Residents is now asking for feedback.

The public has the chance to weigh in by attending a presentation at the Port Washington Public Library on Nov. 17, from 7-9 p.m. Or, view the presentation online. 

Nassau Taxpayer October 27, 2011 at 01:07 PM
Bury all the utilities as a model for what ought to happen all over Long Island. How many more times do we have to pay LIPA to trim trees and restore power after storm damage to aerial plant?
Old Viking October 27, 2011 at 01:56 PM
Build brick sidewalks, more benches for sitting, gas flame looking electric lamp posts, free parking by removing the meters, remove the tax incentives for landlords to let their buildings be vacant by raising rents to exorbitant rates forcing long existing Port businesses to relocate. Use the media via press releases to get people from the city and surrounding areas to come to events in beautiful Port Washington by scenic Manhasset Bay. and I agree with Nassau taxpayer, bury the power poles in the back and front yards, put electrical connections from home to grid underground, and you will see the terribly high statistical rates of breast and brain cancers on Long Island go down.
Cindy Pfister October 27, 2011 at 03:18 PM
Bring back stores like WOOLWORTH- MCCRORYS- people enjoy that type of shopping
Dolores Kazanjian O'Brien October 27, 2011 at 05:27 PM
Yep. I think that Residents actually did (or tried to) to get some of the wires buried elsewhere on Main Street, maybe they can do the same here.
Bryan Jay October 28, 2011 at 12:47 PM
Burying the utility poles would be a big plus. But I disagree with spending money, just to spend money. This is an old town and any changes should be to making the town look more quaint, not some modern trendy style that I have seen up on the Blvd. I was born and raised here, but the town has changed. Both for the good, and bad in my opinion. We should avoid this trend to modernize and reflect the current style, which will need to be replaced or updated in just another few years when the styles change again. People that have moved here over the years came here for a reason, it is an older North Shore town with rich history, not some town that is full of the modern strip malls that dominate some areas of Long Island. Anything done should reflect an older style. But we must avoid increasing the town's already inflated tax bills by spending on something frivilous that the long term residents will wind up paying for, with no direct benefit to them. It is interesting that these ideas are rolled out just before the election. Hmmm.
Nassau Taxpayer October 28, 2011 at 12:58 PM
Nothing new here. And LIPA still isn't listening. Moving fragile aerial infrastructure underground has been suggested before and after every significant weather event, and each and every time LIPA has screwed up and billed ratepayers for repairs. Over and over again. Einstein would rightly term LIPA insane.
matteo October 28, 2011 at 01:11 PM
The RE taxes are killing the commercial owners. Give them incentives to make historic renovations by RE tax credits. It would be great if the buildings looked like a quaint 19th century village, but there must be incentives. Also, to remove street parking, there must be a multi-level facility in the large lot behind Carlo's Pizzeria, or the LIRR lot. Ditto the electric lamps with flickering lights to look like old fashioned gas with underground lines.
Ben October 28, 2011 at 04:01 PM
Until the For Sale signs are gone and our storefronts are filled with business that can thrive here the charming model blocks are an idea that can wait. It will take some time to get the RE Tax Credits that Matteo suggests if this will ever be it is not going to be tommorrow. And I dont think that we will ever see a tier parking facility in Port Washington. To fix the place up make it look pretty so that For Sale signs can hang in the window is not a smart idea. It looks like the New Port Blvd that was the Monfort Property is about 80% vacant there are many vacant storefronts here.
Sean Hassett October 29, 2011 at 06:05 PM
Putting all the cables underground would be great, but it would cost so much that it will need to be made into a law before LIPA would do it. They probably wouldn't care about how much they would save by not having to do repairs so often and all that overtime pay. If they could be convinced, possibly a bond issue could help cover the costs.
Nassau Taxpayer October 29, 2011 at 08:52 PM
Burial was proposed as an ARRA project in 2009 - but nooo...
BeachGal October 31, 2011 at 04:26 PM
I agree Brian - the quaintness of the town is an important concept. I think adjusting traffic patterns, cleaning up walkways, adding parking and getting rid of some of the blighted buildings could do a world of wonder for Upper Main Street. I would ask though that the planners please be concious of making the stores look unique. Too often I have gone to a village where they have re-done the look of the Main Street and all of the stores look identical. That would take away some of the charm of Main Street that we need to keep. I looked over the propsal and some of the ideas like simply changing garbage pick up times don't seem to cost money and would make a big difference. I would like to see a part of this transformation done with the work of volunteer groups; Boy and Girl Scouts, Key Club, Kiwanins, Elks, Nights of Columbus etc. if you get everyone involved I think more people would take pride in how Main Street looks and would think twice before throwing that coffee cup on the sidewalk.
Ziggy October 31, 2011 at 05:05 PM
The town can be more business friendly - rents are high because the real estate taxes are high. On Main Street - I think Dunkin Donuts and the gold buyer are probably the busiest stores.
Chris Avazis November 17, 2011 at 02:51 PM
As a business owner on upper Main Street my main concern is PARKING! These are all wonderful ideas people are proposing but if we don't do anything about the lack of parking it's all for not. We do a lot of business with people from out of town and the first thing they say when they come in to my store is that the parking is terrible in this town. I think we need to acquire more parking spaces in the commuter lots to designate for shoppers and merchants. We put a lot of effort in accommodating our commuters with all these recent lot expansions yet nothing is being done about the businesses who really need it most. I'm all for "Beautifying " Main Street but what good is a beautiful main street when all the store fronts are empty.
Ben November 17, 2011 at 04:22 PM
With unemployment so high and LIRR ridership down why is there all of this commuter parking? Mr. Avazis is on target until land lords offer a rent that a merchant can handle Main Street will be a beautiful sea of "For Rent" signs.
edith Parr November 19, 2011 at 04:35 AM
wish there were stores on Main street that sold FOOD- all these hair salons and nail salons- Not one place to buy something for dinner when I get off the train on the way home --No butcher, no deli, no decent market to get some groceries-and dont tell me Brothers-please! revolting... Basics ! This is the worst town food wise- no decent food markets and the restaurants are horrible-what do you guys eat? I never had bad Chinese food until I moved here. Get serious-
Sean Hassett November 19, 2011 at 04:43 AM
You should try the wild Alaskan salmon, or anything, from the fish store across the street from the LIRR station. It is sooo good and less expensive than Whole Foods. I like to grill salmon over a hot BBQ to get the skin crispy and keep the inside rare, with some wood chips for smoky flavor, mmm.
edith Parr November 24, 2011 at 05:11 AM
It doesnt really matter what you put on main street Its the people in this town that are a turn off- unfriendly and snotty like they're special or something- you got nothing here- get off your high horse Lived here for a year and that was a year too long-deadsville
Ben November 24, 2011 at 12:16 PM
@ Edith Parr - you have a valid point rude people are here but not everyone is that bad.
Joseph Mirzoeff November 24, 2011 at 05:59 PM
Happy Thanksgiving Edith, I love it here.
Sean Hassett November 25, 2011 at 12:31 AM
I often encounter the same people when I'm out walking in the morning and say hello to everybody. My kids want to meet all the dogs we see and I have always found the owners friendly and chatty. I don't know how your experience could be so different. Try talking to people. Happy Thanksgiving!

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