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Babylon chooses developer for struggling intersection

Redevelopment is planned for the intersection of Great

Redevelopment is planned for the intersection of Great Neck Road and Albany Avenue in North Amityville. (Feb. 21, 2013) Credit: Johnny Milano

The Babylon Town Board has awarded a contract for development to an Illinois-based company that plans to put retail businesses and medical services at a key North Amityville intersection.

Summit Real Estate has agreed to pay $1.55 million for 2.7 acres of town-owned land and development rights at Great Neck Road and Albany Avenue, rehabilitating a closed Rite-Aid store on the southwest corner and building on the vacant northwest corner.

Possible tenants include supermarkets such as Met Food, convenience stores and quick-service restaurants such as Applebee's, along with medical and dental offices, company officials said.

In a presentation to the board earlier this year, members of Summit's team said their project would bring basic retail businesses and about 68 jobs to an area that is short on both.

Hamlet residents are more than twice as likely to live in poverty as Suffolk County residents overall, according to the 2010 census, and many say they must travel to buy groceries because there are no nearby supermarkets.

Amityville schools Superintendent John Williams, a member of a community committee that made recommendations about development for the crossing, said the plan was "consistent with what we'd heard from the public. It's what we wanted to see there."

Leonard Canton Jr., another committee member and chairman of the North Amityville Community Economic Council, said he wanted to see some role for locally owned businesses; and he won't celebrate the jobs until he finds out how much they pay.

"If I was a young man in my 20s or 30s and I wanted to do something with my life," he said, minimum wage "would tell me I can't do anything."

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