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Dec 20, 2013 12:03 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Transformation Of Hampton Bays Shopping Center Continues

Dec 20, 2013 2:44 PM

With businesses coming, going, moving and growing, the Tiana Shopping Center in Hampton Bays has been undergoing a transformation over the past six months.

The changes began in July when the center’s longest and, perhaps, most noteworthy tenant, Center Island Pharmacy, closed its doors and vacated its 11,000-square-foot storefront after 40 years of business. Around that same time, Hampton Bays Bagels shifted a few stores to the west to make room for an expanded Planet Fitness, and construction began on a new Moe’s Southwest Grill.

These changes were orchestrated as part of an effort to bring more traffic to the Montauk Highway strip mall, according to Wilbur Breslin, the owner of Breslin Realty Development Corp., the Garden City company that manages the property.

Mr. Breslin said recently that his company has been taking a hands-on approach to revitalizing the shopping center, including recruiting business owners, such as Moe’s owners Guy and Elizabeth Constantopoulos, and even facilitating the expansion of Planet Fitness. Mr. Breslin noted that he expects the three remaining empty storefronts in the shopping center—the one next to the Wild By Nature grocery store, the large building left vacant by Center Island, and a space between Moe’s and Hampton Bays Village Dry Cleaning—to be filled within the next year.

“We are professional developers and professional managers,” he said. “We take assets that aren’t doing well and turn them around. By June of next year, July of next year, we expect it to be fully occupied.”

Mr. Breslin said he could not recall exactly when his company was brought in to manage the Montauk Highway retail complex but said it was not long after Manhattan-based Alrose Hampton Bays LLC acquired the property for $13.1 million in 2006, according to town records.

He also noted that a deal has been reached to have Dollar Tree, a chain of discount variety stores that is headquartered in Virginia and operates nearly 4,800 stories nationwide, sublease space at the far west end of the property from King Kullen, which owns the Wild By Nature store. Mr. Breslin said he expects Dollar Tree to open early next year.

Additionally, Mr. Breslin said he is speaking with potential tenants for the other two spaces, but declined to identify them.

Mr. Constantopoulos said business has been solid since he opened his restaurant on September 26, citing his business’s “niche” as the only Tex-Mex restaurant in the area. However, he said he would like to see more shops in the plaza to help increase foot traffic.

The owner of three East End 7-Eleven convenience stores and another Moe’s in Rocky Point, Mr. Constantopoulos said he plans on opening a third Moe’s restaurant next year in Riverhead, near the Peconic Bay Medical Center.

“I’d like to see somebody move into where the former Center Island Pharmacy was—that’s a vacant space that could be something great,” he said. “Once a business goes in there, I think we’re going to see a lot more traffic.”

After discussions with Frank Sileccia, the former owner of Center Island, about possibly renewing his lease, Mr. Breslin said the two reached the conclusion that it was in the best interest of both to part ways. Mr. Sileccia, 79, has said as much in previous interviews, citing an expected increase in rent as well as a desire to reduce his workload.

In searching for new tenants, Mr. Breslin said his company is seeking businesses that are a good fit for the Hampton Bays community. He added that the reason Planet Fitness grew is because his company recognized that it was a popular business that would benefit from an expansion.

“We looked at the facility and we know that they’re good operators, they do very well there by the way and they weren’t getting as much business as they could,” he said. “So, we went to the owner and discussed expanding. That was probably a year ago.”

John Mahoney, a co-owner of the Planet Fitness, said he had wanted to expand his gym for years and originally targeted the spot then-occupied by Blockbuster in 2010. After years of petitioning Breslin Realty Development Corp., Mr. Mahoney got his wish in 2012 when the management company worked out a deal for the bagel store to move so the gym could acquire more space; the move took about 18 months to come to fruition.

Although he thinks the plaza would be fully occupied by now if it were locally owned and operated rather than being one of 32 properties in the portfolio of one of Long Island’s largest land management companies, Mr. Mahoney said Mr. Breslin helped him personally during the expansion, which he said was a nice touch.

Mr. Mahoney, who has operated a gym in the shopping center since 1993, said he remains hopeful that the remaining vacant buildings will be occupied soon. He is also optimistic about the future of the plaza thanks, in part, to the recent addition of Moe’s.

