Lowe's Submits Revised Plans for Smaller Commack Store

Home improvement company shrinks size of proposed store by more than 20,000-square-feet at Commack Cinemas to allegedly avoid high county fees.


Lowe's is taking the next step forward in converting the former Commack Cinemas into a massive home improvement center. 

Lowe's submitted revised building plans for a 166,000-square-foot  home improvement store and garden center to Smithtown Planning Department on Oct. 18. It will come up for a public hearing before the Planning Board on Nov. 7 and could be approved the same night. 

The home improvement franchise's newly revised plans shrink the size of the proposed store's retail area by 21,925 square feet, down from its inital plans for a 187,925-square-foot store. The proposed building would be more than double the size of Commack Cinemas Multiplex, which was  71,700-square-feet. 

Frank DeRubeis, Smithtown's Planner Director, said he believed the company reduced its original building planning to avoid paying part of the $680,000 impact assessment fee levied by Suffolk County Department of Public Works By shrinking the building, Lowe's could cut that fee in half, according to DeRubeis. 

A spokeswoman for Lowe's said the company is still going through the approval process for the Commack location and as such its policy is "not to comment until all matters are finished." 

Lowe's purchased the 20-acre property of the Commack Cinemas Multiplex in May 2010. The 15-screen theater was closed in September 2011 after more than 30 years in business. 

If Lowe's building plans gain the approval of Smithtown Planning Department, town board and Suffolk County Health Department, the company could begin demolition of the Commack landmark over the winter, according to DeRubeis. 

The building plans call for all existing structures to be demolished before constructing the new store with a 33,580-square-foot garden center. The entire project is estimated to cost $20 million, according to submitted plans. 

Along with the construction of the new building, traffic improvements would be made to the surrounding roadways including Henry Street and a new traffic signal on Crooked Hill Road. 

pbug56 October 24, 2012 at 08:32 PM
So to save a couple hundred grand on a $20 million project, they cut way back on the size of the store and as a result the number of people who would be employed, the amount of sales, the sales tax generated. Great job Smithtown! What's the expression - penny wise and pound foolish? In the meantime, I assume that Smithtown will continue to insist that the nearly useless traffic lights without turn arrows and without dedicated turn 'ramps' plus the mess that leads from CHR onto Commack Road don't need to be redone.


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