Friday, December 14, 2007

Beautiful Downtown Baldwin

Will It Look As Good On Grand Avenue As It Does On Paper?

You know, we can't beat up on Hempstead Town all the time. [Well, actually, we can, but if we say something nice, it just may catch them off guard.]

Town Supervisor Kate Marray, along with Councilmembers Dorothy Goosby and Tony Santino, recently unveiled the plans and drawings for a revitalized and rejuvenated Baldwin business district, and we must say, it looks fantastic.

The typical boilerplate "best is yet to come" of the press release aside -- and what would Town Hall be without it -- the planned redevelopment, actually promulgated in cooperation with the Baldwin business community and local residents, offers a whole lot more than the usual sidewalk planters and Victorian-style street lamps.

Indeed, the plans are impressive, in-line with smart growth initiatives, and spot on in creating a walkable, shopable, inviting downtown, sans sprawl and that big box store wall that cuts the community off from its residential, suburban roots.

True, we've seen renderings before -- in places like Elmont, West Hempstead, and points east -- with little to show for them on Main Street but for that Facade Improvement sign hailing Murray and the Town Board. Still, if the plans lay out as advertised -- along the very avenue of thinking we've envisioned and called for of our town's planners -- Grand Avenue could be grand, indeed.

Time will tell, of course, and all of us understand that even the best laid plans of Hempstead Town have a habit of going astray. But let's not kill the goose before the egg is laid.

"The remake of downtown Baldwin will be a victory for everyone," concluded Murray. "Shoppers will enjoy a great destination, workers will benefit from construction jobs and long-term employment, and neighbors will see home values enhanced by a more vibrant and attractive downtown."

We certainly hope so!

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