Lowe's store gets OK at shuttered multiplex

The Smithtown Planning Board has approved a plan

The Smithtown Planning Board has approved a plan to build a Lowe's home-improvement store at the long-shuttered Commack Cinemas. Photo Credit: Newsday, 1996 / Dick Kraus

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The Smithtown Planning Board has approved a plan to build a Lowe's home-improvement store at the shuttered Commack Cinemas multiplex.

In a meeting while a nor'easter roared outside, the board Wednesday voted 4-0 in favor of the proposal, chairman John Gee said Friday. Board member Carl Yellon was absent.

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Gee said there were no major concerns about the project. "Everything looked good," he said.

The plan awaits approvals and permits from the county health department, the Smithtown Town Board and the town Building and Engineering departments.

A Lowe's spokeswoman did not respond to an email Friday. She had said previously the chain would not comment until all town and county approvals are finalized.

Lowe's last month submitted revised plans for a 166,000-square-foot store, down from 188,000 square feet in previous proposals. The move was made to cut a $680,000 impact fee that was to be levied by the Suffolk Department of Public Works, Smithtown officials said. After reducing the floor plan, Lowe's would owe about half that amount, the officials said.

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The 20-acre site, just west of Sagtikos Parkway and visible from the Long Island Expressway, has been vacant for 13 months, since the multiplex closed after almost 30 years in business. Plans for Lowe's to buy the site for a reported $13 million were announced in May 2010.

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