Some Patchogue Store Owners Concerned About Proposed Walmart

One business owner says he would lose "50 percent of his business" if the retail giant opens in E. Patchogue.

As a proposal to build a Walmart in East Patchogue continues to work its way through Brookhaven Town Hall, current business owners in Patchogue Village are divided on whether the superstore would harm their own bottom line. 

“I will probably lose 50 percent of my business. It’s not good,” said Raj Bajaj, owner of on Main Street regarding the of the big box store. “I can’t compete with the giant."

Bajaj said that customers would likely turn to Walmart for its lower prices.

“As a business owner, I definitely don’t like it but if I was a consumer, I would like to have that kind of store around,” Bajaj said.

Walmart officials say that stores have a positive impact on the local economy in the communities they serve.

"In addition to generating property and sales tax revenues that support community services like schools and police departments, new Walmart developments often spark economic growth where stores are located," said the statement. "In addition, we know residents in the East Patchogue area are eager to take advantage of the savings that Walmart will bring to their monthly grocery bills."

On the other hand, several other local businesses said they weren't concerned with Walmart coming to town. 

“They don’t sell the breadth of our merchandise,” said Cherie Alleyne, of .

What most local business owners do agree on, however, is the proposed location for the Walmart--on Hospital Road near the south Sunrise Highway service road--is far from ideal. 

“There’s the Bellport Outlet Centers that are now empty,” said Dave Zegel of Weiner’s Shoes. “Let them build there - let them build in a more accessible place. It’s just not an accessible location with the hospital right there and the little bridge.”

Lari Fiala agrees with Zegel.

“It’s not the right place for it--bottom line," Fiala said. "It might affect business somewhat but it’s definitely not a good spot for it."

Walmart officials released a statement in June stating that it significantly reduced the size of the proposed store to under 100,000 square feet in order to reduce the traffic impact. Walmart had originally planned to build a 108,000 square-foot store, but it was forced to reassess to the smaller size after Brookhaven Town . Walmart also stated that it was working with the Town on widening the bridge and that the property owner had contributed $357,730 toward that effort.

The Town of Brookhaven has the for the new Walmart, but no timeline has been set for potential approval of the overall project.

As the waiting game continues, Jimmy Sarno, owner of Patchogue's , said that when presented with a choice of shopping at Walmart or pumping dollars into local small businesses, consumers' attitudes are changing.  

“For the past 20 years, there have been Price Clubs, Home Depots and everything else going up,” Sarno said. “I think people are starting to veer towards home and the cozy, village feeling again.”

Tracy Diamond and Michael Sorrentino contributed to this report.

