Developer hopes to bring a pro golf tourney to Eisenhower Park

Professional golf tournaments would return to Eisenhower Park under an ambitious proposal from the new operators of the park’s Carltun restaurant and catering hall in East Meadow, officials said.

EGB Hospitality LLC signed a lease with Nassau County last year to rent the 35,000-square-foot facility for at least 15 years and has begun making $5.5 million in improvements. The renovations are “necessary to bring national golf events,” such as a Ladies Professional Golf Association tournament, to the three 18-hole golf courses in the county-owned park, company executives said.

EGB Hospitality has applied to the county’s Industrial Development Agency for a sales-tax exemption of up to $345,000 on the purchase of construction materials, equipment and furnishings. The IDA board is expected to hear a presentation from the company next week.

EGB Hospitality partner Elias Trahanas said Thursday the eatery and events hall has been renamed The Grand Lannin to honor businessman Joseph J. Lannin, who created the park, formerly known as Salisbury Golf Club, in 1917.

“We’re changing the former Carltun into a tourist destination that’s going to pull people from all five boroughs [of New York City] and from New Jersey,” Trahanas said in an interview. “By revamping this iconic facility in this iconic park, we’re going to attract more than just golf tournaments. We’re going to attract many events, from corporate [functions] to charity [galas],” he said.

Trahanas said he and his partners will work with Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman to bring a professional golf tournament to Eisenhower Park.

In the application for tax breaks, Trahanas said the revamped restaurant and banquet hall will reopen on May 1 “at the request of Nassau County in hopes of hosting a LPGA golf tournament.”

A county spokesman wasn’t immediately available to comment on Thursday.

Another public golf course, Bethpage Black at Bethpage State Park, has hosted men’s major championships, the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship, along with other PGA Tour events. The private Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton has hosted the men’s U.S. Open several times. The international Ryder Cup tournament will be played on the Bethpage Black course in 2025.

Eisenhower Park last hosted a PGA tournament on its Red Course in 2008. The event, then sponsored by Commerce Bank, was part of the PGA Champions Tour for golfers over age 50.   The annual tournament began in 1987 at a private golf club in Jericho before transferring to the public course.

The Red Course “is a good enough course to hold a tournament,” said Gene Bernstein, who together with his brother and father started the Northville Long Island Classic, the local leg of the PGA Champions Tour from 1988 through 2008.

He continued, “The Red Course has some pedigree because the PGA Championship was played there in 1926” and won by golf legend Walter Hagen.

But Bernstein and others said the biggest hurdle to bringing professional golf back to Eisenhower Park is finding a business with deep pockets to serve as the tournament sponsor. Bernstein’s company — petroleum supplier Northville Industries in Melville — was the chief sponsor through 1998 of the last annual tournament to be played on Long Island.

“I believe Long Island can do it because it has done it,” Bernstein said.

To make Eisenhower more appealing to professional and amateur golfers, EGB Hospitality plans to offer a full-service restaurant, outdoor patio with food and drinks, and concessions on the golf course – all named for Devereux Emmet, designer of the Red Course. There also will be a cigar lounge.

The venue will have about 70 employees, with an annual payroll of up to $3 million, according to the IDA application.

EGB Hospitality is a partnership between brothers Bobby and Elias Trahanas, who own the Golden Reef Diner in Rockville Centre and concessions at Jones Beach and Robert Moses state parks; brothers Dennis and Nick Moshopoulos, owners of the Laterna Restaurant in Bayside, Queens, and their brother-in-law Jerry Pagoulatos, who owns the Sunrise diner in Wantagh.

IDA chairman Richard Kessel said the agency is “very excited to learn more about this project, which could attract major events to Nassau County.”


New tenants coming to Walt Whitman Shops

Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station has some new tenants coming to the retail complex in the next few months. 

Levi’s, the iconic American denim brand, will be opening a 2,876-square-foot store at Walt Whitman Shops in the first quarter. Also coming soon to the mall is QQ Nails and Spa, which will have a 924-square-foot space. 

Another new tenant, which has already opened is Showcase, which has a 1,167-square-foot location. This is the second Long Island store for Showcase, the Canadian specialty retailer, which opened its first Long Island location last fall at the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove. 

In a relocation, Brooks Brothers, the high-end apparel retailer, is moving its Walt Whitman Shops store to a 6,589-square-foot space formerly occupied by Microsoft. 

Later this year, Arhaus, the home-goods retailer, will join the tenant roster at the mall, along with Sweetgreen, a restaurant that offers a menu focused on salads and bowls. This will be Sweetgreen’s third Long Island location, following Garden City and Woodbury. 


