Demolition began on Swezey's, the abandoned department store that anchors the Four Corners in Patchogue Village, Wednesday to make way for Tritec Real Estate company's New Village plan.
The plan is set to bring 291 apartments, 46,000 square feet of retail space and 18,000 square feet of office space at the North Ocean and Main Street intersection.
The first part of the building to meet the wrecking ball was the west side, which features a mural that was painted on a brick-like wall in August 1993 by Hans Gabaldi.
Tritec and political officials, along with several residents, were in attendance for the groundbreaking.
Rob Loscalzo, Chief Operation Officer of Tritec, said that the full New Village project is estimated to take 27-30 months to complete, and that Swezey's would be completely demolished in the next six to eight weeks.
Upcoming road closures for the project will be worked out with the Building department he also said.
"Obviously in the interest of safety there will be times when streets will shut down but there will always be access for the fire department either through North Ocean Avenue or Havens Avenue," Loscalzo said.
The ceremony was bittersweet for some, who had memories of the store.
Resident Karen Leavandosky attended the ceremony and remembered that her parents had a charge at Swezey's. Her husband, Whitey Leavandosky, was the mayor at the time the mural was commissioned.
Among the politicians attendance at the ceremony were Patchogue Village Mayor Paul Pontieri, Brookhaven Town Supervisor Mark Lesko, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Suffolk County Legislator Rob Calarco.
What are your memories of Swezey's and thoughts of the demolition? Talk about it in the comments.
Updated June 28, 5:57 p.m. with additional information from the ceremony and the plans for future demolition and construction.