Through the Looking Glass September 28, 2011 at 04:44 PM
I do try to shop at the small stores, but unfortunately the problem becomes a convenience one. For hard goods I often try and shop at the True Value in Blue Point but for personal items I find myself at malls. I am not a large user of personal items like clothes and toiletries get purchased at the supermarket for convenience. I think that downtown american is going to be around forever, but as a drastically changed version of many of us grew up with. If I owned a business that competed with the big boxes I'd have a different perspective, but as a consumer I'm looking out for number 1. And taking Patchogue as the example, there are few, if any, stores currently in the village that offer me anything anyway. i used to do all my Christmas shopping in Patchogue, but there were retail establishments on every stretch of roadway. Now we are offered a huge selection of eateries and pubs. Not a bad alternative, but since I don't frequent them, I don't get to actually walk Main Street anymore. The times they are a changing, and Bob Dylan once sang.
paul read September 28, 2011 at 04:56 PM
A Wal-Mart in Patchogue would be another tragedy to the Patchogue Community and another big mistakes made inside and outside the village over the years. In the 50's, 60's, Patchogue was graphically similar to Port Jefferson and Greenport, and most other well established villages on Long Island. Compare these villages today and Patchogue falls far short. Let the revitalization projects in Patchogue take its course with a chance for local businesses to grow and prosper. You can rest assured Port Jefferson and Greenport will never allow a Wal-Mart in close proximity. Their approach has always been to serve the residents and maintain a healthy vibrant community. Paul Read
Scott B. September 28, 2011 at 07:58 PM
I only shop in small "Mom & Pop" stores if I need something specific that requires good customer service, but for everyday items, Wal-Mart it is. I am a small business owner, just 2 miles from the proposed location. However, my business will not be affected by Wal-Mart because they dont carry or offer the products I sell.
annette kattau September 29, 2011 at 01:42 AM
There is no good place in Patchogue, or Bellport for another Box store especially a WALLMART!!!! This land should be preserved we have deer and wild turkey and an osprey nest on a nearby cell tower. What about the right to have trees and no more traffic and the facts are the neighborhood will go down hill even more than it has since La Bonne Vie came to Patchogue!!!! It's all about what the money that the land owners will make. We rely on the zoning board and the town board to make decisions based on what we the voting taxpayers are begging them to do. Simply asking or stating a case doesn't work in Brookhaven Town we must beg for the right results. That doesn't even make a difference I am so disgusted when I look around my neighborhood. Robinson avenue north side of Sunrise hwy has been raped by a builder who cleared 10 plots of land, and sand mined it oh and yes then he filed bankruptcy and left us the disgusting mess he made. He disturbed wild life put up a partial prefab house and it has been that way. We have to live with it. I have continually called Mr. Mazzeis office regarding this matter. Oh well nothing changes in Brookhaven Town. Oh well time to get out of Brookhaven Town. Or maybe to rethink our elected officials.
Susan September 29, 2011 at 11:25 AM
We need a walmart in the patchogue area. Right now all main street offers are restaurants,dollar type stores or stores too expensive to shop at. And, some of the other stores are totally useless for everyday shopping. A local walmart would be a great addition. I personally am hoping that walmart is given approval by the town.
Deb September 29, 2011 at 12:00 PM
First and foremost, if a Walmart is going to open, it should be at the location of the original Bellport outlets, south of Sunrise Hwy. It would be ridiculous to develop a new piece of land while that spot sits vacant. Hospital Rd and Sunrise IS already a traffic nightmare, while the other location would not be a problem. As for the downtown competition, it already exists with large chains such as Target, Kmart and Home Depot. It is up to the store owners on Main St to offer what the big guys can't: specialty niches, knowledge of product and excellent customer service.
Travis September 29, 2011 at 01:21 PM
Wal-Mart yes please.........
tobo86 September 29, 2011 at 02:05 PM
IF Walmart comes to town, I agree that the Bellport Outlet site would be where it should go. I thought the Pine Barrens/Open Space initiative was more than a wishy-washy idea that would sell out to the highest bidder. Patchogue is finally on an upward course and bringing in stores like Trader Joes, William Sonoma, or other speciality stores of this ilk could only strengthen the downtown area to a point where Walmart will not be able to harm it. The Village planners need to be extremely deliberate now, and keep up the good work!
Jonathan September 29, 2011 at 02:18 PM
Redeveloping the Bellport Outlets site is presumably considered too costly by WM standards - better for them to plow through woodlands where the true costs of their actions are externalized! Wal-Marts are designed with absolute corporate bottom-line in mind, including precise siting of loading bay configurations and delivery routes for minimal interruption of the storage and shipping process. It's a marvel of industrial efficiency, and it's enabled by sheer disregard for community concerns and site context and the ability to pawn off their cost burdens onto taxpayers' shoulders. To hell with Wal-Mart!
Roy September 29, 2011 at 03:44 PM
