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Community group: Compromises on LaGrange Inn site

West Islip's historic and long-shuttered LaGrange Inn.

West Islip's historic and long-shuttered LaGrange Inn. Credit: Sabrina de Sampaio, 2008

The president of a community group created to oppose the demolition of West Islip's historic and long-shuttered LaGrange Inn says he's reached compromises on several issues with officials who want to build a CVS pharmacy at the site.

Joe DeCarlo, president of the West Islip Association, said while CVS officials have agreed to make several accommodations -- including a 25-foot-wide buffer on the property line, and preserving the historic part of the inn and relocating it elsewhere on the property for use not yet determined -- the two parties still haven't reached an agreement on the proposed 24-hour drive-through window.

DeCarlo said the drive-through window's hours of operations should be limited. He said CVS officials have not agreed to close the window during late-night hours.

CVS spokesman Mike DeAngelis said yesterday it would be "premature" to comment on specifics of its negotiations because a conservative estimate wouldn't have the CVS opening for another year at least.

But, he said, CVS is "continuing to have constructive and productive dialogue with the association."

"Frankly, so far, they've been accommodating, with the exception of the 24-hour window," said DeCarlo, who said the group was formed in 2008 with the hope of restoring the inn, but has resigned itself to the reality that it would be too expensive for a restaurant or catering hall to restore the building. "Our goal now is to work out a good deal."

The association is holding a 7 p.m. meeting Thursday at the West Islip Library to brief residents on its negotiations with CVS.

The former catering hall, which dates to 1750 and has hosted scores of wedding receptions, Sweet 16 birthdays and community functions, could be torn down and replaced with a CVS pharmacy under a proposal being considered by the Islip Town Planning Board.

At a planning board meeting last year, representatives for Connecticut-based First Hartford Realty Corp. said it wants to develop a 16,000-square-foot CVS with a drive-through.

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