Brookhaven officials announced Thursday that the town hired an engineering firm to conduct a comprehensive blight study of downtown Mastic Beach as part of ongoing efforts to revitalize the area, specifically along Neighborhood Road and the immediate commercial district.

If the study, to be performed by Nelson, Pope & Voorhis, finds adequate evidence of blight, the town can create an urban renewal district, per New York State General Municipal Law, which will be an important tool in future planning for Neighborhood Road, officials said.

A press conference announcing the study was held at the new Mastic Beach Ambulance Headquarters at 343 Neighborhood Road, the first brand new building to be constructed on Neighborhood Road in decades.

Private developer proposals wanted

Councilman Dan Panico, who represents Mastic Beach on the town board, said on his Facebook page that the town is seeking proposals from private developers for the entire 38-acre area in the study, and that he is hopeful funds for a $32 million extension from the recently approved Mastic-Shirley sewer district will come through.

RelatedVoters overwhelmingly approved sewer district

“We’re working to petition the state and federal governments to help us extend the sewer district down Mastic Road to Neighborhood Road just to connect businesses right now,” said Suffolk Legis. Rudy Sunderman’s chief of staff, Tim Rothgang. “We’ve gotten responses from some lawmakers. They’re working with us, but we haven’t establish the formal funding yet. We’re trying to find the sources of funding.”

According to Newsday, Panico said Thursday that Brookhaven only has a dozen more homes to demolish before all of the hamlet’s vacant and abandoned homes would have been taken down. It should be done by the end of the year, he said.

“Our challenge is to build a Mastic Beach that one day other communities will admire and refer to as a location they desire to emulate,” Panico said on his Facebook page. “It’s not an easy task, but we will put all options on the table to advance an area toward its potential to encourage private investment.”

Above: Councilman Dan Panico and other town and county officials discuss plans for a comprehensive blight study of downtown Mastic Beach. Credit: Dan Panico’s Facebook page.