Firm secures $31.9M financing for LI industrial properties

Metropolitan Realty Associates and its partner Angelo, Gordon & Co., have secured $31.9 million in financing for three of its Long Island industrial properties. 

The financing was arranged through IDB Bank for properties at 195 13th Ave. and 2175 Fifth Ave. in Ronkonkoma, and 81 Spence St. in Bay Shore. The three properties are single-story, single-tenant, distribution and manufacturing facilities and total a combined 353,600 square feet. 

The industrial properties were acquired as part of a $50 million programmatic venture between MRA and Angelo, Gordon that focuses on industrial assets in the Long Island market. 

“While the financing market remains challenging, most lenders are enthusiastic about high-quality industrial assets in supply-constrained markets with low vacancy rates and best-in-class sponsorship, and there was extensive interest in this portfolio from several banks,” Joseph Farkas, founder and CEO of MRA, said in a company statement. “We have been impressed by our past experiences with IDB Bank and were pleased to work with them again on this financing.” 

IDB Bank placed two prior loans with MRA and Angelo, Gordon, including financing in 2021 for the 94,000-square-foot industrial building at 5 Inez Drive in Bay Shore and another for a retail development at 5100 Fashion Drive in Nanuet in 2022. 


Sands to buy Coliseum lease to develop casino

Las Vegas Sands plans to purchase the long-term lease of the Nassau Coliseum site to develop a “multi-billion-dollar” casino and entertainment project at the Uniondale property. 

Sands, which has been lobbying heavily to snag one of the three downstate casino licenses, will partner with RXR on the planned project, as RXR remains the master developer of the Coliseum site. But Sands will now take the lead on the project which will center around the casino. 

Sources say Sands will be purchasing the Long Island Marriott next door to the Coliseum site, as part of its overall casino plan. 

The resort components of the proposed redevelopment would include “outdoor community spaces, four- and five-star hotel rooms and a world-class live performance venue honoring the long legacy of live music at the Nassau Coliseum,” according to a Sands statement. The plan includes “celebrity chef restaurants, experiential events and venues and flexible meeting and convention space, including ballrooms,” Sands says.  

The actual casino is planned to occupy less than 10 percent of the project’s total square footage. 

“Our company’s track record of driving significant economic benefits to the communities in which we operate and the meaningful relationships and partnerships we have created in each of those communities gives us a unique perspective on what it takes to develop transformative tourism destinations that positively impact the local community,” Robert Goldstein, Sands chairman and CEO said in the statement. “Based on that experience, we strongly believe Long Island can be home to one of the region’s great entertainment and hospitality developments.” 

Goldstein added that the proposed project would produce “tens of millions of dollars” in annual tax revenue along with thousands of union jobs in both construction and operations. 

Scott Rechler, RXR CEO and chairman, said that Long Islanders want a global renowned entertainment destination that creates well-paying jobs and new opportunities at the Nassau Hub. 

“But the challenge for turning this vision into reality has always been the commercial viability of a site encumbered by a nearly obsolete half-century-old arena,” Rechler said in the statement. “The plan envisioned by Sands is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create the kind of world-renowned entertainment and hospitality destination that has been sought after by Long Islanders.” 

RXR had pitched a $1.5 billion mixed-use redevelopment of the 70-acre Coliseum site, but that was put on hold once casino plans heated up. Even if Sands does not get the sought-after casino license, the project will go forward as a hospitality and entertainment complex without gaming.

The state began accepting proposals this month for three full-fledged casinos in the New York metro area, though it’s not yet clear where they will be located. Many observers expect one will likely go to the existing Empire City Casino in Yonkers and another will be sited at Resorts World in Queens. Casino groups have pitched sites like Hudson Yards and Times Square in Manhattan, Coney Island in Brooklyn and Willets Point in Queens, among others.  


Lidl to open its largest area store in Deer Park

Lidl, the German discount supermarket chain, will open a new store in Deer Park next week, its largest in the region. 

The 32,000-square-foot grocery store was built on a 5-acre site at 450 Commack Road and the $12 million project is Lidl’s first ground-up store development on Long Island. 

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new store is planned for 7:40 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 18. Lidl will employ more than 50 people at the Deer Park location. 

Throughout its grand opening weekend from Wednesday, Jan. 18 through Sunday, Jan. 22, Lidl will donate $1 to Cohen Children’s Medical Center for every new myLidl member who signs up and sets Lidl Deer Park as their home store.  The first 100 customers in line before the ribbon cutting will be presented with a gift card ranging from $5 to $100 each. Shoppers can also enter to win a $500 Lidl gift card and take advantage of special giveaways. 

Ahead of the Deer Park grand opening, Lidl will be hosting an open house at the store on Tuesday, Jan. 17 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., where local community members are invited to check out the store for the first time. 

