Taco Bell, Raising Cane’s Chicken Among Restaurants Proposed For Vacant Property on Route 111 in Hauppauge

The Blockbuster closed down more than a decade ago and the Burger King followed suit in 2017 on a property on the southeast corner of Route 111 and Route 347 in Hauppauge that is now being slated for redevelopment after years of lying vacant.

A restaurant park is being proposed for a group of three contiguous lots off of Route 111 near the intersection of Route 347. The lots on the southeast corner of Route 111 will include three buildings that would house four restaurants, including a Taco Bell if developer J. Nazzaro Partnership LLC has its way. According to Newsday, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers will open one of its first outlets on Long Island in the new complex as well, if things go as planned.

As proposed to the Town of Smithtown in late June, at a public Planning Board meeting, the 4.18 acre-lot would be developed into 9,322-square-feet of commercial space for four tenants including two restaurants with drive throughs.

The parking lot would include 149 stalls, which as attorney David Altman, who represented the developer at the June 28th meeting, said is above the required 94 spots. The entrance to the site will be controlled by an existing traffic signal.

Altman also requested a change of zoning for the property from office business to neighborhood business. The property formerly housed the fast food restaurant, Blockbuster and two office buildings, all of which have been removed.

Residents came to the meeting to speak out against the plan for four new restaurants on Route 111.

Mary LaCarte, called herself an “unfortunate homeowner” who lives behind the lot on Apple Tree Drive. She referred to the plan as a “turnpike food area.” LaCarte voiced her opposition noting the noise, pests and strangers “50 feet from my house.”

Gary Fortmeyer, complained that when Blockbuster was built years ago the buffer zoone that was promised ended up being much less than he expected. Others echoed his concern.

“Why do you need another two restaurants 140 feet from my house?” asked Chris Kirby. He also complained about an increase in crime and pests due to the new proposed complex.

The buffer at its narrowest is 50 feet and is based on the conceptual plan submitted, not what would be approved. The planning board members promised the developer would be held to the minimum standards and may recommend an increase to that buffer to help mitigate the encroachment on neighbors behind the proposed restaurants.

Lauren Mazzie, whose home does not abut this new development, said in a previous proposal her house was left with no buffer.

“This buffer that everyone speaks of is not true,” she said. “I’m finding it hard to believe they will do the right thing by our residents.”

Altman responded by saying that there will be national chains operating the sites and will be accountable.

“They intend to be good neighbors and will be good neighbors,” he said.

We will update this story as it develops.

Photos: Shutterstock; Google Maps 2021.

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