A groundbreaking ceremony was held last week for a new 7-Eleven and gas station at the gateway to Westhampton Beach, a project that has been in development for four years.
Developer Irwin R. Krasnow explained, at the ceremony on May 30 that his wife Robin Laveman said, ‘This would be a great location for a 7-Eleven!'” after driving down Old Riverhead Road, back and forth from their beach house in West Hampton Dunes.
“We saw this vacant lot in front of Metro Storage with access to the Westhampton Beach Train Station. I noticed there was a need for a modern convenience store with a gas station with easy access, great choice of food, beverages and sundry items, with fair and reasonable gas prices,” Krasnow said of the site at 107 Old Riverhead Road, between Rogers Avenue and South Perimeter Road and just down the road from Francis S. Gabreski Airport.
Krasnow, a real estate broker whose company, Area Real Estate Associates is based in Garden City, then reached out to the Westhampton Beach building department and was introduced to Mayor Moore and Deputy Mayor Ralph Urban, who were “very enthusiastic” and offered support and guidance.
He soon went into contract on the property.
This was all before the COVID-19 pandemic began “and the world came to a stop.”
Still, thanks to Zoom meetings, the project continued to move forward. Sean O’Neil and Ken Bordieri of 7-Eleven signed a lease for the corporation to open as his tenant.
Stonefield Engineering and BAR Architects provided a site plan and elevations for a 3,999-square-foot building. Eight gas pumps with a total of 16 stations will be operated by the 7-Eleven franchisee, as well.
Krasnow said he worked closely with the village planning board chairman David Riley and the rest of the board to “design a building they wanted to see at the entrance to Westhampton Beach.” Initially, the board was split on an ultra-modern design, so Krasnow reverted to a more traditional look for the building, he said.
Village Attorney Anthony Pasca worked with him on the site plan process and to obtain the variances required.
He officially closed on the 1.6-acre property on January 29, 2021, purchasing it for $1.35 million, records show.
“Four years later we are breaking ground today on this project,” Krasnow said, thanking the mayor and deputy mayor, along with village board members and others who supported his vision.
“Mr. Krasnow submitted a comprehensive application and was very responsive to all the requests from the Board of Trustees and the Planning Board. We are so pleased that he is making such an important investment in our Village and we wish him much success,” Mayor Moore said following the groundbreaking.
“Willie Sutton was quoted as saying, ‘We rob banks because that’s where the money is.’ As a developer, I’d like to say, I build where the zoning is cooperative, collaborative and welcoming,” Krasnow said. “That’s exactly what I found in the Village of Westhampton Beach under the leadership of Mayor Maria Moore.”
The project has an expected completion date of fall 2023, as the building is pre-fabricated and the pumps are expected to arrive in August. Krasnow said he is looking forward to seeing everyone at the ribbon-cutting.