The fast-growing grocery chain currently has more than 20 stores on Long Island, with the bulk of those being remodeled retail spaces that were formerly occupied by Best Market and other supermarkets. Lidl purchased the 27-store Best Market chain in 2018 and has been rebranding most of those locations. 

The Deer Park store was made possible by a ground lease from the property owner Milvado Property Group. Ken Schuckman and Jessica Vilmenay of Schuckman Realty represented Lidl, as well as Milvado in the Deer Park ground lease transaction. 


Pharma firm leases 95,000 square feet at new Melville complex

Time-Cap Labs, a maker of over-the-counter pharmaceutical products, has leased 95,000 square feet at a new Melville industrial development. 

The company, headquartered in Farmingdale, will be using its new space at 235 Pinelawn Road for warehousing and distribution operations. Time-Cap is consolidating those operations from another location in Melville and one in Central Islip. The new Melville space will also allow the company to free up space at its Farmingdale location to expand its manufacturing capabilities. 

Time-Cap specializes in generic tablets, capsules and soft-gels of analgesics, laxatives, dietary supplements, and cough and cold medications. The manufacturer’s products are distributed by wholesalers, drugstore chains, big box stores, and mail-order pharmacies. 

Time-Cap is the first tenant at the 599,983-square-foot Pinelawn Road building, one of two redeveloped by New Jersey-based Hartz Mountain Industries at the former 48.5-acre property formerly occupied by Newsday. The building at 235 Pinelawn Road has 40-foot-clear ceilings and 54-foot-by-56-foot column spacing. 

Kyle Burkhardt and Josh Cohen of Cushman & Wakefield represented the tenant, while Phil Heilpern and Paul Leone of CBRE represented the landlord in the lease transaction. 

“Due to the increase of new construction projects, local tenants are continuing to become more aware of the benefits of warehousing and storage costs based on a cubic storage analysis rather than a per square foot analysis,” Burkhardt said. “This makes any building with higher ceilings much more attractive than a lower ceiling property, even if the per-square-foot rental rate seems higher at first glance.” 

Cohen added that the brokers explored multiple options for Time-Cap. 

“In the end, the new construction with Hartz Mountain was the most cost-effective approach and therefore made the most sense for the tenant on a long-term basis,” he said. 

Hartz Mountain purchased the Melville property for $54.5 million in Oct. 2018 and broke ground on the two-building complex in March 2021. The first building completed at the Melville site was a 246,500-square-foot warehouse and distribution facility at 90 Ruland Road that was leased to Amazon in Feb. 2022. 

The building at 235 Pinelawn Road, which features 120 loading docks and two drive-in bays, is being divided to accommodate multiple tenants. 

“We’re happy to kick-off this building with a tenant like Time-Cap and look forward to leasing the rest of the building to other quality tenants,” Heilpern said. 


Westfield South Shore mall sells as part of $196M deal

A Paris-based real estate company has sold its second Long Island mall in two years, as it tries to reduce its debt by unloading its U.S. retail properties.

Westfield South Shore in Bay Shore and Westfield Trumbull in Trumbull, Connecticut, were sold by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield for $196 million Friday, URW said in a statement Tuesday.

The buyer was a Great Neck-based partnership formed by Namdar Realty Group, a commercial real estate investment firm; Mason Asset Management, a real estate investment and advisory company; and CH Capital Group, said Michael Czerepka, a spokesman for the partnership.

Since URW also sold Sunrise Mall in Massapequa in 2020, it no longer owns any Long Island properties.

Built in 1963, Westfield South Shore is 1.2 million square feet in size.

The mall is 89% leased, according to URW’s statement. It has 68 stores and 25 restaurants, according to its website. Anchor tenants include Macy’s, JCPenney and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

These days, more mall operators are choosing to reduce their retail holdings due to the uncertainty in the retail market and/or the high costs of upgrading the properties for modern shopping trends, said Thomas LaSalvia, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics CRE, a Manhattan-based real estate information provider.

But Westfield South Shore is performing well compared to many of its mall peers, despite being an older, midsize mall with traditional anchors, characteristics that have hurt other malls, he said.

Westfield South Shore’s vacancy rate has risen over the past few years, but its rent growth has been strong at $40 per square foot in November, compared to the average of $25 per square foot in the Islip/Smithtown submarket, LaSalvia said.

“Competition is somewhat limited on this part of the Island and the neighborhood location is actually a bit of an asset. Our Commercial Location Score, which is an index of a variety of locational economic indicators, has this property in the 88th percentile of the submarket, with strong marks for economic prosperity and safety,” he said.

