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Village of Westbury makes way for 'The Space at Westbury' performing arts center

The Space at Westbury is pictured at 250

The Space at Westbury is pictured at 250 Post Ave. in Westbury. (Dec. 18, 2012) (Credit: Barry Sloan)

The Village of Westbury has issued a temporary certificate of occupancy for “The Space at Westbury,” a new performing arts center on Post Avenue, paving the way for its opening.

Bruce Michael, the center’s executive director, said construction on the site is complete and he projected a late August opening. He said the center is in “heavy negotiations with a big star,” but declined to identify that performer because talks were not yet finalized.

Investor Cyrus Hakakian has said he invested nearly $10 million into “The Space,” which village and business leaders say is key to revitalizing the area’s downtown. Its opening, they say, will encourage new businesses to set up shop.

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Built in 1927, for years the Tudor-style brick and timber theater was a thriving landmark for the village. Eventually, it fell into disrepair and was declared by the village as unsafe. In 2004, Hakakian paid $1.7 million for the location.

The center’s opening marks the beginning of a village-led push to draw upscale businesses — fewer nail salons and more coffee and yogurt shops, leaders have said. The village has incentives to attract retail chains and boutiques. Recently, leaders have focused efforts on the arts, forming the Greater Westbury Council for the Arts, which has nearly 80 members, Mayor Peter Cavallaro said. The plan, he said, is for the group to partner with businesses and other village organizations to build arts-geared programs and initiatives.

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