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'No Mall Here' Campaign Revamped

In the wake of Sunday's upcoming rally, opposing sides meet and discuss the Robbins Lane mall project.

The mall debate is back.

The Long Island Regional Economic Council met Wednesday to discuss the pros and cons of building a mall at the old in Syosset. Developers from Taubmann Properties and representatives from the Cerro Wire Coalition met and continued the 17-year debate at Molloy College in Rockville Centre.

"There [are] traffic concerns, crime concerns…Traffic congestion projects 4,500 cars per hour at prime time on Robbins Lane," said Todd Fabricant, chairman of the Cerro Wire Coalition, a group of community members and merchants against the project. "It is not an appropriate project for the area."

The Cerro Wire Coalition cites safety issues regarding traffic and the property's "close proximity to and ," decreasing property values, and "increased noise and air pollution" in their many reasons for why the mall is a bad idea.

Taubmann disagrees, saying the modern mall with about 150 retailers, would enhance the community while creating much needed jobs. 

Among retailers who have signed on to build new locations at the mall is Lord & Taylor, who looks forward to building in Syosset.

"We're very excited about plans for a new Lord & Taylor in as vibrant a community as Syosset," said Jane T. Elfers, Lord & Taylor president and chief executive officer. "We look forward to continuing our strong ties to the area and welcoming its residents to a beautiful new store."

"Lord & Taylor [is]... synonymous with the type of shopping experience we are seeking to create at The Mall at Oyster Bay," said Taubmann's senior vice president of development Harry Murphy. "Our goal is to create a mix of the finest retail, making this shopping center a true world- class shopping destination."

Whether or not the opposing forces come to an agreement, progress will not be seen for some time. After losing two court cases, Taubmann is still garnering support for the mall, and Cerro Wire Coalition is offering alternative plans including senior housing, next generation housing, a hotel and office buildings.

According to TOBAY Supervisor Jon Venditto, more discussions are needed before moving forward with the project.

"Unless any further discussions deal with alternate development, I seriously doubt they will be productive," Venditto said in a statement today.

In the meantime, Cerro Wire Coalition is planning a rally Sunday at 12 p.m. near the property on Robbins Lane.

"The rally is to show legislators how steadfast they must be in their opposition to…this project," said Fabricant.

Doris Steiner November 04, 2011 at 02:13 AM
I don't understand the opposition to this project. It doesn't make any sense. Here's a blighted site and a guy who's willing to put his own money on the line to create a beautiful asset in our community (unlike Mr. Wang). And enough of this Mega-Mall nonsense, the thing is smaller than Walt Whitman, more like a boutique mall. Something doesn't smell right about this Cerro Wire Coalition, seems manufactured. I would love this in my backyard
Doris Steiner November 05, 2011 at 03:03 AM
The mall sounds like a great project, better than the site that's there. And this Alternate Development with its "Affordable Housing" component. Affordable housing in Syosset, come on, what is Venditto thinking
TheGreek November 06, 2011 at 06:10 AM
By itself “Affordable Housing” is a joke. Consider this. As a good capitalist, the developer wants to make as much as he can with each property. Currently the maximum profit per unit of land is achieved by building the biggest McMansion that will legally fit on that property. If the property is big enough, then subdivide and build more houses. To make the same or more profit per acre with “Affordable Housing” the density needs to be much higher than overpriced single family dwellings. High density development starts the neighborhood screaming about hot button issues (real or imagined) like school overcrowding, automobile traffic, sewer capacity and concerns over environmental impact when the real issues are property values being reduced and “poor people” or the “wrong kind of people” moving in nearby. The fact that this mall has made no progress for 17 years proves that a small band of highly vocal and well funded NIMBY’s can stop any development. If I was paying the taxes on land that was undeveloped, I would never have waited 17 years. I’d take my investment elsewhere, which is why Long Island gets NO new industry and no new jobs. Get real people. We have to find some middle ground because if we keep stalling every development project the developers WILL go elsewhere eventually. The only reason Taubman is still here is that they can’t find another developer willing to buy that NIMBY cursed property.
TheGreek November 06, 2011 at 06:26 AM
Because of it’s proximity to the Long Island Expressway and because the Long Island Rail Road runs right through this property, what should be built there is an intermodal rail yard. That is a place where they transfer containers from trains to trucks. This would relieve congestion on the LIE west of this property. http://www.mccannspiggyback.com/page5.html says: A Single Intermodal Train Can Remove As Many As 280 Trucks From the Highways. The EPA has stated that locomotives are about three times cleaner than trucks on the basis of air emissions per ton moved. Another intermodal rail yard should be built at Calverton.
Ernie Gulotta November 07, 2011 at 04:42 PM
People need to realize that this mall will not generate the new tax revenues that Taubman is claiming. People will still spend the same amount of money. This will just take revenues away from already existing neighborhood stores. Not to mention the fact that there is already way too much retail in the area. I have no opposition to building something there. God knows its hideous as is but build something the community needs and wants.

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