The new ownership group did not respond to a Newsday inquiry about its plans for the mall, including whether a redevelopment would occur.

‘Radical reduction’

Australia-based Westfield Corp. bought Westfield South Shore, then known as South Shore Mall, from Macy’s Acquiring Corp. in 1986. In 2005, Westfield bought Sunrise Mall in Massapequa from the Muss-Tankoos Corp.

In 2017, French property investor Unibail-Rodamco bought Westfield, which then owned 35 shopping centers and malls in the United States and Britain, forming Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield.

The largest mall operator in Europe, URW announced in the spring that it would be reducing its debt by selling its U.S. malls.

“Following the completion of its comprehensive deleveraging program, which includes the radical reduction of financial exposure to the U.S. in 2022 and 2023, URW will emerge” focused on its European “portfolio of high-quality, high-performing assets located in the continent’s wealthiest cities and catchment areas,” the company announced in March.

With some of URW’s U.S. malls performing reasonably well, the company selling its U.S. assets, even at the 30% discount compared to the 2021 valuation that the company estimated, will allow URW to reduce debt and focus on its European assets, said Brandon Svec, national director of U.S. Retail Analytics for the CoStar Group, a Washington, D.C.-based real estate information provider.

URW has made $1.3 billion to date by selling some of its U.S. properties, including Westfield South Shore, Westfield Trumbull, and Westfield Santa Anita and The Village shopping center in Los Angeles, according to its statement.

The company has 21 retail properties left in the United States.

In December 2020, URW sold Sunrise Mall in Massapequa to Sunrise Mall Holdings LLC, a joint venture led by Manhattan-based real estate investment trust Urban Edge Properties, for $29.7 million, a steep decline from the $143 million the property sold for in 2005.


LI pharmaceutical firm expands with Central Islip deal

LNK International, a maker of over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, is expanding with a deal for new warehousing and distribution space in Central Islip. 

LNK, which is headquartered on Arkay Drive in Hauppauge, leased 100,000 square feet at 250 Creative Drive. 

Founded in 1980, LNK manufactures more than 150 formulas of pain relief, cough and cold, and gastrointestinal products. 

Richard Cohen of Ashlind Properties represented the tenant, while Jason Miller served as in-house representative for landlord Steel Equities in the Central Islip lease transaction. 


Sunrise Wind gets IDA assist for $37.8M redevelopment project

A project to transform an East Setauket building into a support facility for offshore wind development is getting help from the Town of Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency. 

The Brookhaven IDA is providing economic incentives to Sunrise Wind LLC for its $37.8 million project to redevelop a vacant 59,525-square-foot building on 4.5 acres at 22 Research Way. The facility will house operations and maintenance for Orsted North America Inc. and Eversource Investment LLC, joint-venture partners and offshore wind developers.  

When complete, Sunrise Wind will provide 924 megawatts of offshore wind energy to the state, enough to power nearly 600,000 homes. The East Setauket facility will also be used to help support the joint venture’s broader portfolio of wind farms in the Northeast including South Fork Wind and Revolution Wind. 

The developers anticipate employing 65 workers at the facility within two years of its expected completion in 2024, according to an IDA statement. 

“We’re extremely pleased that Sunrise Wind is locating its operations facility in the Town of Brookhaven, playing a key role in the town’s clean energy leadership,” Brookhaven IDA Chairman Fred Braun said in the statement. “This project will bring new investment to the town and many good-paying jobs. We are proud to work with Ørsted and Eversource on their Sunrise Wind project and look forward to seeing this new operations and maintenance facility provide critical support for the regional development of offshore wind.” 


Chick-fil-A to replace vacant auto dealership in Levittown

A new Chick-fil-A restaurant is proposed for a former car dealership property in Levittown. 

Frontstead Land LLC has applied to the Town of Hempstead to remove restrictions on the 2.48-acre parcel at 3859 Hempstead Turnpike to allow for construction of the new restaurant. 

The applicant is seeking the town’s approval to demolish an 11,298-square-foot building and a 1,342-square-foot on the property on the northwest corner of Hempstead Turnpike and Berger Avenue. Frontstead Land wants to build a 5,226-square-foot Chick-fil-A restaurant with a double-lane drive-thru and parking for 109 vehicles. 

The Levittown property had been the long-time home of a Honda City auto dealership. In 2018, Honda City purchased 3 acres from Zorn’s of Bethpage at 4333 Hempstead Turnpike in Bethpage, where it has since built a new dealership complex.  

The proposed Levittown restaurant is the latest in Chick-fil-A’s ongoing Long Island expansion. Earlier this month, the chain opened its eighth Long Island location, a 5,000-square-foot restaurant at 200 E. Jericho Turnpike in Huntington Station. 


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