“I genuinely believe that I see a positive trend and the visibility of the Moe’s location plays a major role in revitalizing the shopping center,” he said. “I think the Moe’s restaurant, with its vibrant signage, is a great asset to have near the entrance to draw people in.”

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Moes is terrible food. really bad.

And I'd place a sizeable bet that the center island spot sits empty for years. Who wants to put a store in across from a trailer park and next to the Boardy Barn?
By C Law (354), Water Mill on Dec 28, 13 10:12 AM
4 members liked this comment
Moe's is okay sometimes, Its something different,

What I do find totally UNACCEPTABLE is the attitude on a certain young female employee who is just a little to smug for her own good and is the reason I have stopped going there.

By 27dan (2854), Southampton on Dec 28, 13 5:27 PM
2 members liked this comment
King Kullen's Wild by Nature, apparently.

Kombucha, sushi, grass fed meats, a vegan section, non-GMO eats, and the Reed's extra ginger beer are a few good reasons to shop there.

And, I like the Boardy Barn...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Dec 28, 13 5:49 PM
Yes, imo, that coleen or what ever her name is needs an attitude adjustment, maybe guy does not realize her condescending act is turning off customers
By Erin 27 E (1281), southampton on Dec 29, 13 1:19 PM
I agree boardy barns patrons are a disgrace and a blight on the whole town
By Erin 27 E (1281), southampton on Dec 29, 13 1:23 PM
Only on Summer Sundays... the rest of the time the patrons are generally good people donating to a good cause (or politicians donating to themselves, but ya know)
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Dec 29, 13 7:30 PM
2 members liked this comment
The barn has a right to do what they do, But those pigs from Sundays should not be allowed to do what they do to the shopping center and the town when it lets out.

They had a un constitutional road block set up on Montauk Hwy to giving out tickets to local residents at 330 in the afternoon today, But those publicly intoxicated obnoxious and destructive animals never get a summons.

~ Vhat is your name Papers Please ~
Dec 30, 13 10:09 PM appended by They call me
By They call me (2826), southampton on Dec 30, 13 10:09 PM
" Who wants to put a store in across from a trailer park ...?"
What a condescending statement.
By jams (129), hampton bays on Jan 9, 14 12:44 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By TO BAD (24), hampton bay on Dec 28, 13 10:42 AM
And the area does not need another discount store like the one in the movie theater lot, We need to attract high end tenants not bargain stores with bargain hunting customers
By 27dan (2854), Southampton on Dec 28, 13 5:21 PM
Breslin needs big stores to pay his big rent prices. He is killing the little guys.
By Terbear (77), Southampton on Dec 29, 13 9:55 AM
C Law said

"Who wants to put a store in across from a trailer park and next to the Boardy Barn"

Answer a discount politically correct no frills girlie gym and a dollar store
By 27dan (2854), Southampton on Dec 30, 13 8:47 PM
Keep Wild by Nature, the pet store, Salon, liquor store, Joe's and Moe's

Dump the 5&10, the not so hot bagel store (maybe if you spent some $ to make it nice and served some higher end product ) and the P.C. discount " lol gym "

and start to build some quality instead of catering to the trailer park and the Flanders drifters that come to use to bargain (lol gym) and the laundry
By Undocumented Democrat (2065), southampton on Dec 30, 13 8:57 PM
1 member liked this comment
The salon closed down over a year ago...
By squeaky (291), hampton bays on Jan 10, 14 11:30 AM
LOL. This article is like a paid advertisement.
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Dec 30, 13 9:06 PM
Easy, U.D. everyone knows thats not a real gym, Its meant to be a quickie fitness center, I know some of you are mad that they took World Gym away for that over crowded hypocritical scam, they say they are a "NO Judgment zone" then tell you what to wear , not to use your phone, how much to lift, and to basically act like a ... Well you know what I mean.

Just do what I did quit. and go to Southampton or Ultimate. They are opening a state of the art "REAL GYM " on main street next month, ...more
Dec 30, 13 9:47 PM appended by They call me
By They call me (2826), southampton on Dec 30, 13 9:47 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By They call me (2826), southampton on Jan 1, 14 8:58 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By TO BAD (24), hampton bay on Jan 9, 14 11:32 AM