Public hearing held on Heartland Town Square proposal

The Suffolk County Planning Commission heard from the public today about the massive project that would transform the former grounds of Pilgrim State Hospital into

The Heartland Town Square would transform 451-acres on the former grounds of Pilgrim State Hospital into a development with a mix of apartments, offices, shops and restaurants.

The Heartland Town Square would transform 451-acres on the former grounds of Pilgrim State Hospital into a development with a mix of apartments, offices, shops and restaurants. (1/4/17)

BRENTWOOD - The Suffolk County Planning Commission heard from the public Wednesday about the massive project that would transform the former grounds of Pilgrim State Hospital in Brentwood into a mix of apartments, offices, shops and restaurants.

The Heartland Town Square would be developed on 451 acres of the former state hospital. The proposed $4 billion project has been debated for over a decade.  

The project includes 9,000 apartments, 3 million square feet of office space and 1 million square feet of retail.

Donna Periconi, of the Greater Bay Shore Chamber of Commerce, says the project is too massive.

"This is an Island. We're fragile. Our water is precious," she says. "We are talking about traffic congestion and construction for the next 15 to 20 years."

Developer Gerald Wolkoff has previously said that the project would bring 20,000 jobs to the Brentwood area. He says the affordable housing will keep young professionals on Long Island and put an end to the so-called "brain drain."

"Projects like this will succeed and can succeed," says Wolkoff. "The old version of suburbia is gone and pretty much dead and not working."

The Suffolk County Planning Commission tabled a vote on the project until Feb. 1 due to the high turnout at the public hearing.

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