A long-vacant Blue Point property that long ago was home to a laundry business will be turned into a park with basketball and pickleball courts, a swing set and a walking path.
After years of discussions and planning, the Brookhaven Town Board unanimously approved a purchase agreement with Suffolk County, which owns and Park Street property. In the agreement, the county will pay $1.4 million to fund construction costs.
The state awarded the county a $500,000 grant for the project in 2019.
In return for the county’s funds, the town will purchase and maintain the property. The county’s asking price of the town was $1.
Suffolk County took over the property for back taxes in 1998 and demolished the structure that was there.
Town of Brookhaven Councilmember Neil Foley said plans to redevelop the property have been in the works for about five years.
“It was always on my radar to see what we could do here,” Foley said. “It was really not big enough to build single-family homes or change the zoning. So the mindset was always to try and build a pocket park.”
Jason Borowski, president of the Blue Point Civic Association, said he hopes the park will boast skateable elements, in honor of Billy Schettino.
Before he was struck and killed in a car accident on the Long Island Expressway at 18 in March 2012, Schettino, a skater and Suffolk County Community College student from Blue Point, had envisioned plans for the Park Street vacancy throughout his youth. Borowski hopes to see robust construction suitable for skateboards and roller blades at the park.
“We are looking for something that hopefully kids and teenagers in the community can use,” Borowski said. “We’re excited and we’re hopeful that it gives kids in the community somewhere to go and spend time and hang out and have fun and be kids.”
Foley said he expects that the project will begin this spring. He projects construction will take up to five months and the park will open by year’s end.
Top: The site of the forthcoming pad park at Park Street, with a marker in honor of Billy Schettino, courtesy of Google Maps.