A Flanders developer who had previously proposed four small stores, including a Subway sandwich shop, on a parcel on the corner of Flanders Road and Glider Avenue has now changed that plan, and is instead proposing a small grocery store.
The proposed 6,000-square foot grocery store, a use residents have been calling for in the Flanders/Riverside area, will be the same square footage as the four stores in the prior application, but will be in a different configuration, said developer Roussi Mitev.
“It’s going to be like a small grocery store,” Mr. Mitev said in an interview, adding that he’s had discussion with local civic leaders who suggested the grocery store.
“I decided to go with it,” he said. “I liked their idea.”
He hasn’t chosen an operator for the proposed grocery store, although he said he plans to speak with the owners of some East End grocers.
“I’d like to make something different,” he said. “To have better food than most stores, not manufactured food. I’d like to have a deli with real Polish food, real Italian food.”
The property — just over two-thirds of an acre — currently has a house, a garage and small shed by the road, and all of that will get knocked down to make way for the proposed grocery store, he said.
“It will be something like an IGA,” he said. “I don’t have a name for it now, but I will talk to the community and get their input. I want to build something nice here.”
Mr. Mitev recently showed his new plan to Southampton Town’s Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Citizens Advisory Committee.
“We’re all in favor of him building his commercial building there, whether it be four smaller stores or a grocery store. That’s really up to him,” said Vince Taldone, the president of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association, who attended the CAC meeting.
“The people who live there would really rather have a grocery store. That’s something people have been saying forever, because not everybody wants to go up to Route 58 all the time, especially people with smaller households who don’t buy a lot of stuff. Everyone I know there either goes to Hampton Bays or to Route 58 for groceries.”
Mr. Taldone said Mr. Mitev is local and has been in the area for years.
“He’s a good guy. We’re all supporting him and hopefully, he can pull it together for the grocery store.”
Southampton Town planner Clare Vail said the town has had discussions with Mr. Mitev about changes to his application but he hasn’t formally submitted the new plans. The town had questions about issues such as traffic in the prior application, and those questions will remain, she said, adding that Glider Avenue is a narrow road and will likely need to be widened to accommodate the grocery store.
A grocery store also will require more parking spaces that the four retail spaces would, she said.
The property is zoned Village Business and a grocery store is a permitted use in that zone, according to the town zoning code.
Captions: A rendering of the market on Flanders Road as seen from the north. (Courtesy image), The existing farm stand and small house on the property will be knocked down. (Credit: Tim Gannon)