4K Medical Building at former Ben’s Paints Site

At our June 15, 2023 regular meeting, the Middle Island Civic Association reviewed the project called 4K Property Management, LLC. The project is located at 217 Middle Country Road, on the 1.77 acre site once home to Ben’s Paints and Hardware Store. This family business was destroyed by fire and mired in frustrating bureaucracies for many years.

Mr. Chris LaBatte, of LabCrew Engineering, PC, led a good discussion and answered many civic members’ questions.  We note this will be a 9,000 sq ft single story building with basement and sprinklers.  It is intended for use as medical offices, not retail. The design is pleasing, several existing trees will be retained, and many native plants are included in the landscape plan.

MICA asks that the bottom stone detail of the building, depicted as gray in the elevations, instead incorporate a reddish brick to coordinate with the brick buildings on either side of the site.  We wonder if the rear/northern parking stalls might be land banked. We would like to know about any proposed tenants and any other businesses in Brookhaven operated by parcel owner Kokolakis Caliopi.

A final, and perhaps major, concern was expressed by our essential community partners, the Middle Island Fire Department.  MIFD would like a fire hydrant installed at the site.  

On February 21, 2024 at 2pm, the Brookhaven Town Board of Zoning Appeals will hold a public hearing on five needed variances: minimum side yard setback (10′ required, 4′ provided to dumpster); side yard transition between districts (25′ required, 4′ provided from dumpster and 10′ provided from building); half of all landscaping/natural area in front yard (7,618.12 sq. ft. required, 2,311.5 sq. ft. provided); landscaped strip between parallel parking rows (10′ wide required, none provided); and minimum residential buffer to residential use ( 25′ required, 4′ provided to the west property line and 8′ to the east provided.)

None of these concerns is insurmountable, and we are eager to help move this project forward. The parcel has been empty for too long.  It will be wonderful to have new, successful development back at the spot on our Main Street where Ben’s served Middle Island for decades.