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May 12, 2016 7:35 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Best Yet Market Gets Final Approval From Westhampton Beach Planning Board

Or Raitses, the vice president of and general counsel for Best Yet at the Westhampton Beach Planning Board meeting on Thursday. BY ERIN MCKINLEY
May 17, 2016 3:16 PM

Final approvals have been granted to the operators of the Best Yet Market in Westhampton Beach for a multi-year renovation plan that, when completed, will result in a nearly complete overhaul of the Sunset Avenue store.

Even though his company secured final approval only last Thursday night, May 12, Or Raitses, the vice president of and general counsel for the Bethpage-based supermarket chain, said he is confident that the store will be able to open its doors by either this coming Sunday or Monday, May 22 or 23, several days before the holiday weekend.

At their meeting last week, Westhampton Beach Village Planning Board members unanimously approved the company’s final plan, which includes a complete overhaul of both the interior and exterior of the 24,500-square-foot building, as well as the parking lot. Phase one was approved several months ago as the board hammered out final details, with the understanding that a certificate of occupancy would not be granted until the final plans were approved.

At last week’s meeting, Mr. Raitses said the first of three phases of renovations is slated to be finished as early as this Friday, May 20, allowing the chain to open the store by Sunday or Monday. Most of that work has focused on the building’s interior. However, a manufacturing delay with the front gable of the building means it will not be in place for the store’s opening. That addition should be installed by the end of June, Mr. Raitses added, assuring the Planning Board that the area would be clearly labeled as a construction zone and pedestrians would have a designated path.

“The whole staff is trained and ready to go,” Mr. Raitses said. “We will be ready and we know what we have to do to be open.”

Westhampton Beach Planning Board Chairman Victor Levy, who recently toured the building, said he and other future shoppers will be pleased with the new market.

“I think the board, as a whole, is looking forward to having a supermarket again in Westhampton Beach,” he said this week. “I have spent some time in the building, and as it nears completion, it looks like a huge improvement. They have done a huge amount of work, and it will be a better place than it was before, with a better variety, and much larger.”

Best Yet Market took over the Sunset Avenue property last year after winning a $4 million bid during bankruptcy proceedings initiated by the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, the former owners of Waldbaum’s. The Best Yet Market chain, which currently operates 20 supermarkets in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, has signed a 30-year lease on the Westhampton Beach building. Some of the improvements for the building were originally planned by the now-bankrupt Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company.

As part of the upgrades, Best Yet Market is planning to bury some of the power lines along Sunset Avenue. The company is also relocating the entrance of its new supermarket to the former National’s storefront on the north side of the building, and plans to configure a new parking lot and install new landscaping.

With final approval from the village now secured, the building will be issued a temporary certificate of occupancy, or CO, for one year. The temporary CO will be extended only if the company completes the second part of its three-phase plan, which includes most of the parking lot work, by the end of the first year. The burying of the power lines between Sunset Avenue and the supermarket will be completed as part of the third phase of work.

While company officials said they were hoping to open by Monday, May 23, at the latest, no official opening date had been posted on the Best Yet website, www.bestmarket.com, as of earlier this week.

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