By Gregory Zeller
Regional rainmakers are hitting the gas in a multifaceted effort to rev up one of Long Island’s top economic engines.
The Hauppauge Industrial Association of Long Island and the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency on Friday announced a new partnership focused on Hauppauge Industrial Park, the 1,400-acre industrial cornerstone currently generating more than $870 million in annual income and property taxes.
Some analysts think it can do even better – and must, to give Long Island a puncher’s chance in an era when educated college grads (and, often, the companies they start) are fleeing Nassau and Suffolk for greener socioeconomic pastures.
Hence the new effort, which will also include legwork and study by the Regional Plan A
ssociation and will “explore ways to leverage the economic power” of the sprawling park, which is already home to roughly 1,350 manufacturing, construction and service-industry businesses employing some 55,000 people.
Deputy Suffolk County Executive Theresa Ward, the county’s commissioner of economic development and planning, referenced “the cusp of a new era of growth and investment” for “one of the most important economic engines on Long Island.”
“[The Regional Plan Association’s] analysis will identify potential areas for improvement to ensure the park meets the needs of today’s companies while anticipating future markets,” Ward told Innovate LI.
The “opportunity analysis” to be performed by the nonprofit, New York City-based, Greater New York-focused RPA and the other agencies follows up on an economic impact study of Hauppauge Industrial Park HIA-LI completed in 2017 with the help of Stony Brook University researchers.
That study not only identified the park – physically, the largest industrial park in the United States east of the Mississippi River – as a major economic driver, but essentially formed the basis of an expansion plan, referencing expanded sewage capacity and other niceties needed to super-size the existing park.
In announcing the release of that study nine months ago, HIA-LI President Terri Alessi-Miceli noted “the park is more significant than its stats.”
“There needs to be a greater sense of community and innovation here,” Alessi-Miceli said in a statement. “It is critical that we continue to develop desirable places to live, work and play here on Long Island.
“The Hauppauge Industrial Park can become one of those places.”
On Friday, HIA-LI Board Chairman Joe Campolo, managing partner of Ronkonkoma Law Firm Campolo, Middleton & McCormick LLP, echoed those sentiments and said it was “great to see that the park is starting to get the recognition it deserves.”
“Partnering with the Suffolk IDA and the RPA is crucial to getting the support and resources the park needs to thrive,” Campolo added.
To that end, the new partnership follows last year’s economic impact study with what HIA-LI calls “an important next step” for an industrial park already responsible for 1 out of every 20 Long Island jobs.
According to Ward, who also serves as chairwoman of the Suffolk IDA, the time has come for regional stakeholders to “rally around this remarkable resource and expand on its long-term economic influence.”
“We are hopeful this work will help cement the park’s future as a premier destination for thriving business,” the planning commissioner said.