In order to flip the current downtown situation into a positive one, we must implement a change. I look at downtown's like Huntington/Babylon/Northport/Patchogue and wonder what's the difference. The answer: invitation. Downtown simply doesn't offer the invitation that these other downtowns do. From traffic pattern to tenancy, Amityville's downtown lacks the draw. That's the problem.
Let's talk solution:
Needed tenancy - Social retail - MORE restaurants and bars x 100. Incentivize the landlords to sign leases on restaurants/bars. I'm talking ice cream shops, pizza places, burrito spots, to local tap houses, wine bars, sports bars etc.
Improved commercial zoning with structure reflection - Commercial zoning allows 3 story build-up and it's currently 1 story? That's a loss of not only tax dollars but NEEDED BUSINESSES. Create tax incentives with partial exemptions or come to a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement with the landlords. The newly built 2 stories can be under a partial exemption. Let that 3rd story be a rooftop bar and now we're getting exactly where we want to be. Legally this is the legitimate way to INVITE exactly what we want into this village. Experienced developers know about these exemption/PILOT programs and yet we haven't lured anyone in yet? Talk to the local commercial developers ,lock them in and let them create.
Traffic patterns and parking - Not my area of expertise but I see ideas like pedestrian traffic only to slimming down Route 110. We would also need to offer dedicated parking for people to park and enjoy what we will hopefully have to offer.
I can tell you with 100% certainty that revitalizing downtown would do 1 of 2 things.
#1. Strengthen the community as a whole and invite others to our community as well.
#2. INCREASE OUR TAX BASE. If the downtown becomes a hot spot on Long Island, the property values will go up. Not only for the commercial properties but for the residential as well.
The more money the downtown draws in, the higher the assessments on the commercial parcels.
The higher the assessments on the commercial parcels the more taxes they'll pay.
The more taxes being paid by commercial parcels (budget withstanding) the LESS taxes paid by residential parcels.
The less taxes paid by residential parcels, the more property (fair market) values go up.
I used to live in Huntington village and miss having an exciting downtown area to visit with shops and restaurants. Another one nearby is Northport, which you can go and spend the day at just walking along Main Street. Most of our friends prefer to go to Babylon or Patchogue to go out. Amityville downtown really needs more options, but it already has the existing real estate. The number of businesses closing and sitting vacant is alarming!
Babylon and some towns out East that really capture the essence of Long Island -seaside, local store owners, not box chains but Long Island chains or establishments- Amityville really has the potential to do the same! Open another BnB fish, a Besito Mexican restaurant, move Salumi!, a vegan place like Tulas, surf/fishing/sailing shops, painting and drinking little stores etc...a place you go to as a destination that day, not only when there is a fair but when you have no idea what to do that day- you know you could find something in town!