An East Setauket developer wants to build a shopping center at the site of a vacant nursery near Stony Brook University and a Long Island Rail Road station.
Plans for Stony Brook Square, on the north side of Route 25A, include construction of three buildings and renovation of three existing houses for use as shops.
Developer Parviz Farahzad said in a telephone interview the mall would include businesses such as restaurants, a bank, a small supermarket and a coffee shop that would serve local residents, railroad commuters and university students. Stony Brook University is less than a mile from the site.
Farahzad said it was "a little bit premature" to say what specific stores would be in the mall, but he didn't rule out signing leases with national chains. He said a coffee shop chain "would be great to have."
The mall would "keep the existing buildings . . . and sort of make a campus-style center for use by the university and the locals," Farahzad said.
Brookhaven Town planning director Tullio Bertoli said the mall conforms with the transitional-business zoning in place at the three-acre site. Town officials have not scheduled a public hearing on the proposal, he said.
Shawn Nuzzo, president of the Civic Association of the Setaukets and Stony Brook, said many residents have expressed concern about strip malls and shopping centers. He said the civic group had not taken a position on Stony Brook Square and planned to discuss it at a meeting Monday night.
"It's a modern take on an old-fashioned strip mall," Nuzzo said in an interview. "We're hoping to see something nice. We're hoping to see something the community wants."
He said he likes the plan to preserve and re-use existing homes on the site. "The houses that are existing are the nicest part of that proposal," he said.
Bertoli said the number of proposed parking stalls at the mall, 139, falls short of the 197 required by town code. He said town officials are considering reducing the parking requirement, which Bertoli called "top heavy."
He said the mall otherwise "conforms with the general concept of what should be there."
Farahzad said he hopes to start construction in eight to nine months.
He said his company, Little Rock Construction, previously has built houses, malls, commercial centers and the Grumman Studios film company offices in Bethpage.