Author Archives: Laura Stillwagon

Winter is Here. January 2017

2017 kicked off with a bang for Renaissance with our ongoing revitalization efforts in Huntington Station having received $1.25 million from Suffolk County for infrastructure design plans. The county legislature approved the funding for design and engineering that will serve as the road map for the larger $20 million dollar project for the future construction of sewers along New York Avenue in Huntington Station.

“Hopefully the study will come in that this is feasible, and we believe it is, and how to actually to do it,” Town of Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone said after the announcement. “It’s an opportunity to see a dream come true for the Station, where developers can come in and do commercial projects, start redoing buildings, people will sell buildings, others will buy them, strip malls will convert and start to revitalize, all increasing the economy of the Station.” This was a great way to start the year for everyone involved.

In other exciting news, our Source the Station Community Liaison (also our tech guru and probably best dressed person in the office) is now the voice of her generation for Suffolk County. Renaissance's own Andrea Bonilla was chosen to serve as a representative on the newly-established Suffolk County Next Generation Advisory Council. The Council is meant to offer insight and assistance in creative legislative initiatives and programs to help keep millennials living and working in Suffolk County.

Each Suffolk County Legislator appointed one resident aged 22 to 35. Legislator Lou D’Amaro selected Bonilla.

“While many millennials are leaving Long Island, especially after graduating from college, Ms. Bonilla came home and immediately began giving back to the community she loved,” D’Amaro said in a press release. “Her hard work and dedication are clearly inspiring. Suffolk County is fortunate to benefit from Ms. Bonilla’s leadership and enthusiasm as we craft solutions to keep young people engaged and rooted here.”

We are very proud of Andrea and wish her the best of luck in her new role as advisor.

As we settle into the New Year, our planning and development teams are continuing to hammer away at all of our projects and all of our CSPM efforts have resumed post-holiday break. In the meantime, stay tuned for more updates and stay warm. Drop us a line for any questions or for further information regarding our work, give us a call.  Just ask for Laura. 516-433-9000.

Artist Reminds Drivers to Slow Down!

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By Jano Tantongco

jtantongco@longislandergroup.com

Driving along West Hills Road in Huntington Station, drivers are reminded by a painted electrical pole to drive “lento,” Spanish for “slowly,” as they round the corner.

The artist behind it is Con Artist, 68, of Huntington Station.

Her mother, Angela Braglia, had always called her “Con,” short for Constance, as a child. Eventually, after her father disowned her and a divorce, she decided it was time to reinvent herself. She legally changed her name to “Con Artist.”

She’s painted two other electrical poles so far, and has plans to create five more as part of a commission possible through a $250 grant awarded this month from Source The Station, a community engagement initiative sponsored by Renaissance Downtowns, the station’s master developer.

The pole painted with “lento” is on West Hills Road between 5th and 6th Avenues, just a block from her home. She said the turn is a “dangerous blind curve” corner with no stop sign or lights. She said she had put up signs previously warning drivers to slow down, but they were eventually removed.

So, she opted for a more permanent form of signage.

“People are responding to it… and that’s a good thing,” Artist said. “I stand there and I look, they do slow down a little bit. Every little bit helps more and more.”

The “slow” pole is on the same road between 6th and 7th avenues. Her third pole is a depiction of sunflowers, with no signage, on New York Avenue between 18th and 19th Streets.

Artist has several more poles to paint on West Hills Road, including one by a school bus stop. On that one, she plans to paint balloons and educational symbols like math formulas.

Her goal is to beautify the station and help unify the “diversified” community.

“We’ve had a lot of problems with crime… however, the good energy can be put out there, that’s what I’m trying to do through my art,” Artist said.

Artist said she received full permission from the Long Island Power Authority and Public Service Electric and Gas Company to paint the poles.

Now retired, Artist said she has worked in the fields of a variety of media including teaching sculpture, painting and tango dancing. She moved to Huntington Station eight years ago from Islip Terrace to be closer to her daughter, Sara Carino.

Her recent beautification efforts have also extended to another project involving Rainworks spray, which paints a message visible when water touches concrete. Among these messages, she’s painted one in front of Community Market on Depot Road. When it rains, it reads, “Live and Let Live.”

Up next, she plans to paint a Rainworks image of Walt Whitman by the Long Island Rail Road station.