As you drive down Hempstead Turnpike, you will come to an expansive vacant lot that has been a ghostly presence in Levittown for more than 15 years. On Sept. 28, after many years of speculation as to what would occupy the property located at 3350 Hempstead Tpke., a long-awaited press conference confirmed that the site would be the location of a new Home Depot, and demolition began to break new ground.
Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino and Councilman Gary Hudes joined the management of The Home Depot to kick-off the demolition of what was once home to Kmart, Border’s Books and Office Max. Also in attendance were Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad and Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin.
“As you look behind us, you see a shell of a building that has become an eyesore in the community,” said Santino. “A new store at this site will add new luster to the business district, create good jobs and stimulate economic activity.”
At one time, the corner of Hempstead Turnpike and Gardiners Avenue was a symbol of economic prosperity. Santino stated that Levittown neighbors have been anxious for a new business to come, and that a progressive development plan would be in harmony with the surrounding neighborhood during the construction of Home Depot, which will have 114,000 square feet of store and 28,000 square feet for the home and garden center.
“Today, we are here to happily tell everyone in Levittown that their wish has been granted and this building is being demolished to make way for a new business that will bring jobs and sales tax revenue to our thriving community,” said Santino, adding that Home Depot has received all town permits necessary to commence demolition and begin construction.
Happily reflecting an economic rebound, you will see many new businesses in Levittown; a new Ford dealership, a large CVS, a new supermarket, a drive-through Starbucks, Saf-T-Swim and the absolutely beautiful Zwanger-Pesiri building.”
“This community has very hardworking individuals and many of our hardworking residents have a tendency for a lot of do it yourself projects,” said Hudes. “This Home Depot will certainly be a convenience for the residents that live here. Most importantly is the idea of union jobs and community jobs. I want to thank Home Depot for picking Levittown, and we welcome them wholeheartedly to our community.”
As the Home Depot slogan says, “More Doing,” employee Pat Iaquinta also spoke about the excitement of joining the Levittown community.
“Home Depot lives by a real specific set of values and giving back and we look forward to the opportunity to work together,” he said.
The site, which is the last major lot available for development in Levittown, has been empty for years due to the great recession, and now that the slate has been wipe d clean, residents can now have more local access to the home and hardware store.
“We finally have this last piece in the puzzle, this final jewel in the crown that is going to really become a real destination for people from the surrounding community to come here,” concluded Santino before two cranes dug into the building to begin demolition. “We’re very proud of what’s taking place today.”