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May 29, 2019 10:10 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Planning Board Takes Early Look At Proposal For CVS In Hampton Bays Movie Theater Space

The owner of the building where the Hampton Bays United Artists movie theater is located, is looking at renovating the space to accomodate a CVS drugstore. GREG WEHNER
May 29, 2019 11:06 AM

An application to convert the Hampton Bays movie theater into a CVS pharmacy seemed to inspire wistfulness in members of the Southampton Town Planning Board at a work session last Thursday, May 23.

“It’s really the last movie theater in Hampton Bays,” said Planning Board member Robin Long. “It’s one of the few places where kids can go, and it’s gone for a CVS.”

“It is a loss to the community, there’s no doubt about it,” said the board’s chairwoman, Jacqui Lofaro. The owner of the building where the Hampton Bays United Artists movie theater is located has an application to convert the 14,886-square-foot theater into a drugstore operated by CVS. The movie theater is currently zoned for village business, and operates as an allowed use. Also allowed under the same use is a drugstore.

According to Southampton Town records, the property is owned by a property management company called WDP Enterprises.

Some Planning Board members expressed concern about the potential change, but when it came to questions about why the property owner wanted to bring a CVS to Hampton Bays, Elizabeth Vail, a lawyer with Farrell Fritz attorneys, said she could not say. “Our client has nothing to do with the potential vacancy of this site,” Ms. Vail said.

Planning Board member Phil Keith said he was curious about the motivation to convert the movie theater into a drugstore and John Zuccarelli, another member of the board, said he was concerned with the size of the proposed drugstore.

“Why does a pharmacist need almost 15,000 square feet?” he asked. “It doesn’t seem like a pharmacy would be there predominantly. The point is, we have, presently, pharmacies there that are probably one-fifth of this … I think it’s much too large.”

As board members continued to pose questions, they began looking for sections of the zoning code that would prevent CVS from moving into the space. In particular, they said, “community” was a standard that they would weigh when considering an application.

Mr. Zuccarelli said he would rather see three or four retail stores in the movie theater space to accommodate the community.

“I’d like to hear the business need for a second drugstore,” said Glorian Berk, another Planning Board member. “‘Is it a viable business use?’ is where I’m coming from. I know it’s allowed.”

Ms. Lofaro reminded the other board members that they can only apply such standards when making a determination on an application.

A pre-submission public hearing on the application is scheduled for June 27 at Town Hall.

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Bring back Ed’s Bay Pub, it was a very popular bar in that mall back in the good old days.
By Non-Political (125), Hampton Bays on May 29, 19 1:16 PM
Besides CVS being expensive, they would possibly cause other businesses to close because they sell more than just medications. Little by little and store by store Hampton Bays is turning into Rt 58.
By Resident tax (186), Hampton bays ny on May 29, 19 1:41 PM
More opioids. Less for kids to do. Great plan guys!
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on May 29, 19 1:46 PM
1 member liked this comment
Please take a look at how many vacancies there are already in Hampton Bays. If UA Theaters are not renewing their lease- and you really can't force them to - do you really think it is better that we have another vacancy? CVS might not be everyone's choice - but it is a national company that can survive. King Kullen has sold to Stop & Shop - do you really think that they are going to have 3 Stop & Shop's in Hampton Bays? The diner is still empty, Citibank is still empty....do I need to continue? ...more
By Hampton Bays resident (12), Hampton Bays on May 29, 19 2:06 PM
2 members liked this comment
lets get shop rite to move in to the king kullen space. shop rite in riverhead (former waldbaums) is so much better than stopnshop.

