Baldwin’s downtown has been a work in progress for more than a decade, and Nassau County, Town of Hempstead, and State Senate representatives assembled on Monday in front of several vacant and derelict properties along Grand Avenue to announce a $1 million state grant to revitalize downtown Baldwin.
“Thanks to Governor Cuomo, Restore New York funds in the amount of $1 million are going to be given to the Town of Hempstead’s Baldwin Revitalization Project,” Sen. Todd Kaminsky, a Democrat from Long Beach, said during the news conference. “This project will help for the siting and demolition of 12 properties in the downtown corridor.”
The grant will be used to restore vacant properties from 2408 to 2416 Grand Ave. The funds come from Empire State Development’s Restore New York Communities Initiative, which seeks to revitalize commercial and residential properties to attract residents and businesses.
“Baldwin is a great community, with great residents who for many [years] have struggled to make this a great place to raise a family,” Kaminsky continued. “We know its downtown has been challenged with high rates of vacancies and some blight, and it has issues.”
But, the senator continued, the Town of Hempstead, including new Supervisor Laura Gillen, is “working hard to make sure we have a program to turn it around, to make sure that we have the commercial, residential and overall mixed-use development to turn this into a bustling downtown.”
Basser-Kaufman and the Engel Burman Group have been selected to develop Baldwin’s downtown.
“There’s no reason that this can’t be a thriving downtown in our transit-oriented development,” Gillen said. “I grew up in Baldwin, and I remember this being a bustling corridor with successful businesses, and I look forward to working with everyone, and to make sure that that happens again.”
The Grand Avenue project will include mixed-use development, with 25,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and roughly 140 apartments units. The total cost of the project is estimated at $53 million.
“I want to thank Governor Cuomo and Sen. Todd Kaminsky for delivering for Baldwin,” said County Executive Laura Curran, herself a longtime Baldwinite. “A key tenet for economic development is revitalizing our downtowns. It grows the tax base, it keeps our young people here, and it gives us a wider range of housing options.”
“This investment in our community will pay back in dividends,” Curran said. “And I’m not just saying this because I live here, but this is a wonderful progress, and I’m really excited about this downtown project.”
While there is no word yet on a finalized timeline for the completion of the project, Erik Mahler, president of the Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, said any progress in the area would be welcomed.
“Just as long as it keeps moving forward, that’s all that matters to the Baldwin community,” Mahler said.
“The redevelopment of downtown Baldwin is something I’ve been working toward for nearly two decades,” said Town Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby. “I’m appreciative of any funding that will help us reach our ultimate goal of making Baldwin a beautiful destination for families, young professionals and businesses.”