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Visions For Vacancies: Four Corners

In this new series, readers can discuss what they would like to see spring up from vacant locations in Patchogue and Medford.

In the first of a continuing series, “Visions for Vacancies,” Patchogue Patch will feature vacant storefronts and seek input from readers as to the type of business they would like to see fill the empty location.

We start with the obvious...the Four Corners and vacant Swezey's building.

The Patchogue community has been abuzz for months over the  $100 million New Village plan to build 291-apartments, 46,000 square feet of retail space and 18,000 square feet of office space at the location of the vacated Swezey's in Patchogue.

The store, formally an anchor of the intersection of Main Street and South Ocean Avenue otherwise known as the Four Corners, closed in 2003 and has remained empty.

Since then the location has been bought by Tritec Real Estate Company, had , one of which was , with a  preventing the plan's construction. This has led to the New Village plan becoming the biggest issue between the two political parties in next month's Village election.

Some residents have cited the  as the dealbreaker. Others the plan believing that more housing will keep younger people in Patchogue.

If the economy were not an issue, and you could have whatever you wanted in the location of the former Swezey's store, what would you want to see? More housing? More shopping? A hotel? Or perhaps nothing at all?

Sound off in the comments.

Laureen Prendergast February 08, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Many issues have to be factored into the equation. Everyone would like to see the younger people stay close to home. Full time jobs are needed to keep them here. It doesn't matter if you build workforce housing rentals or not. If employment and career opportunities are not within a reasonable affordable commuting distance and the young person is not making the 80-85% of the average income or median income required for "workforce housing" participation. You can build, build, build and they may not stay. If the LIRR does not provide a schedule that works to get people to their possible job in the city at a cost that is affordable to a young working person, then it doesn't matter if you have one apartment available or 100. One thing that seems to be alittle confusing is where is the "Master Plan" for our Village. Prior planning, prevents poor performance, so let the community get to the planning. Construction projects do provide jobs, but we must realize that these jobs are for the duration of the project (ex.100 men for maybe a year). Permanent full time jobs is what we need with affordable benefits, not part-time or temporary ones. Continued development of creative "draws" to the Village and surrounding areas are needed, so we get a new hotel to operate at the minimum a 75% full time occupancy, so the owner's can profit and can keep local people employed. The wheels of progress can keep turning but we don't want our Village to be run over by it.
Mary Kassner February 08, 2012 at 01:12 AM
While you are looking at Mr Ferb's web sites; Look at the NewVillage@Patchogue site and click on the benefits tab http://www.newvillagepatchogue.com/home It is empty (blank) because there are NO benefits to NewVillage@Patchogue!
Susan Cosgrove February 08, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Are you saying you are supporting Nu Village?
Laureen Prendergast February 08, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Susan, I support NuVillage Civic Association, I think it is positively charged, come listen this Thursday -7:30 at the Elks Lodge. My statement is general, a "Master Plan" would direct the community and with a plan comes the need to think broadly. I support Open, Fair, Government.
Patsy Unger February 08, 2012 at 01:47 PM
What Patchogue needs is a store like Kohl's-a depatment store like Sweezey's was. If we want to attract people to Patchogue, we need stores where they can shop. Also, we need a supermarket. Lack of these insures that residents must go outside the village to shop.
Jacqueline February 08, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Having been a renter for over a decade in many different cities across the US, it is important to have stores to shop in that are within WALKING distance. This brings the foot traffic we need. Apartments and condos do not bring people to the village if the residents must get in their car to drive to the grocery store and outside the village to do their shopping.
johnny February 08, 2012 at 04:52 PM
I agree i think a&p used to be were cbs store is. In the late 70's early 80's and was very convenient for people in the village to do grocery shopping.that kept money in the village
Eric Randall February 08, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Elisabeth McGuire suggested the incubator thing in her blog about the 4 corners. I like the idea too. It's much better than 291 rental units. That took no imagination and where the heck are all of those people going to work?
Elizabeth K February 09, 2012 at 01:54 AM
will there be AC units hanging out the windows? Or is there a plan for Central Air?
