Kings Park...Can We Not Be Great Again?

Kings Park Patch blogger challenges community for input on how to make like in Kings Park better.

As a resident of Kings Park with a passion for the community in which I live I look around the town and say; what is going on? Take a trip down Main Street and you are met with empty businesses and others just holding on. The tumbleweed is hours away from blowing in the streets. Our community needs a good defibrillator to shock some energy once again into it's streets. 

Long gone are the days of the Kings Park Fireman's Fair, shopping at Ben Franklin or keeping the business in Kings Park. The Psychiatric Center lay dormant for nearly 15 years with talks of asbestos and costs to revitalize just being too much. Please don't forget we were able to defeat a Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and a Fascist Italy from December 7, 1941 to August 14th, 1945 (less than 4 years) and today it takes 15+ years to talk about potentially doing something. 

Here's the good news...we can change all of this. We are Kings Parkers. Let's work together to make this town great again. The apathetic approach to life in Kings Park is a cancer and it must be killed. We have a great town with even greater people in it. Let's do business with one another when possible. Let's fix up the community in which we live. Let's get involved. I want to thank you for reading my first of (hopefully) many blog posts. I welcome any and all suggestions in an effort to work together in making Kings Park great again.   

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

GAT April 13, 2012 at 03:25 AM
We need a planned community for the psych center as was initally proposed years ago but was quashed by all the NIMBY's. I recenlty visited the town of Celebration Fl and it is absolutely beautiful and is just that; a planned community. With the Nissoquoge river nearby and so much land there it would be the perfrect setting for such a community. I feat that ship has sailed but can only hope the residents of kings park wake up and a developer out there is willing to take on the tremendous task of cleaning up and remaking the twon.
Michelle B April 13, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Lets start by having some pride in the community! Please people, pick up your TRASH!!!
KO April 14, 2012 at 02:21 AM
Yes, Celebration is a beautiful town, but it is just that: a town. Not a town within a town. Celebration has its own schools, hospital, movie theater. That is not something this town needs, more homes and traffic along 25A. We need something that will bring in people. Port Jefferson has a new community center with an ice skating rink, art gallery, etc. That is what the hospital property could become. Yes, poor Main Street needs a lift, but would people be willing to shop in small stores? The farmers' market is a great start.
GAT April 14, 2012 at 03:54 PM
You took my comment to literally. The "proposed" plan from when the psych center was first put out to bid incorporated the existing main street with the "new" town, including relocating the fire house and the existing main street would get a face lift. I merely referenced Celebration as an example of what can be done. The property can easily incorporated with the exising main steet and a mixed use community is exacly what this town needs. And with sunken meadow parkway close by there are ways to create new roads and traffice patters. Its a huge undertaking but well worth it. We need to increase the tax base for our district as our taxes have increased exponentially since the state stopped paying the major portion of their tax bill from the property, yet all we see is cuts in programs and staff at the schools. The Smithtown school district was taxes used to be much higher than KP, but we have pretty much caught up with them.
Linda Henninger April 14, 2012 at 04:57 PM
The Nissequogue River State Park equals big money for the Kings Park School District. In 2011, the State of New York paid $1,972,706 in taxes to the Kings Park School District based on the entire Nissequogue River State Park. The State paid, in total, $7,309,890 taxes to the school - based on all State owned property in Kings Park. Under the ownership of any other entity - county, town, or private - no reasonable development of this property could ever come close to this windfall.
Janine April 14, 2012 at 05:06 PM
The town of Babylon has a beatification department. Have you ever seen their main street.... it is beautiful. I always felt that if kings park would "beautify" main street more people would go there, walk around and yes shop at the small stores! I moved to kings park just a little over a year ago..... I fell in love with this town immediately, however I always say that if i didnt live here i would be afraid to stop and get out of my car on main street. If more of the town looked like the area around ralphs ices I think you would get back to being great again.... by the way...... the babylon beautification committee is funded by donations.... not tax money.
Sean Lehmann April 14, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Janine, there are beautifiction groups all over Long Island who keep their communities beautiful. Last year, The Kings Park Civic Association created a Beautification committee. Although still in its early stages, the beautification committee took on a few small projects in town. An example was the cleanup and planting of new flowers in Russ Savatt Park next to Ralph's Ices. The committee also cooridnated with the Smithtown Parks Department to place flower planters in the park. The cooperative relationship with the town parks department has also brought about new "Keep our Community Clean" signs that will be placed in the town parks around our hamlet. The beautification committee is schedualing a meeting for the end of this month. Anyone who would like to be involved in creating beautification projects and helping out is invited to participate and share ideas. A date and time will be announced later this week. You can also contact the civic association through their website at KingsParkCivic.Com
