Written by Betsy Abraham Thursday, 25 July 2013 00:00
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency (NCIDA) recently announced the approval of an economic development compact that allows MPA Owners, LLC to demolish two buildings on Post Avenue. In their place, the company will construct a new building with 10 one-bedroom rental apartments and four stores.
The project is expected to cost $1.9 million and generate $1.8 million for the local economy.
The news is exciting for many in Westbury, as the village has been focusing on revitalizing the downtown. All eyes are on The Space at Westbury, slated to open later this summer, and several new businesses, including a café, small clothing retailer and wine and tapas restaurant, are already looking to move in to the surrounding areas.
Westbury’s Business Improvement District (BID) recently conducted a survey asking Westbury residents and business owners what they would like to see more of in the village. Sanitation and security were the main concerns for the 100 people who responded.
In the past year the BID added four trash receptacles along Post Avenue and is hoping to add two more within a year. Jamaica Ash is now making an additional pick-up downtown each weekend. The BID also hired an independent contractor to sweep and remove litter on Post Avenue several times a week.
In regards to security, the BID pays for village personnel to patrol the area, both in vehicles and on foot. The village has also set up a security hotline to which residents can report any concerns: 333-1869.
“The security issue is more perception than reality,” said Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro, explaining that nightly reports, which the village has been tracking for several years, show no cause for alarm. At the same time, “We do want to promote a feeling of safety and security and will be looking to enhance that,” he added. “The reality is that Post Avenue is very safe.”
The new project will breathe new life into two commercial sites, continuing the revitalization with four retail spaces. According to the BID, there are not many open sites for new businesses in downtown Westbury.
“The village’s downtown business district has a very low vacancy rate, especially as compared to other villages, cities and the national average,” said Dawn Blinn, executive director of the BID.
Even the four empty storefronts currently on Post Avenue won’t stay empty for long. “At this time, some of the storefronts that appear vacant have already been rented or sold and have new business coming in,” Blinn added.
With four retail sites anchoring the project, the BID survey also asked local residents what types of businesses they’d like to see on Post Ave. Eateries such as cafes, pubs, specialty delis, boutique restaurants and an ice cream parlor were popular answers, along with gift shops, shoe stores and specialty meat and cheese shops.
Additionally, the survey showed a strong desire for the downtown to host more community-building events, such as street fairs, movie nights and concerts.