The Town of Brookhaven recently handed out 18 tickets to the owners of the Mastic Shopping Center, which houses Island Cinemas, Family Dollar, and HSBC, for neglect and mismanagement of the site. The property, owned by Namdar Realty Group of Great Neck, has accumulated rubble and other litter, and the parking lot is full of potholes and uneven pavement.
Namdar purchased the property in July 2014 and went through all necessary processes with the town planning board for a facade change and improvements, but have not completely followed through. Namdar could not be reached for comment.
Councilman Dan Panico said the plans have fallen short and the property is “abysmal.” He mentioned the litter in the parking lot and the craters in the asphalt.
“They clearly have a lack of initiative when it comes to maintaining this property in compliance with town code,” he said.
Panico’s office has received complaints from residents about the appearance of the property, and the town now hopes to receive action in the legal process. Panico said contact has been made with the owners with not much response and, in past legal challenges, only minimal corrections were made. The tickets, given by the Brookhaven fire marshal, will force Namdar to appear in 6th District Court in Patchogue. Panico added that the town would try to use the legal process to compel the owners to fix the site.
Panico compared the property at the corner of Mastic Road and Montauk Highway with the one at the corner of Montauk Highway and William Floyd Parkway, which houses an Applebee’s and other storefronts. He said the owners purchased that property, made infrastructure improvements like repaving, and redid the siding on the buildings, which gives it a more appealing and welcoming look. He said the Mastic Shopping Center has similar potential, located on the corner of two main roads, but the developers have not taken the opportunity to improve it. He added that the possibility of the Forge River Watershed project could make it an even more viable option for development.
“It’s clear that their efforts here on this center are lackluster, at best,” Panico added.
The Town of Brookhaven will try their case in court in January and hope to require compliance from the property owners.