Several new retail shops have opened in downtown Port Jefferson in time for the summer season when visitors flock to the scenic harborfront.
As the village sees new growth, the walkable downtown will be home to a $44 million luxury apartment complex called The Shipyard, which will consist of 112 housing units overlooking the harbor. The project is scheduled for completion in early 2018.
Village officials said the latest developments are welcomed and should help bring in more visitors.
“It’s a renaissance of downtown,” Village Mayor Margot J. Garant said. “The really unusual component is the new shops are owned by Port Jefferson residents.”
She cited a long-standing divide between the tourists who shop downtown and the locals who avoided the area during busy months.
“We’re strengthening our roots,” Garant said.
National gourmet chocolate maker Kilwins, which has a store in Patchogue and Babylon Village, is expected to open on Main Street next month. Also new on Main Street is Red Shirt Comics.
Joshua Darbee, owner of Red Shirt, said he chose downtown because it is walkable, offers business diversity and is close to Stony Brook University.
“People wanted something different,” said Darbee, 36, of Nesconset. “There’s something for everyone in downtown Port Jefferson Village.”
Comic book fan Andrew Lioio, 18, of Port Jefferson browsed through the store for the first time last week.
“I like the store. It gives off a nice vibe and is very open,” Lioio said.
Kate & Hale, a clothing boutique, is another store which recently opened on Main Street in the historic former Brookhaven tax receiver’s building.
Manager Courtney Oehl chatted with customers, helping them try on new clothes before finalizing a purchase one day last week.
“Business has been great. People love the merchandise and love the environment,” Oehl said. “People depend on Main Street for everything.”
Barbara Ransome, director of operations at the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, said the new businesses will help bring in visitors from as far as Connecticut.
She said three stores that opened on East Main Street last month are The Barn Downtown, a retail store specializing in outdoor gifts and plants; Hair, Lash and Brow; and Artelier Arts Studio and Creative Space.
Chris Kelly, Tritec Real Estate Co. Inc.’s director of marketing and the developer of The Shipyard, said downtown Port Jefferson is the perfect place for the luxury apartment complex.
“Port Jefferson has always been a great village but it’s getting better,” he said.
Kelly said the harbor has some of the best sunsets on Long Island.
Some additions to the Village of Port Jefferson downtown:
Kate & Hale opened in March
The Barn Downtown opened in April
Hair, Lash and Brow opened in April
Artelier Arts Studio and Creative Space opened in April
Red Shirt Comics opened in May