Sean Lehmann April 14, 2012 at 05:45 PM
GAT, I agree with Linda. Unfortunately many residents are not aware that the state continues to pay a yearly tax on the property. The Kings Park Civic Association just recently inquired about the total tax payment on the full 520 acre park/old KPPC property. Lindas numbers are correct. State land in Kings Park is a huge advantage for our school district and tax base in general. No reasonable development could match this. That being said, there are many types of development allowed in state parks. Restaurants, hotels, catering facilities, museums, concert halls, playhouses, recreational and sports facilities, small shops and schools are just some of the many entities that would be allowed in a state park. Many of these entities can and will enhance our hamlet. The potential is limitless.
Janine April 16, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Sean, thank you very much for the information. I just wish more of main street looked like Russ Savatt Park. My family enjoyed many summer nights sitting outside of Ralphs eating ices and listening to the live music last year. I am sure Ralphs Ices enjoys an increase amount of traffic due to the beatification group's work in Russ Savatt Park...... I think the rest of the town would enjoy some increased traffic. Yes I should get involved........ I will see what I can do...... Just like everyone else I am very busy as I am sure you are too. The only real suggestion I have is to make main street look pretty. give people a reason to go there.
Frank Mercuri April 16, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Having lived in Kings park for 46 years I have witnessed a tranformation for the better at times and the worse. The traffic was light even with the Phyciatric center in operation. There were some nice stores to shop at. Buildings and facades were redone and painted. What happened to downdown is what happenes to many when developement takes place elsewhere and affects the local infastructure. All the buildings that were around then many still stand but the traffic has changed for the worse. As I have noted in previous posts, it is difficult to park or find parking. Thus businesses suffer. Anyone with a haveway decent marketing background can see that it would be unwise to open a business if the infastruction is at a status quo. there can be no road widening thus a river is forcing its way into a stream, which is what 25A is and the traffic the river. The muniniple parking lot and the shopping center parking does not help lmany local main street businesses due to the inability of easy access to mainstreet. It is a nightmare to cross even with the pedestrian law in effect. Inclement weather is even worse. So what does one do? not much unless those using 25A can find alternative routes. Developers are blinded to "getting there" issues. Build and moveon. The Town on the other hand is the one that should restrict developement based on the infastructure it has. Awarding permits to build on properties is not a way of making progress. Proper planning is the way.
LD April 18, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Get rid of the old man bars and that disgusting Key Food shopping center, all blights on the community as well. That entire 'shopping' center should be taken down. There are really nice strip shopping areas in other north shore communities. Why not KP?
topcat1 April 21, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Long overdue.
gottwins April 21, 2012 at 07:39 PM
I have always thought that the psych center grounds would be an amazing location for an adjunct college/university--a Suffolk branch. The setting would be beautiful, and could bring so much to the local economy. Is that kind of facility something that would still be permissible on the grounds of a state park, so as to still maintain state park standing and really enhance our tax base? I don't really know if it's feasible, or if colleges are looking for locations, but it was one of the first things I thought of when I moved into the area.
Michelle B April 25, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Anthony April 25, 2012 at 03:05 PM
MLJJJ April 26, 2012 at 01:38 PM
All of the ideas I have read so far are credible, but I believe the root of the problem is the landlords of the various properties in Kings Park , they charge huge rents and put nothing back into the town.They need to fix the appearance of Main street and the shopping center and try to resolve the parking issues on Main street. Kings Park can become the Hamlet that other towns aspire to be like.
Rosemarie Gunning June 10, 2013 at 12:22 PM
I agree with most of the posts here as well. I think Kings Park needs to be more open to franchises. Look how well subway does, regardless of parking issues. And yes, please can we get rid of some of the old man bars, how about a nice wine bar in KP? And lets get rid of Key Food and put in a Best Yet Market, much fairer prices and greater quality. Kings park is a great town and a great location. Lets built it up together!


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