After months of speculation and concern about the company’s plans for the old Commack Multiplex Cinemas site, home-improvement giant Lowe’s Tuesday took a major step toward building a new store there, Smithtown’s top planning official said.
The company paid a $50,000 site-plan fee and submitted a revised plan to construct a building of more than 100,000 square feet on the property, Smithtown Town planning director Frank DeRubeis said. Payment of the fee erases any uncertainty over whether Lowe’s would pursue plans to build on the site, near the Long Island Expressway and Sagtikos Parkway, he said.
“That’s a good sign because it shows that they’re serious,” DeRubeis said.
Lowe’s did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Plans for Lowe’s to buy the 20-acre movie theater parcel had been announced in May 2010. But the company’s plans became unclear last fall when it halted construction of a new store in Huntington Station and announced plans to shutter 20 underperforming stores in 15 states.
Before seeking approval for its site plans, Lowe’s must obtain a variance from the Smithtown Board of Zoning Appeals for a new parking plan, DeRubeis said. The town’s Conservation Advisory Committee and Department of Environment and Waterways will decide whether to order Lowe’s to prepare an environmental-impact statement, he said.