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Mariano Rivera nails down win for Port Jefferson Station car dealership plan

Yankees Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera won approval of a zoning change needed to build a Honda dealership on Route 112. (Credit: Newsday / Steve Pfost)

Yankees Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera on Thursday added another victory to his storied career.

With the same ease with which he dispatched big-league batters, baseball's all-time saves leader won approval of a zoning change from the Brookhaven Town Board for his proposed Port Jefferson Station automobile dealership.

If the town planning board approves a site plan, Mariano Rivera Honda could open later this year. The planning board has not set a date to consider Rivera's plan.

"It feels great," Rivera, who owns a Toyota dealership in Mount Kisco in Westchester County, said in an interview after the vote. "We just want to be part of this town and doing this business is the right thing for the community."

Rivera said he got into the automobile business with the help of friends in the industry.

"When you get into the business, you get opportunities to help also the towns that you're doing business, so you know, it's also opportunities that I have to help others, so why not?"

The town board voted 7-0 to rezone parts of the 8.1-acre property to allow expansion of an existing building and construction of a new one.

Rivera, dressed in a white open-collar shirt and tan jacket, sat with his lawyer and business partners during the 10-minute meeting but did not address the board. He later posed for pictures and signed autographs for Brookhaven officials and about a dozen fans who attended the meeting.

Town board members greeted Rivera warmly and wished him luck.

"I see all the cameras are here," Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said. "We're very thankful that you showed up and very grateful."

Councilman Dan Panico noted the proposal had faced no opposition from residents. "This man has the golden touch," he said. 

The dealership would be built at an existing car dealer site at 1435 Route 112.

Rivera's lawyer, Don King of Kings Park, said Wednesday that the pitcher's group agreed to reduce the size of a proposed service and sales building from 50,000 square feet to 35,000 square feet.

“The neighbors requested it and they asked if we could do something smaller, and we said we would if we could get permission from Honda, which we did,” King said. “They were happy to do it.”

In addition to the sales and service building, Rivera wants to expand an existing 6,425-square-foot auxiliary building by about 33 percent and to increase the parking lot's capacity to approximately 353 vehicles.

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