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Restaurant developer buys East Islip land

Restaurant developer John Bohlsen has purchased a parcel

Restaurant developer John Bohlsen has purchased a parcel of land in East Islip from Islip Town for $3.2 million. The town approved the sale in mid-August 2012. Bohlsen shows one of his Islip restaurants -- Tellers. Credit: Newsday, 1999 / Dick Kraus

Islip Town officials have approved the $3.2 million sale of a town-owned parcel in East Islip to a prominent restaurant developer.

John Bohlsen — whose Bohlsen Restaurant Group operates Monsoon in Babylon, H2O in Smithtown, Prime in Huntington, and Tellers and Verace in Islip — has entered into a contract with the town for the 2.45 acres at the corner of Carleton Avenue and Union Boulevard.

The site houses a 14,000-square-foot light-vehicle repair and maintenance shop for Islip's Department of Public Works. The shop and its workers will be relocated to the Central Islip Department of Public Works yard.

Bohlsen is purchasing the property through 100 Carleton Avenue Llc and has not determined how the property will be developed.

"We are very excited the Town of Islip has approved the potential sale of 100 Carleton Avenue in East Islip," John Bohlsen's son, Kurt, said in a statement. "We are at the start of due diligence and so these are early days. Presuming the go-ahead, we will develop the property for its best use."

The sale — approved last week in a unanimous vote — marks the second time this year town officials have sold property in an effort to address Islip's $26 million budget deficit. Last month the town sold a vacant 4-acre plot in Islandia for $503,100 to a company that plans to develop single-family homes.

Deputy Supervisor Trish Bergin Weichbrodt said the East Islip property was assessed at $2.7 million -- $500,000 less than the sale price. She said the property had two other offers. One, at $2.7 million, was from developers proposing to build a pharmacy and a bank, both with drive-through windows. Another developer offered $3 million but wanted zoning assurances, which town officials said they could not provide.

Any development at the property will have to be approved by the town planning board. The property is zoned for business purposes. The broker that handled the sale was paid a 5 percent commission by Bohlsen, Bergin Weichbrodt said.

"This is all about conservative government and putting property back on the tax rolls," she said.

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