Lofts proposed at former cinema site

Public hearing held with opposition

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New plans have been submitted for the former Islip Cinemas building during a public hearing held at the Town of Islip Planning Board meeting on Oct. 13.

Global Team LI LLC is requesting a change of zone at 410 Main Street in Islip for an overlay of planned Landmark Preservation District and a Town Board special permit pursuant to Town Code 68-451.A (3) in order to modify the density and dimensional requirements of the existing Business District for a mixed-use building. The applicant is further requesting a Certificate of Appropriateness for the material change of appearance for the existing building.

During the applicant’s presentation, the company’s representative, Guy W. Germano, spoke about what they hope to do with the space.

“[The] applicant seeks approval to reuse and renovate the Islip Theatre built in 1947 and located at 110 East Main Street in order to provide for a 2,900-plus-or-minus-square-foot ground floor restaurant with an open garden entrance and 23 apartment units,” Germano said.

“The concept of adaptive reuse of the existing theatre would result in the preservation of the building on the west end of Main Street, which will present as a bookend to its counterpart the Meridian law lofts. The project seeks to attract young professionals by creating attractive apartments using the existing footprint of the building and beautifying the existing brick façade, while celebrating the building’s 75-year-old history.”

During the public hearing portion of the meeting, residents voiced concerns about parking for the proposed restaurant and lofts.

Linda Linsenbarth, owner of Sew What’s New and Yarn Too!, which is across the street from the building, said she hopes concessions will be made to ensure her customers still have parking while the site is under construction. She noted that she has an older clientele who need to park close to her store to not be inconvenienced.

Residents of Smith Avenue, which butts up against the building, also voiced their concerns about parking once the lofts and restaurant are open. They noted that Smith Avenue is already narrow and the traffic study was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic while many people were working from home.

At the end of the meeting, the planning board closed the public hearing and reserved a decision on the application so they could consider the comments they heard from the community. 

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