The owners of a Montauk Highway property in Westhampton Beach have demolished a building that housed a photo developing shop for close to 20 years to make way for retail businesses and medical offices.
Paul Pawlowski, a North Fork developer, purchased the 1.59-acre parcel that sits south of the highway between Sunset Avenue and Beach Road in December 2012 with his partner, Kenneth Ballato, a Westhampton Beach resident. Their plans call for the construction of a 12,120-square-foot building, which is five times larger than the 2,400-square-foot structure it is replacing and most recently leased by Beach Hampton One-Hour Photo. A 1,500-square-foot home on the property was also demolished last week.
Mr. Pawlowski first submitted the plans to the Westhampton Beach Village Planning Board in January. Building Inspector Paul Houlihan said he expects the board to approve the site plan, which it has reviewed, after the Suffolk County Health Department signs off. If it is approved, the developers can then apply for a building permit and begin construction, he said.
“There is definitely a need for more medical space,” Mr. Pawlowski said, adding that they hope to break ground in July. He estimated that the construction will take six to eight months to complete.
The owner of Beach Hampton Photo could not be reached for comment.
Mr. Houlihan said the business had been operating on a month-to-month lease and closed its doors within the past month.
Jude Lyons, a Westhampton Beach real estate agent, said she used to visit the store to send and receive faxes, and develop her photos before the age of digital photography. Though she hadn’t used the shop in years, she is sad to see the business leave for sentimental reasons.
Though his plans outline space for as many as six tenants, each with 2,000-square-foot shops, Mr. Pawlowski said the sizes could be modified to accommodate those leasing the space. If there is interest from a business or practitioner to rent more space, the interior walls can be adjusted, he explained.
The property is zoned B-2 business, which permits physicians, dentists and other health practitioner offices and various retail uses. Mr. Pawlowski said he and Mr. Ballato have received quite a bit of interest in the site, though he does not yet have any tenants lined up.
The plans allocate space for 67 parking spots along the side and the rear of the building, which will feature clapboard siding and a bluestone foundation. The plans also detail a line of trees in front of the buildings, with shrubs and plants along the perimeter of the property.
“It’s been a very good process with the Planning Board and the Architectural Review Board,” Mr. Pawlowski said, adding that both boards, and the village administrators, have been easy to work with.