Author Archives: Neil Takemoto

Fall 2015 recap of the crowdsourced placemaking effort in Huntington Station, NY


In August, Source the Station, the community-driven crowdsourced placemaking initiative  in Huntington Station managed by CSPM Group, held a festive happy hour at a newly opened Cuban Restaurant, Rincon Criollo, strengthening their relationship with the owner and manager in supporting a new business that has arrived in Huntington Station!

In the first half of September, Source the Station continued outreach for their signatures campaign for (1) NYS DOT land transfer and (2) Huntington Station sewer monies from Suffolk County petitions. They worked collaboratively with the community and several community organizations to surpass their goal of 500 signatures and reach 630 signatures of support.

On September 16th, 2015 the Town of Huntington Board approved 5-0 SEQR for the master developer Renaissance Downtowns’ immediate development opportunities with full Source the Station members’ support and no noticeable community opposition.

On October 30th Source the Station held their first tactical urbanism event, Gateway Nights, to demonstrate what vibrant plaza life could be like. They had an extremely well-attended event showcasing what an active, vibrant downtown would feel like, with two live bands perform, pizza, free pumpkin painting for kids and adults, 250+ people coming and going throughout the night and myriad positive feedback. There were many requests to make it an on-going occurrence.

As always, Source the Station continues thinking of ways to create opportunities for better utilizing tactical urbanism while awaiting development, keeping the community informed and continuing their outreach to community stakeholders who may not yet be aware of their efforts online and in person. The success of Gateway Nights has rendered many fruitful conversations make these nighttime events a regular occurrence come spring 2016.

Downtown New Rochelle Developers To Take Public Input, Create Action Plan

As part of the Crowdsourced Placemaking process that began earlier this year, local officials are teaming with developers from RDRXR to gather input from the community regarding what they are looking for in their future downtown business district.

Community submits crowdsourced plan to Town of Southampton


30 members of Riverside Rediscovered, a crowdsourced placemaking community in Riverside, Long Island, New York, along with representatives of Renaissance Downtowns on April 30, 2015 submitted to the Southampton Town Board a 200-page plan to revitalize Riverside, the struggling hamlet just south of downtown Riverhead.

The Riverside Rediscovered Action Plan includes new pedestrian-oriented zoning recommendations that would allow a promenade along the Peconic River, and buildings with apartments above and storefronts below. The plan is subject to approval by the town board and a state environmental review.

“With the right zoning and investment, it could be a scenic community with a thriving downtown and much-needed housing for the East End’s workforce. It has over 1000 acres of preserved property and four miles of waterfront, yet it’s the most disinvested hamlet,” said Renaissance vice president Sean McLean. Siris Barrios, community liaison for Riverside Rediscovered, added, “We had a great meeting! The residents were excited about turning in the RAPP. You could see that they truly felt a sense of power to influence their community.”

Just a couple weeks later, Riverside Rediscovered members collected 250 signatures to ensure that the Suffolk County Legislature re-appropriated 4 million dollars for the project in year 2016 that would have otherwise been moved to 2018. Positive change begets positive change.

Riverside, home to 3000 residents, has struggled for decades with poverty, crime and roads lined with deteriorating houses and shuttered businesses. In April 2014, Southampton officials selected Renaissance as master developer in a new push to revive the hamlet. Through CSPM Group, Riverside Rediscovered spent nine months gathering ideas and feedback from hundreds of residents, some of whom applauded as the plan was handed to town board members. Renaissance’s proposed zoning plan would create a built-up “hamlet center” around a busy traffic circle, and other districts for town houses, single-family houses and businesses. It also calls for opening up park land on the riverfront, which is covered in thick woods with no public access.

Renaissance Gets Support For Gateway Plan

Feedback on the overall revitalization plan was “crowdsourced” through the developer’s Source the Station website and in-person meetings with residents. That data was used to create the development strategy ratified by the town board last year.

Riverside Presents Their Action Plan to Southampton Town Board

Members of the Riverside community trekked to Southampton Town Hall last Thursday to present their (crowdsourced) action plan to redevelop their neighborhood to the Southampton Town Board.