Tom Ferb February 09, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Mary - Thanks for pointing our that the New Village benefits page was dark. It's back. http://www.newvillagepatchogue.com/benefits#
Carole J.Amodeo February 09, 2012 at 03:26 PM
New Village the WAY TO GO folks!
Mary Kassner February 09, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Tom- The benefits isn't back, it was posted after I pointed out the absence.
John A. Undermark February 09, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Mary, that website has changed since the last time I saw. Could it be that the site has been under construction and the page simply not finished by the time you got to it?
betsy smith February 09, 2012 at 04:10 PM
If Tritec could incorporate the bank and the Brewhouse into its design, it could also incorporate the Carnegie Library. Those buildings are in scale with the two-story street curtain of Patchogue. It is strange that the main rendering of the project is taken from the viewpoint of heading north on South Ocean Avenue. This is not the entrance to Patchogue. One arrives in Patchogue from the east, west or north, with views of steeples placed in the near distance. No steeples would be seen given the five story massed residential buildings proposed by Tritec. If you follow the fly over proposal suggested by Tom Ferb on Tritec's project website you won't recognize anything as Patchogue-like. Much, much too dense.
Dennis Barone February 09, 2012 at 04:16 PM
It is empty and so is their plan. Enlighten us again Mr. Ferb PHD how 291 apartments helps. Why not the hotel plan with retail, professional and condos. All tax paying entities.
Dennis Barone February 09, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Suprising similar to other plans I've seen in the past like Maple Apts, Tiffany Apts, the original plan for the Breslin property... it's all smoke and mirrors. why would anyone with half a brain form a plan and post anything BUT benefits. Where are the negatives???? Jusdt look at the condition of the other apartment housing in this village OPEN YOUR EYES!!!!!!!
Sue February 09, 2012 at 05:51 PM
I would rather see a professional building in the old Sweezy space( No health center), but medical professionals and legal offices. Along those lines. People who work there will shop and eat in the Village the same with their clientele. There would be a modest effect on the parking and in the evening most Dr's and Lawyers offices would be closed by dinner time freeing up the parking. I would also not make the building taller than three stories so it remains in keeping with the surrounding shops and does not take from the integrity of the historic structures on Main st. I think this would provide jobs for all levels of education and experience.
Chris February 09, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Just pointing out that TRITEC renovated the old Wedgewood Building now called 31 West Main Street and it came out beautiful but there is still vacant office space and retail space. TRITEC restored many of the historic features the building had and got rid of an eyesore with a fiberglass top but it isn’t full. So after investing millions to restore that building into something that really looks great inside and out and still they have to wait for it to lease up, why would any developer build more spec any type of office space? Why wouldn’t they just keep the rest of the vacant buildings as they are and wait for the world to get better? The Village paid for an independent parking study and the village’s consultant said that there is enough parking for the New Village project in the current plan. Mixed-use projects have been proven to raise the property value of single-family homes in the surrounding neighborhoods so it would be a benefit for the Village residents. Not only with this project create construction jobs but also it will help protect jobs on Long Island. The only reason a company might move to Long Island is because we have a highly educated work force but if that work force leaves because they can’t afford to live here than the businesses will leave as well, projects like this will help Long Island bridge the gap and remain viable.
Jo Miller February 09, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Jo Miller Lureen You make some very good points, wnich have not surfaced in all of the discussions about the four corners. Young peoople, many of whom are unemployed or under employed. cannot afford to pay rent no matter how reasonable. Young people graduating from college are unable to find jobs and remain living at home with parents. What is needed is more jobs in the area. Only then, will we see demand for housing, rental or otherwise, improve.
John A. Undermark February 09, 2012 at 09:30 PM
Mr. Barone, No one is building hotels right now. Supply v. demand. An empty hotel surely will not provide any tax benefits or revenue to local businesses. There will be retail, or didn't you read the plans in the project page? Apartments are great because in case you don't know, or don't read Newsday there is a real need for apartment living on Long Island. Most under 30 year olds are living with their parents....because 1) There aren't any apartments and 2) they are generally not affordable and 3) there are no amenities near the apartments to create a community. Apartments of this nature will provide tax dollars, and local spending to the area, without having any impact on the local schools. Most people who have apartments are young, professionals who don't yet have kids. The apartment owners will pay the taxes.
