For about a week, Hauppauge Patch has asked locals to think about where they'd like to see a town center or village green set up in Hauppauge, in response to a general consensus that the community lacks any central meeting point to gather.
Their ideas are below, gathered on our Hauppauge Patch Facebook page or as comments on this site.
For starters, on Facebook, Scott Kern said, "Just redevelop the old Sears shopping center. Everything else in there goes under anyway." That storefront has been vacant since May.
"How about across the street from the HYO complex...?" said Robert Gennari, while Patti Hearne Wolf suggested, "The vacant property on 111 next to Moloneys. We need a village square!"
Rhoda Goldman Tauber added, "Just where it was before it was torn down. At the start of the bypass by Carvel" where routes 347 and 454 meet. But Maureen Connolly Napolitano said, "How about where Smithtown General was?" referring to the vacant grounds of the former hospital that are still cluttered with rubble today since being knocked down in 2007.
Russell Lloyd, however, took a more cynical tone. "If we had a village square, they'd just build a CVS and a 7-11 on it anyway. This 'village' is toast."
Comments on Patch came mostly from Christopher D'Antonio, who laid out a plan he is pushing that aims to bring a village feel back to Hauppauge and ease problems such as transportation and traffic.
"I see three sites with enormous potential based on their current layout, uses, and location in the 'center' of Hauppauge," he said.
"1. Redeveloping Atrium Plaza to front the building onto Wheeler Road, and investing in the vacant land to the west of it as a green or tearing up the parking lot on the east side of Atrium Plaza and constructing a small green with a bioswale or large rain garden representative of the springs which lend Hauppauge its name, and relocating the parking spaces lost to the vacant land to the west of Atrium Plaza as a public parking lot.
"2. Redeveloping the Branchinelli's Shopping Center with an eye toward preserving the existing businesses but perhaps adding on a floor with apartments above and a public plaza on the corner of Townline and Wheeler.
"3. Covering the parking in front of Shoprite and A.C. Moore with a sturdy landscaped roof and connecting it to the hill to the southwest to provide breathtaking vistas and a unique public square."
If you have any other ideas, share them below.