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St. James Shopping Center Stripped Bare [Empty in Smithtown]

The Shoppes at Green Hills has a lot of more empty storefronts. What's to be done?

Of the 13 stores in St. James strip-mall The Shoppes at Green Hills, five are empty. But to look at it you'd think a larger chunk of it had gone dark.

That's mostly due to this summer, which left a huge hole in the shopping center located at 556 Route 25A. It was the largest tenant there.

But the emptying started before Energy left.

Sylvan Learning center closed down, as did the Bagel Cafe, a family run joint that had operated there for years.

The St. James location for Realtors office RE/MAX also moved to 177 West Main Street in Smithtown. According to RE/MAX, the move happened because the company expanded and needed a larger space.

Though perhaps oldest vacancy Cool Beanz coffee house has the most resonance with locals. A cozy alternative shop that once hosted local artist events and open mics in addition to serving coffee and wine, Cool Beanz was a local staple. It also made national headlines when a van that was driven by a dog crashed into the storefront.

The dog's owner had locked his dog, Bently, in the car, while it was running, when Bently knocked the transmission into drive.

Today, much of the space is managed by Garritano Realty Group, which according to LoopNet is leasing space at $25 a square foot a year.

Businesses such as Empire Ginger, a Chinese restaurant, Kirin Hibachi and Stony Brook Hollow Pre-School are still operating at the strip mall.

There's a lot that needs filling there: What does St. James need?

Nick Metrowsky October 24, 2011 at 06:42 PM
As these articles are very informative, one has to wonder why the Town of Smithtown allowed so much development? Apparently, developers just built, but all the Town saw were more tax income. Now, the Town has a number of empty stores and professional building; no tax revenues and eye sores. This is the side effect of the housing bubble, too much cheap and easy to get money loaned to entities that should have not been financed, so Wall Street could play with the money like it was Las Vegas. And those who lent the money are hoping fro another government bailout. Maybe, some of these places should be leveled and return the land to open space or vest pocket parks. Considering that some of the land is going to be developed at the former Kings Park State Hospital site, trying to fill the vacanciesmay take years or not happen at all.
Rich Garton October 24, 2011 at 07:16 PM
When do all you residents get the picture and realize that most aging babyboomers no longer can sustain a nice lifestyle on Long Island. Having moved from Smithtown in 97 to the Charlotte area was the best thing I did in my life. Metro Charlotte offers nice homes clean attractive shopping, plenty to do. The best thing is my taxes went from 12000 to 1775. For the life of me I dont know what keeps people on Long Island other than family. Wake up Levi
Rich Garton October 24, 2011 at 07:19 PM
Oh and another thing. NO SNOW SHOVELING
George October 25, 2011 at 12:40 PM
Rich Garton, it's hard to argue with your reasoning, and you are right, family! By the way, can you clarify what services/amenities you do not have in Charlotte vs. Smithtown that you miss?
Rich Garton October 26, 2011 at 05:54 PM
Clarification. Go along Jericho Turnpike it is old and delapidated. Each and every time you want to leave Long Island for other destinations you have to pay homage to NYC. For the money you get a lot more bang for the buck. Do I miss LI? Not really, I do miss Robert Moses but we have the Carolina coast with great clean beaches and not bone chilling water. All and all the lifestyle is decent compared to LI which has become just for the upper middle and rich class. Take a trip its only 160 on average to Charlotte which looks like a clean mini Manhattan. In closing the medical is excellent. My doctors are former LI and Jersey who got smart years ago Good Luck
Rich Garton October 26, 2011 at 06:00 PM
The bigger trend now is for transplant to move just over the border into SC which has lower taxes and you are close enough to Charlotte for great shopping and restuarants. Do I miss Smithtown Not really to much to explore here by yall
Cathy November 03, 2011 at 09:46 AM
If you go to Huntington Village, the town is thriving. What have they done so well that Smithtown has not?
Jonathan Vecchi November 10, 2011 at 02:28 AM
I think one real advantage of Huntington Village is that they have all of their shops centrally located in one area and have shops on both sides of the road. This maximizes foot traffic and allows for a more enjoyable experience, and allows walkins for businesses. When you think of going to some place in Smithtown, you have one location in mind and do not venture from that goal. If you are in Huntington or Port Jeff, you may go for the ambiance and window shop. Smithtown would need a complete reworking to get on that level in my opinion.
Whisper January 13, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Rich doesn't miss Smithtown but he keeps reading the local news. Sorry to hear that moving was the highlight of his life.
E Baum January 25, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Family, friends, wonderful parks, close town beaches, close ocean beaches, cultural venues- art, music, museums- minutes away, terrific restaurants, Manhattan, specialty hospitals, outstanding doctors, seasons, garbage pick-up, soon to be updated local libraries, the New York attitude, the energy...

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