Update: Demolition of Swezey's Starts For New Village

West wall with a 1993 mural was first to be demolished.

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.

Sandi Barry Sachse June 28, 2012 at 03:21 AM
Great!!! Lets make room for more people and crowds and business failure..and bad drivers and homeless and rising taxes and blah blah blah...Cant wait to get the heck out of here.
Laurie Kiss June 28, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Have we rented all the units in "Riverwalk" development yet?? And now we will have more?? I know we need to do something with the blight in the village, but I'm just not sure this is going to do it!! Time will tell. At least the empty store will be gone.
Karen Ferb June 28, 2012 at 04:01 PM
There are no rentals in The River Walk; they are all condominiums with estimated prices from $290K to $375K. See the Web site for more information: http://theriverwalkatpatchogue.com/
SoMo June 28, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Who the hell would pay $290 to $375k to live there when there are a ton of private homes on the market for less than $300k?
Janice Grover June 28, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Wow! Remember this store well--it was a landmark. Sad to see it gone. After if closed it really must have affected the downtown area. In Florida Now, but this is sad news to me.
Scott June 28, 2012 at 10:37 PM
I believe they haven't sold too many. Hence the work stoppage. They probably won't begin building the next set of buildings until the sell somewhere around 30% of them. I've heard they've only sold a handful so far...
Keith June 28, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Who's getting paid off for this ? just what Ppatchogue needs 291 more rentals
Ready 4 Change June 29, 2012 at 12:17 AM
good riddance. We need some class in this neighborhood.
Tom Olsen June 29, 2012 at 02:23 AM
Why is that Tritec and the Village blamed the lawsuits for delaying demolition for months, but now there is a new lawsuit and they suddenly say it won’t stop demolition? Which is it? I hope the lawsuit prevails and they have to scale back this project. They are trying to shove 10 lbs of S*** in a 5 lb bag. Right on Main Street no less! They won’t be able to fill 291 units and Section 8 will come and no one will be able to stop it. Even if they don’t give out new Section 8 vouchers, there are plenty out there already that people have for life. They will move here and Tritec will welcome them. Mark my words.
Kathleen Rubinstein June 29, 2012 at 04:28 AM
Preservation is just as important as progress. Patchogue is full of living, visual history. Why are so many people hell bent on destroying it? I understand that time takes a toll on unkept buildings but if they are maintained and possibly repurposed they can live on for many generations to explore and treasure. Remember new construction can happen any time but once you knock down a piece of history ...that is all it will be HISTORY!
Donna Ferraiuolo c/o Time On My Hands ltd June 29, 2012 at 10:05 AM
I still have my swezey charge card. I wonder if it will be worth anything some day!? I am going to be optimistic towards our new change in town. So far so good. I love all the different restaurants we have, im sure more will come. Our small businesses are all still at a low. Im riding the wave like everyone else. All good things come to those who wait! As long as all these sites are maintained, somethings got to give!
Mary Kay June 29, 2012 at 02:48 PM
I had a Sweezy's charge card and one year I was lucky enough to charge during the end of winter sale and won a trip to Virgin Islands...never forget that.
Laura June 29, 2012 at 02:58 PM
What happened to the hotel? is it still coming to patchogue?
jimmy murphy June 29, 2012 at 03:42 PM
How come Riverhead, Yaphank and Central Islip can all get hotels but all we can muster up in Patchogue is MORE APARTMENTS? Don’t we have enough apartments in this stinking village? They all have vacancies too. I don’t buy this theory about attracting young hipsters. Did you see the rents Tritec is asking for? This isn’t Brooklyn right near the city - where are they going to work? There are no jobs for them out here! Hellooooooo Section 8!
Laura June 29, 2012 at 03:52 PM
so no hotel?
Jimmy Neutron June 29, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Laura, What rock have you been under for the last year or so? And Jimmy I hope for your sake you never need Section 8 housing vouchers, I think it would be difficult to discriminate against yourself.
Laura June 29, 2012 at 05:07 PM
a lot of my friends think a hotel is going there. in fact, one of my bffs was looking to have her wedding guests staying there in 2014! not everyone keeps up with all these details you know. this is so disappointing!
Kathleen Rubinstein June 29, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Jimmy Neutron you don't have to be so nasty to people. People have to right to speak their mind and also to ask questions. You need to learn to respect that. You don't have to agree but you also don't have to be rude!
Old Lawynguyland June 30, 2012 at 12:56 AM
They totally missed it, or they're much smarter than we think. If they wanted to attract hipsters, they would have propped up, polished and preserved the old architecture. Old is hip, not new. Just look at any place where hipsters gather and prosper (Brooklyn, Williamsburg, etc.)! In the absence of great vintage architecture (not to mention the fantastic artwork of Hans Gabali), this town will be a sterile graveyard of soulless new edifices. But millions will be made in the process.
Lee June 30, 2012 at 09:13 PM
27 to 30 months to complete this mess of apartments 27 to 30 months of closed roads and reduced parking spaces 27 to 30 months of noise and construction and when it's done, Main Street will be ruined FOREVER!
Jimmy Neutron June 30, 2012 at 10:12 PM
How many months until you leave town Lee? Cant wait.
paul mcfarlane July 01, 2012 at 04:17 AM
does anyone have more photos of the work being done to bring down the so-called Swezey's building? (It was leased, by the way; I don't recall the owner's name, but that why the store's owners built their own property a short distance away by the since-demolished old mill.) Anyway, my mom worked at Swezey's for 30-plus years and I'd just like to see more of the work.
Geo Euler July 02, 2012 at 11:48 AM
It does not make any difference rent or sell. The fact remains that there is a housing glut and rentals going unoccupied in the village. More is not the answer. Only time and empty buildings will tell the story. By the way have you looked at your assesed valuation of your house. Compare to last year and you will see that is has gone down. I wonder why? Patchogue may not be that desirable anymore.
Patchogue Snoop July 02, 2012 at 04:43 PM
I saw Pontieri stuffing his face at Peribell with a Trictec exec. Why is he meeting alone on behalf of the residents and village government? Secret deals....you bet. Remember his original promise when he first ran for Mayor.....no more rentals in this village. First thing he did when he was elected was enrich his cousin with a high density rental approval! He is there for one reason......to get rich and rewrd his ole boy network with sweetheart approvals.
Patchogue Snoop July 02, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Why is lesko in our Village?.....another hack sucking up free publicity? That is a question we should all ask ourselves. Maybe he is moving in to an apartment????
Dorothy Goedel September 03, 2012 at 02:12 AM
I worked for Swezey's until I moved to Texas it was a great place to work to never minded going to. workThe Swezey's family were wonderful to work for
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