Many residents support the plan to rebuild a stretch of Neighborhood Road, Mastic...

Many residents support the plan to rebuild a stretch of Neighborhood Road, Mastic Beach's main street, with new homes, stores, restaurants, medical clinics, banks and offices. Credit: John Roca

The Lindsor Torres bar has gone by different names, but it has been in the same spot on Neighborhood Road in Mastic Beach for eight decades.

That could change in a few years when the blighted downtown is redeveloped — and that's OK with Ava Torres, who has owned the pub for 24 years.

"I'm ready to retire," she said.

Torres and many residents of the former incorporated village support Brookhaven Town's plan to rebuild a half-mile stretch of Neighborhood Road, Mastic Beach's main street, with a mix of new homes, stores, restaurants, medical clinics, banks and offices.

Those plans advanced Nov. 30 when the town board voted 7-0 to designate Jericho-based real estate company Beechwood Organization as the project's master developer.

Beechwood will seek to negotiate with landowners to buy up to 140 downtown properties, most of them aging businesses and vacant lots, town officials said.

“We reaffirmed our commitment to the overall development of Mastic Beach,” said Councilman Dan Panico, who represents the hamlet on the town board.

Panico, a Republican who will be sworn in as town supervisor next month, added Beechwood and town officials envision the hamlet of about 15,000 people as a "vibrant and bustling neighborhood with a downtown that people can be proud of.”

Officials and residents who have seen preliminary plans said they include first-floor businesses with townhouses and condominiums on two or three upper stories.

Specific plans should be unveiled in the first six months of 2024, Panico said.

The redevelopment has had broad support from residents and business leaders who have said the downtown is long overdue for a facelift.

"I think it's going to be a fantastic project. I just can’t wait for it to get started,” said Robert Miller, who served as mayor of Mastic Beach before the village disbanded in December 2017 amid political and fiscal strife. 

Maura Spery, another former mayor, said she preferred an earlier plan that called for two-story buildings, but she is not opposed to taller structures.

“I’ll take what Beechwood is doing," said Spery, president of the Mastic Beach Conservancy, which is leading cleanups of nearby waterways. “[Some] people want to go back [to the way Mastic Beach used to be], and I say, in a way, it is going back. It’s going to be a place where people are going to want to be in.”

Torres, president of the hamlet's chamber of commerce, said many business owners appear willing to discuss selling their properties. But some are concerned about receiving fair value, she said.

“I cannot speak for everyone in the chamber," Torres said. "I do not have a problem with Beechwood per se. What I have a problem with is ... that we will all be paid appropriately for our property.”

She said she was approached by Beechwood about a year ago but has not heard from the developer since.

Beechwood principal Steven Dubb said the company plans to "work closely with each owner and [treat them] with great respect for their distinct needs."

"Each property is unique," Dubb said. "We continue to do our utmost to answer every question asked and to be available both one-on-one and in group updates."

About Mastic Beach

Population (2021): 15,333

Median household income (2021): $92,778 (Suffolk County: $122,498)

Median property value (2021): $249,700 (Suffolk: $490,800)

Poverty rate (2021): 18.8% (Suffolk: 6.4%)

SOURCES: datausa, United States Census Bureau

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