Smithtown could see development — or at least progress on paper — at several sites in the coming months, Town Supervisor Edward Wehrheim said.
Wehrheim said representatives of Maserati, the maker of high-performance Italian automobiles, are in contact with town planners about a six-acre parcel at the northeast corner of Route 347 and Middle Country Road (Route 25), and used car seller CarMax is moving ahead with plans for a $20 million dealership where the Smithtown Concrete Products plant currently is. The owner of the former Nassau-Suffolk Lumber and Supply Corp. site on Main Street in Smithtown is in the final stages of town approval for a 62-unit residential project there.
“This is an aggressive agenda, but I believe at the end of the day, we’re going to be able to keep Smithtown the way residents want to see Smithtown, yet bring it into the 21st century,” Wehrheim said at a Kings Park Civic Association meeting last week, echoing comments he has made to chambers of commerce since taking office in January.
Maserati, whose U.S.-based spokesman did not respond to a request for comment, expressed interest but hasn’t submitted any application for the high-visibility location on the town’s “Car Row,” a two-mile stretch of Route 25 that is home to more than a dozen new car dealerships and is one of the busiest markets on Long Island. The company could have a neighbor in electric-car maker Tesla, which town officials say is the intended tenant for the former Sixth Avenue Electronics site at the southwest corner of the intersection.
CarMax would take over an 18-acre parcel at Middle Country Road and Montclair Avenue that Wehrheim said told civic association meeting attendees “has been an eyesore for years.” The company would raze the plant, build over a former municipal landfill at the site and install a methane monitoring system. The dealership would create 265 jobs. “We’re getting close,” said J. Timothy Shea, an attorney representing CarMax, adding that the company hoped to get site plan approval this spring.
“These are big names,” Wehrheim said in an interview Tuesday. “They bring people into this town . . . which can affect other businesses in a positive way.” The dealerships’ typically large showrooms also tend to generate high tax revenue without accompanying demand for municipal services, he said.
The apartment project, known as The Lofts at Maple and Main, has been in development for roughly a decade. Plans call for one mixed-use building with ground-floor retail, three apartment buildings and an on-site sewage treatment plant. Vincent Trimarco Sr., attorney for developer Salvatore DiCarlo, said construction could start late spring or summer.
Wehrheim said the apartments, with an estimated rent of $1,400, would be a “very good start for revitalization of the downtown business district.”
Sites in discussion
- Maserati: Northeast corner Route 347 and Middle Country Road
- CarMax: Northwest corner Middle Country Road and Montclair Avenue
- Lofts: Southwest corner West Main Street and Maple Avenue