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Islip Town Board Mulling Islip Pines/Serota Study Suggestion

Planning board is recommending an independent review on potential impact to downtown business areas.

The Islip Town Board is mulling approving a study on how the Islip Pines project would impact local downtown business areas, such as Bayport and Sayville, and has received one study proposal submission.

Following a well-attended public hearing on the Islip Pines/Serotta Properties rezoning application in March, the Town of Islip Planning Commissioner's office recommended that a third-party consultant analyze the impact the project would have on downtown business corridors,  including Holbrook and Ronkonkoma.

The town board has not yet approved a resolution authorizing a study to be done by an outside, third-party firm and no contract has been signed, according to the town's public information office.

One firm, Buckhurst, Fish and Jacquemart has submitted a study proposal which town officials estimate would cost about $12,000 and would be paid for by the developer, Serota Properties.

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The study would take two to three months to complete, according to the town, and would provide the town with a better perspective about the project's impacts to local business communities.

As reported by Patch in March, local chambers and civic organizations are extremely concerned about the retail aspect of the massive project.

A Patch reader poll reveals 37 percent of residents believe it would hurt the downtown areas and 23 percent believe it will bring added traffic congestion to the area, and another 17 percent state it would diminish the suburban feel of the area.

The Holbrook development proposal involves 136 acres for mixed-use development. At the public hearing Sayville Chamber of Commerce President Bill Etts stated the project has local business owners scared.

“Scared that all our retail business will be sucked out of Main Street,” Etts told the Islip Town Board during a three and a half hour public hearing.

Serota Properties is proposing 250 one and two-bedroom housing units, more than 400,000 square feet of retail space, a movie theater and a 1.3 million square feet of industrial space, which would include a hotel, on the land at the northeast corner of Vets and Sunrise highways.  

The project was first proposed in 2008, but stalled following the death of Nathan Serota in 2010. In making the proposal the developer noted that Serota Properties has paid more than $10 million in property taxes over the 28 years it has owned this property and if approved the project would bring $6 million per year in property taxes at current rates and provide permanent jobs for 2,600 people.

The developer has stated that the retail aspect is not intended to compete with local downtowns and listed out an Apple Store, Men’s Warehouse, Gap, Carrabba’s Italian Grill and Dick’s Sporting Goods as potential tenants for the space.

Allen Wone June 28, 2012 at 06:58 PM
There;s already a Men's Wearhouse in Patchogue 1/2 mile down in Gateway Plaza. Obviously the developer is throwing out names!!!
KC - Sayville June 28, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Bellport Outlets.....ghost town.
SoMo June 29, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Simple question, does LI need more retail space? If I wanted to live in Queens I would have moved there
Hiram Walkers July 06, 2012 at 11:47 AM
There are over 140 vacant retail stores on Montauk Highway in Islip Town. This is poor planning by a dysfunctional town board with a rubber stamp approval due to one party rule.
Rick July 13, 2012 at 06:28 AM
And those vacant stores unfortunately will most likely remain vacant as they are much less desirable locations for the national apparel chains, restaurants, etc.. So this site should remain undeveloped?? When it offers something that Long Island, like other parts of the state and country have which are proven to be very successful......and thats a "Town Center" or "Lifestyle Center" as I've seen them called, which when developed properly, can be a true asset to the community. Take a ride up to Yonkers and look at Ridge Hill Village Center.....not nearly the eye sore of the vacant stores you are referring to nor is it anything like you would see in Queens, and as far the Bellport Outlets, Tanger-Riverhead crushed that project by developing one of the most successful outlets centers in the country. Long Island, Suffolk County and Islip for that matter have some of the best demographics in the country and retailers are very successful here. With the right mix of retailers, restaurants, theatre along with the residential and industrial component.....sounds like tax generating, job creating winner to me and its at the intersection of 2 major highways!! There's a huge void on the south shore from Bayshore east and a need for this type of project on Long Island...its not the typical boring shopping center!

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