Ronkonkoma Hub celebrates opening with a ribbon-cutting

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They’re calling it a “game changer” for our way of life on Long Island.

The massive Ronkonkoma Hub mixed-use project — the first of its kind, scale wise, in Suffolk County — is well underway across from the LIRR station.

There are six buildings already built at the hub’s Alston Station Square component. Two buildings have been occupied by tenants since June.

And that’s just Phase 1.

Thursday was a day to mark the progress in Ronkonkoma, where principals from Tritec Real Estate of East Setauket, the project’s master developer, civic leaders and and officials from the county and Brookhaven and Islip towns gathered to celebrate.

“We’re finally here, at this eight-year overnight success,” joked Tritec’s Robert Coughlan, who founded the development company with his brother, James, in 1986, and kicked off the day’s speeches.

The crowds were gathered outside the Alston Station Square’s centerpiece building. [Click here to learn more about renting there.]

“To date we’ve completed 230 units of the 489 units of Phase 1,” he said, explaining that these are market-rate apartments the developers describe as “Class A” living, which is rare for Long Island rentals.

“When Station Square is fully built out we’ll have over 1,450 residential units, 195,000 square feet of retail. A hotel and 360,000 square feet of office space,” Coughlan said.

Some 90 residents have already moved in.

The project managers also hope to lure anchor tenants, such as a movie theater, big retailers and other attractions for the community.

“This revitalization is truly transformative for Long Island,” he continued. “Like New Village, our project in Patchogue, this project shows other communities on Long Island what could be when their community comes together.”

The Hub is the fruition of a nearly 20-year vision of community groups and public officials to revitalize the train station area.

Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine and other town and county leaders were given much credit for helping Tritec clear several hurdles at the town level especially to make the project possible.

Romaine talked about the importance of transit-oriented development across Long Island, where people can live near top-notch amenities in close proximity to mass transit, in this case a train and airport.

“[Tritec] came and looked at Ronkonkoma, a community that could use some improvement, and had a vision,” Romaine said. “And they took that vision, and turned it into this.

“It doesn’t happen overnight,” he continued. “You are the visionaries for Long Island. You are creating the future for Long Island. Instead of sprawl, we should have developments based around our transportation hubs.”

Town and county officials agreed that dumping lesser desirable uses around trains stations was a mistake that’s finally being corrected.

Phase 1 of the project is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020.

That’s also when work is expected to start on Phase 2, the project’s major retail and commercial component being built slightly to the west. More apartments will also be built in Phase 2.

The Hub project is going up immediately north of Railroad Avenue. Tritec representatives say it will likely be built out in four phases over a reported 53 acres, costing an estimated $700-$750 million.

Here’s what’s up:

Scenes from the ceremony:

Tour a two-bedroom: