Deal made to preserve Sound Avenue property, paving the way for 9/11 park

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The property at the corner of Park Road and Sound Avenue.

Suffolk County officials confirmed Tuesday night that a deal has been made to preserve the 4-acre property at the northeast corner of Park Road and Sound Avenue in Reeves Park, which had been slated for commercial development.

North Fork County Legislator Ed Romaine said his office was contacted Monday about the agreement made between the county and the property’s owner, Kenn Barra. Mr. Barra, who also owns East Wind Catering in Wading River, had long planned to build a 28,000-square-foot retail center at the site.

“This is part of my overall plan to preserve as much of Sound Avenue and keep its rural character,” Mr. Romaine said.

While the legislator said he couldn’t confirm the sale price, he estimates the deal was for about $1.2 million. Mr. Barra declined a telephone interview Tuesday evening.

The county intends to build a 9/11 memorial park on the property honoring Lt. Thomas Kelly, a New York City firefighter from Reeves Park, who was killed in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

Mr. Kelly’s brother, Bob, said he was glad to hear about Mr. Barra’s decision to sell the property for preservation.

“I know my brother is happy right now,” he said.

Mr. Romaine said the memorial plan includes carving out trails in the woods and building reflecting areas around the property for visitors to pay their respects to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“This will be the perfect place for it,” Mr. Romaine said, adding that he hopes the park will be completed before next fall.

Eric Biegler, president of the Sound Park Heights Civic Association, said he is pleased the community’s eight-year effort to preserve the land has come to fruition.

“I’m glad everyone came to this conclusion because we can do something really nice out there,” Mr. Biegler said.

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