Curran, Hofstra University Host Regional Leaders To Discuss Future Of Jobs And Housing
In Follow-Up to “Geography of Jobs” Report, NYC and LI Leaders Respond to Amazon, Address Visions for Fostering High-Paying Job and Promoting Transit-Oriented Development
HEMPSTEAD, NY – Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and Hofstra University last Friday hosted a conference titled “Jobs & Housing: Nassau’s Critical Connection,” featuring a moderated panel discussion with regional economic leaders and a presentation from Director of New York City Department of Planning (DCP) Marisa Lago about the vital connection between New York City and Long Island on issues of housing, transit, and economic development.
This event was programmed as a follow-up to the New York City DCP’s release of The Geography of Jobs report, which was the first time that the NYC DCP has studied the entirety of the Tri-State Region’s economy, laying out, in black and white, just how interconnected our local economies are.
In front of an audience of over 100 people, County Executive Curran also addressed efforts to revive plans for Amazon’s HQ2, making clear that Long Islanders would be poised to reap enormous benefits should Amazon decide to reinstate plans to move to Queens.
“What struck me was the shared vision regional leaders clearly have for the future: increase the number of good-paying jobs for our residents, provide housing options for residents across income levels, and locate both near public transit,” said County Executive Laura Curran. “Now we need to show the political courage to execute on that vision. With regards to Amazon, I support Governor Cuomo’s efforts to get Amazon to reconsider. This is a no-brainer for Nassau, and it addresses the goals we discussed at Hofstra: more high-paying jobs, more opportunities for our tech companies, growing the tax base, and bringing more young people to Long Island.”
“It was encouraging to see so many regional leaders and stakeholders come together to talk about how to harness our collective strengths to create a new model for sustainable, economic growth,” said Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz. “Collaborative projects and solutions are vital to the region’s economic future and Hofstra University looks forward to continuing these efforts.”
“It is indisputable that the prosperity of our city and our region are tied together closely,” Department of City Planning Director Marisa Lago said. “Our dense urban centers are thriving, but to capitalize on this growth, we need to invest in housing and spur job creation near transit, both in the city and suburbs. DCP’s Geography of Jobs report spells this out clearly. We welcome our regional economic partners’ keen interest in using the report’s data to inform their housing and job creation efforts. Working together, we can build a better, diverse, equitable and sustainable regional economy.”
The Geography of Jobs report pointed to dramatic shifts occurring to physical locations of our region’s job and workforce and that our region’s economy is becoming increasingly centralized and urban. The data show a troubling decline in the number of New Yorkers moving to Long Island. A reason the City and Northern New Jersey are attracting the bulk of young talent and jobs is that they built a dramatic 80% of the region’s new housing since 2010. Even so, the report shows important opportunities for growing residential and job centers along our connected commuter rail lines, from Manhattan, to Jamaica, to the Hub, and on to Ronkonkoma.
Nassau County and New York City have always been closely linked. Every day, over 200,000 people commute to New York City from Nassau, while almost 100,000 people commute to Nassau from New York City. This exchange stokes an economic engine that generates over $1.5 trillion dollars each year throughout the tri-state metropolitan region. In fact, this makes us the largest metropolitan economy in the United States, accounting for 10% of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Despite being closely linked historically, Nassau County and New York City have often acted as competitors rather than partners. While our municipalities are governed independently, many of our planning challenges are interconnected, and our futures are intertwined.
During her presentation, County Executive Curran expressed excitement about communities across Nassau County capitalizing on proximity to the Long Island Railroad and embracing transit-oriented developments that would utilize capacity created through major capital investments.
Examples addressed were Farmingdale, which has had great success with multiple housing developments near its train station, joining Mineola and Great Neck Plaza as go-to locations for those who want a direct commute and a downtown community feel. Additional mention was given to communities such as Hicksville, Westbury, and Baldwin, which have embraced new projects and zoning reforms that will encourage future development opportunities.
“I was pleased to participate in this most important event regarding jobs and housing in the metropolitan region, said Mitchell H. Pally, Chief Executive Officer of the Long Island Builders Institute and a member of the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. “Working together, all of our municipalities can assist in making sure that our region can not only create the jobs necessary for our economic success but also have the housing diversity necessary for all ages.”
“Long Island’s housing crisis is real; demonstrated by the data shared at Friday’s presentation,” said Gwen O’Shea, President & CEO of the Community Development Corporation of Long Island. “But, there is great opportunity to change that reality and provide diversified, high quality housing and communities for all. CDCLI commends the County Executive for her commitment to working with a cross section of public and private partners to change the narrative for Nassau County and the region.”
“One of Long Island’s greatest assets is its physical, economic and emotional connection with the cultural and financial capital of the world, our neighbor to the west, New York City, said John D. Cameron, Jr, Chair of the Long Island Regional Planning Council. “It is incumbent upon Long Island leaders to ensure that we seize the tremendous opportunities presented to us by availing ourselves of development potential proximate to our transit centers. With the impending completion of the East Side Access and Third Track projects, the potential for increased accessibility to and from the City can enable Long Island to provide needed workforce housing, grow our tax base and upgrade our aging infrastructure.”
“Planning shouldn’t stop at New York City’s borders and it’s important that we work together as a region,” said Jean Celender, Village of Great Neck Plaza Mayor. “The biggest takeaway for Nassau County is that we have a great opportunity to capitalize on regional job growth and economic development through transit-oriented development (TOD) and the creation of additional housing through zoning changes, certainly in communities with downtowns, LIRR train stations, and built infrastructure to support TOD, but also encouraging all Nassau municipalities to do their part to create additional housing units, where feasible, for our growing workforce predicted over the next 10 years.”