i do all my shopping there now its so clean and nice its well worth the drive and the few dollars more to go to river head a few times a week!
By Erin 27 E (1281), hampton bays on May 29, 19 4:04 PM
2 members liked this comment
No, sadly, you do not need to continue. Lots of empty retail space around. I could add that the former Center Island pharmacy in the Wild By Nature shopping center is also still empty. And yet Hampton Bays still has 3 pharmacies: Rite Aid, Liggetts, and the pharmacy in Stop N Shop. Surely we don't need another!
But CVS has been moving into towns that already have a Rite Aid; it seems to be a deliberate strategy. They opened in the old bowling alley in Westhampton Beach last year, don't ask me ...more
By SilverSnail (16), Hampton Bays on May 29, 19 7:44 PM
None of us - the Planning Board included- controls the destiny of locations like this. Communities can set standards and impose rules, but ultimately the outcomes (including permanent vacancy, if the rules are too rigidly applied) are determined by the laws of supply and demand. Movie theaters need ticket buyers, and entertainment is increasingly at home. Retail is moving online. Major chains will outcompete most independents. These are forces well outside the control of the Planning Board. ...more
By CPalmer (122), Southampton on May 29, 19 3:53 PM
2 members liked this comment
I agree, hard to swallow, BUT an empty movie theater sitting there would be much worse than a CVS (which I agree is not wanted or needed). It's really a shame what is happening all over, but we need to adjust, unfortunately.
By HamptonDad (236), Hampton Bays on May 29, 19 5:15 PM
1 member liked this comment
The movie theater has become a rip off. Doesn't surprise me.
By rrrglynnn (23), Hampton Bays on May 29, 19 5:04 PM
2 members liked this comment
How about a luncheonette attached to the pharmacy?
By Infoseeker (280), Hampton Bays on May 29, 19 6:10 PM
That whole plaza is a dump attracting seedy characters. Any one wanting to open a store there should require the owners of the property to work closely with police to clean it up as far a crimes are concerned and hire private security as a deterent.

I only occasionally use that movie theater as the movies they show there are crap, as in Southampton. That would explain maybe the lack of income generated by the place. I find myself driving 40minutes to East Hampton to watch good movies ...more
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on May 29, 19 6:37 PM
2 members liked this comment
I drive to lowe's in stony brook and watch our movies in IMAX its the best
By Erin 27 E (1281), hampton bays on May 29, 19 7:21 PM
I think there is a chicken/egg problem here. Theatre companies can only purchase big hits for so many of their theaters...the most in-demand movies are expensively priced by their producers. East Hampton gets the best movies because that’s where the most ticket buyers are. Hampton Bays and Southampton dont have enough customers to justify expensive hit movies most of the time. I promise you they are not showing secondary movies because they are dumb.
By CPalmer (122), Southampton on May 30, 19 9:13 AM
For goodness sake, why can’t a Welcome Center/Tourist Center replace the movie theater? There is plenty of parking and God knows, this is desperately needed.
By murph (3), hampton bays on May 29, 19 11:11 PM
desperately needed ? for what purpose ?
By They call me (2826), southampton on May 30, 19 12:14 AM
A Welcome Center/Tourist Center run by who? Why does Hampton Bays or ANY place on the East End need anymore tourists. This is a Real Estate transaction between the landlord and any potential tenant. It’s called free enterprise and whether we like it or not,private property rights are still protected under the law.
By East End Gent (7), Sag Harbor on May 31, 19 10:49 AM
2 members liked this comment
Another drugstore is absurd.
By Infoseeker (280), Hampton Bays on May 30, 19 7:20 AM
1 member liked this comment
Rite Aid is more than enough! Movie theater was very good especially now that the 99cents store is gone. It came another pool store..the 8th or 9th in town.We have salons,barber salons pool stores and real estate the main businesses.At least diversify not another drug store! I feel like in Florida soon w drugstores all over the place!
By dany (33), Water Mill on May 30, 19 5:19 PM
A weed dispensary would do well there.
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on May 30, 19 10:23 PM
2 members liked this comment
It just seems as if CVS dots every corner of every town. I get it it as far as landlkrds are concerned, tbey can max out their rents, however what does it do for the town and surrouding businesses? Here's a longshot what about some sort of performing arts center for live acts, music, comedy and the like, similar to West Hampton? That would bring money into town for restaurants, bars, ice cream, whatever people do before and after. Seems like an ideal location with parking and accessable to the entire ...more
By joeg (31), Hampton Bays on Jun 1, 19 7:23 AM
1 member liked this comment
Is a landlord worried about benefitting the town and surrounding businesses, or making money?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jun 1, 19 7:27 AM
Town board once again failing the tax payers in HB. Where is Julie Lofstad on this or in fact any matters. Does she even talk or do anything for the tax payers? Another person getting paid to do absolutely nothing. Good job puppet.
By watchoutnow968 (56), Southampton on Jun 2, 19 8:21 AM
1 member liked this comment
This theater occasionally shows 'special event' re-releases like The Godfather and E.T., though they aren't well-publicized. (I'm on an email list for Regal or whoever sponsors them.) I wonder if it wouldn't do better if it converted to all re-releases, all the time? It's so much fun to see an old classic movie in an actual theater!
By Tay (35), Hampton Bays on Jun 14, 19 11:58 AM
Good location for an ICE Detention Center !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
By themarlinspike (542), Northern Hemisphere on Jun 14, 19 1:07 PM