John A. Undermark February 09, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Mr. Barone, Enlighten us, what are the negatives? Everyone talks about parking, so an independent study was done. Take a guess at what the results were. What other negatives are there? It's easy to kvetch about these things, and stamp your feet about your faux righteous indignation on the issue, but please, take the time to dig into the details of the plan and address how it is bad point by point with a logical, well formed opinions. Or...you can complain on the internet.
Dennis Barone February 09, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Hotels are opening on Long Island right now. Ask Tritec, they broke ground on the one in Carle Place on in November. And if Long Island needs apartments, that is closer to the city where the jobs are. Patchogue has PLENTY of apartments available. Just look around. More rentals available here than anywhere in Suffolk County. Do any of these studies say PATCHOGUE needs apartments? I think not. We need jobs.
Dennis Barone February 09, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Parking study? Hahahahahahahahah. See the back cover of the Advance today. Tritec and Pontier in bed together. It seems the parking spaces were measured by Tritec's lawyer. Thats as "indepenpent" as it gets right Mr. Undermark. Check your facts don't just stamp YOUR feet on the internet.
Dennis Barone February 09, 2012 at 10:14 PM
also for the price of an apartment most young people could buy a house in this economy. Apartment dwellers, especially social services or section 8 don't pay taxes. The rate paid by the landlord is just a fraction of what will be used by the tenants
Dennis Barone February 09, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Chris Parking study?. See the back cover of the Advance today. Tritec and Pontier in bed together. It seems the parking spaces were measured by Tritec's lawyer. Thats as "indepenpent" as it gets. This is just va bad idea.
Patchogue February 10, 2012 at 02:21 AM
No more apartments, period!
Patchogue February 10, 2012 at 02:32 AM
I am sorry, but the benefits look really crappy. Economic Benefits Population 600 - Not sure why this is a benefit Total Annual Sales(Retail)- $935,355 (equal to one restaurant one Main St.) Estimated Annual Sales Tax - $626,660 (goes to the county, we need it in the school District, property taxes go to the school District, I think they have an exemption for 10 years) Net Property Tax Gain $397,450 (really pathetic, equal to one house or two) Full Time Jobs-260 (all low paying jobs that dont support buying a home on Long Island) The below statement show read we expect to make money from this location by charging higher rent. We dont care about quaintness or a charm in your downtown, but making a buck. If you dont like over population and transients, tough. And believe me I know because I rented for years before I bought my house. Renting is normal and okay, but I had many different neighbors in shorts spans of time, some good, some not so good. "There's demographic evidence; there's consumer research evidence; but probably the most compelling evidence is the price premium people are willing to pay to live in a walkable urban place, that the survey's show anywhere from a 40% to 200% price premium on a price per square foot basis for a walkable urban place as oppose to a competitive near by drivable suburban place."
majortom1981 February 10, 2012 at 04:02 AM
To john do you venture outside patchogue? A hotel just opened up in riverhead next to the aquarium. Within the past year. My wife and i stayed there and talked to the staff. They are bookedsolidformost of the year since they opened. Also what good is reatail without parking?
Jacqueline February 10, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Wow, if they think that people are "willing" to pay high rent just to live in a "walkable urban place" that just isn't so. The fact is there is no other choice but to cough up the rent even if that means eating Ramen every day.
good taste February 12, 2012 at 05:42 AM
I believe that the current plan for the four corners is wrong for our beautiful and historical village. The architectural design and archway are horrible. The garden designs are strictly fantasy. Worst of all, erecting five story buildings on Main Street is a travesty. Patchogue 2012 PLEASE listen to your village residents! I am sure that over half of us don't want these apartments on our Main Street. Please don't make this ugly apartment complex be the legacy that you leave to Patchogue after all the good work that you have done. If you won't change this terrible plan before election day and INFORM the residents of a new plan, no matter what the court decision turns out to be, then I cannot vote for you on March 20. PLEASE don't do this!!!

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