LI Awarded More Than $100M in Economic Development Grants

Long Island won big in the regional economic development grants Governor Andrew Cuomo announced this week. It's getting $101.6 million compared to New York City's $66 million.

Long Island scored high for having three research hubs: Cold Spring Harbor Lab where DNA was discovered, the science-heavy Stony Brook University and the Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Lab.

Experts say it's a sign of Long Island's growing independence from the city.

"The day when everyone was a commuter are long gone," said Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz, who helped organize Long Island's application. "It's hard to conclude anything other than we need to grow our own economy."

According to Bruce Katz, one of the competition's judges and a fellow with the Brookings Institution, Long Island's grant application also stood out for its smart growth redevelopment projects.

The pitch included commercial and residential zoning around train hubs, like Ronkonama and Wyandanch, which ironically, would make Long Island a bit more like New York City.