Construction has finally started on a new shopping center in Westhampton Beach that is expected to be anchored by a new CVS Pharmacy, following nearly a decade of delays and debate about how to redevelop the former Sunset Avenue bowling alley.
Last week, construction trucks were observed excavating dirt on the 1.8-acre property and completing minor renovations to the preexisting and now gutted 20,000-square-foot building that stands on it. Once finished, the old bowling alley building will likely be home to a new 10,000-square-foot CVS Pharmacy, as well as several smaller shops, along with a 50-seat restaurant.
The property owner, Sunset West LLC., now has 15 months to complete phase one of the project, work that includes the completion of renovations to the main building and the installation of landscaping. Phase one also requires the burying of power lines along the west side of Sunset Avenue, as well as the repaving of the parking lot.
That work must be finished before ground can be broken on two additional retail buildings that will eventually be constructed on the northern end of the property and closest to Mill Road. Their construction is included in phases two and three of the work.
“They are very excited about moving forward,” said John Bennett, the Southampton-based attorney representing Sunset West LLC, when reached on Monday. “It has been a long process but it will be great in the end.”
The project was approved by the Westhampton Beach Planning Board in March, with the applicant filing all of the necessary paperwork to receive a permit this past September. According to Westhampton Beach Building Administrator Paul Houlihan, the final permits were authorized by the village on October 6.
It remains unclear when construction will begin on the two new buildings.