Brookhaven News Herald Photos-Jim Harrison | Cover Photo: MICA President Gail Lynch-Bailey calls the special meeting to order. Story Photo: A resident asks questions about the expansion of Competition Toyota.
Middle Island - The Middle Island Civic Association (MICA) held a special meeting on Thursday evening to listen representatives from Competition Toyota and McDonald’s as they presented their plans for expansion and development in Middle Island.
Competition Toyota acquired vacant land across from their current location on the south side of Middle Country Road in 2009, with plans for expansion. Before they executed on that plan, the former PC Richard property, adjacent to the east, became available and Competition Toyota acquired that property.
Representatives of Competition Toyota stressed they were looking forward to continuing to be good neighbors within the community and were grateful for the input. They’ve been at the current location for about 20 years.
The expansion approval still must go before the Brookhaven Town planning board. Highlights of the plan include demolishing an existing 3000+square foot, free-standing building behind the existing Competition Toyota business, and the addition of service bays to the rear of the newly-acquired property. No service doors will be visible from the street.
Working with the state, there will be an adjustment to the curbing so that car hauler delivery trucks can make the turn onto the property to unload cars being delivered to the site, as opposed to unloading in the street.
It is anticipated that the expansion will bring an additional 15 jobs to the area; 11 in the service department, and four administrative/support positions.
MICA had initially endorsed the expansion in 2009, however their membership voted last night and once again gave their endorsement.
Peter Hunt of Hunt Enterprises, as well as representatives from McDonald’s Corporation presented plans for the construction of a new McDonald’s restaurant on a “pad” site located in front of the King Kullen Shopping Center on Middle Country Road. Hunt Enterprises currently operates approximately 27 McDonald’s restaurants on Long Island, several in Brookhaven Town.
Mr. Hunt’s company which owns and operates the McDonald’s restaurant in Ridge, will operate the new store in Middle Island. The Ridge store will be closed.
The representatives discussed potential resolution to issues that had previously been addressed by MICA members, including noise from the new restaurant, and litter containment.
The new restaurant will be located near the southwest corner of the property, in what is now a parking lot. The front of the store will face Middle Country Road, with the drive-thru window on the west side. There will be a front, pedestrian entrance, as well as a side entrance facing the east.
Residents in attendance voiced concerns over what they perceive to be inevitable traffic issues with respect to the ingress/egress to the shopping center from Woodville Road, combined with the anticipated traffic of the new restaurant. They also expressed concern about potential noise.
Under consideration as part of the plan is the construction of a six-foot high “waffle wall” which would help reduce noise for residents on Woodville Road.
A white picket fence will be erected around the property to help control litter. Additionally, employees and the shopping center owner will be responsible for assisting with the containment of litter blowing from outside of the restaurant into other areas, including across the street into the parklands.
The new store will be approximately 3911 square feet, and have seating for 74 patrons. Part of the plan may include the construction of a new bus stop on the north side of Middle Country Road in front of the shopping center. The new store will also be compliant with Dark Sky provisions of the town code.
There will not be driving access to the new restaurant from Middle Country Road. Rather, the entrance will be from the north side of the restaurant.
The MICA membership in attendance voted to endorse the plan for the new restaurant. The lease on the Ridge McDonald’s restaurant expires in 2016 and the Middle Island restaurant would be completed in time to make the move prior to that existing lease expiration.
The existing restaurant in Ridge currently employs approximately ten people per shift. Those employees are expected to make the transition to the new store.