Why should we pay higher prices to keep a local business. Why should I pay 5 dollars for a half gallon of milk. Be competitive with your prices then you wont lose business. Our economy sucks and walmart will bring jobs for many people. I welcome walmart with open arms.
Scott September 29, 2011 at 06:07 PM
I echo Jonathan's "To hell with Wal-Mart!". If people would do 5 minutes of research they would realize the good they think Walmart provides is overall bad for whatever area they enter. When 1 place has an item or items significantly cheaper than other places, there is a reason for that and that reason is mostly, if not always, a bad one. As for the employment, there are thousands of legit lawsuits against Walmart concerning wages, health care and other things people think they provide so generously.
John D September 29, 2011 at 10:36 PM
Walmart brings NOTHING to the improvement of East Patchogue and the surrounding area. It will destroy Medford and Patchogue small businesses. The corporate philosphy is one thing - make money regardless of what is good for the community. Does it bring jobs? Yes - low paying jobs and they have been lawsuits about their discrimation against women - no matter what thier PR office says. It does bring the unwanted people to the store and the area. It also is not being built in an area that can sustain it. No matter what kind of bridge they build over Sunrise Hwy, the surrounding roads cannot sustain the impact of a store this size. And who are they kidding that they reduced the size of the store? To go from 112,000 sq ft to 98,000 sq ft is not a sizable reduction. Sizeable would be a 40-50 % reduction in size. NO to Walmart in the Patchogue area!
Patti September 30, 2011 at 12:53 AM
Building the Walmarts betwwen a hospital and fire house (both serving to protect the community) is the worst possible idea. How are the fire trucks and ambulances going to get through during holiday seasons even if the bridge is widened? Really , lets think about the safety of the community.
Dee September 30, 2011 at 09:09 PM
Patchogue , Medford and Bellport are ALL the WalMart type shoppers . Might as well add in Shirley and Mastic/Beach as well . It would be a PERFECT fit !
colette October 02, 2011 at 01:57 PM
really Dee, you have met each and every one of us here in Patchogue? what does that have to do with Walmart. I can guarantee you there are many, many families here that are well educated; love their families; work hard and care for their neighbors. Please do not use your ignorance to state such a blanket statement that honestly means nothing.
The_Objectivist October 03, 2011 at 05:06 AM
Walmart is a looter corporation. They teach there employees to apply for medicare/medicaid instead of giving benefits. They buy almost all there products from China. And they destroy small businesses. The last thing we need is a huge box store in immediate vicinity of Patchogue. You want to shop there, then get in you car and DRIVE to Middle Island or Hauppauge. It is not to far and I am sure you can find the way.
Travis October 03, 2011 at 10:16 AM
The real funny thing is that most if not all NIMBY's will be shopping at WM as they do already at CVS,TARGET,K-Mart,Sears,Home Depot etc.When was the last time you went to a so called mom and pop store? Long Island is turning into the Miami Beach of 30 years ago no youth and progress only death.Look around even if you leave your children your house when you pass do you think they'll be able to stay?They need every fighting chance. And for those of you that have forgotten the jobs WM and store like them offer are for the re-tired and entry jobs for youth as so they can get a feel for what work is like.I take some of the last sentence back the economy is so bad we need every job available.Beside you can complain all you want it dosen't matter because money talks and bs walks.
annette kattau October 05, 2011 at 03:57 AM
annette kattau October 05, 2011 at 04:08 AM
I go out of my way to shop at mom and pop stores, I never go into supermarketsI I shop in Wallens in bellport, I have to be in search of something to go into a supermarket or a Box Store. I am offended by box stores and the concept. Garden and farm stand vegetables when available. My cloths 99% from small botiques and mom and pop stores.I travel to do so if I have to. I would rather have quality verses quanity I read labels buy made in USA not CHINA. Walmart is made in china those jobs could be here not in china.
Travis October 05, 2011 at 09:48 AM
I understand that change is scary to some and some of your views are very valid. So what do you propose we build there instead of a store maybe some apts or condos ?And maybe my needs are different then yours. I try to buy from locals but find them to be to expensive. My point is if you don't expand and do something we will turn into parts of up-state NY , Ghost towns. If you don't grow you die period.And a Civic leader really, any one can be a loud mouth with an agenda, just look around these meeting are a circle jerk. Your on Long Island nothing is ever done for the good of the masses.Example look at the school districts . Who are they and do they have a degree in economics of social environmental studies or crime or shoot are they even a large business owner. People that provide a great service will always be in demand and should never fear competitiveness.Most that I use don't even advertise it's all word of mouth. Good luck in your quest for isolation.
cheech October 06, 2011 at 07:20 PM
When we buy the same or a better product for less money, we all benifit
Ralph Giannola October 08, 2011 at 01:18 PM
Patchogue is just beginning to redevelope itself if wal-mart is allowed to open in E. Patchogue this will end, and once again there will be empty stores on main street.


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