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Gap Port Jefferson

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The lot north of Arden Place is being studied to see if it can be modified to increase the number of stalls. Photo by Kyle Barr

Though the building that once housed the Gap in Port Jefferson remains an empty shell, village officials say they want to look at the surrounding parking lot to see if better use can be made of the space.

The current lot right off of Arden Place and East Broadway curves and ducks behind many prominent storefronts, and on the busy days is one of the first lots filled come peak business time.

The village voted unanimously to hire Hauppauge-based VHB Engineering for $18,700 to study the lot as well as create conceptual plans for a “multi-deck” parking structure.

Though the difficulties of creating anything in that lot are easily apparent. 

“The Gap lot is not a square box, it’s a very unusual layout,” Mayor Margot Garant said. “The property has so many constraints, so it’s going to be difficult.”

In case of a kind of parking garage, Garant said the scope of the work will reveal whether or not the space could maintain a structure based on its unusual shape, even something as high as two levels.

“We can’t rule that out until we know that,” she said. “Then I get to cross that off my list, and then we can look at reconfiguring that lot in place and just see if reconfiguring it surface only can I gain [more] spots.”

Trustee Bruce Miller, who in the past has opposed any mention of multi-level parking structures, again shared his disapproval.

“I’m on the record [that] I’m against any kind of multi level parking garage,” he said.

Other Ongoing Initiatives in Port Jeff

• Port Jeff officials approved accepting the bid of Long Island-based D&B Engineering to replace and repair the retaining walls both at East Beach and along Highland Boulevard for a cost of $41,500.

• Port Jefferson completed an $8,000 project for drainage installations in Upper Port in anticipation of the installation of Station Street, which would connect Main Street and Oakland Ave to avoid the parking lot. That project starting up depends on when current slated apartments by Conifer Realty LLC, a real estate development firm with projects across New York State and south into Maryland, for “affordable” apartments in what was once the Bada Bing structure.

• The village is not giving up hope of having fireworks this year, but whether it will take place July 4, as normal, or at a later date is to be determined. At its May 18 meeting the village voted to enter into agreement with Fireworks by Grucci for a total of $20,000. While the board does not know if the village will do its usual beach display the 4th of July, trustees like Bruce D’Abramo pointed out current limitations on gatherings would mean there likely won’t be a show two months from now unless something changes. The board reserved the ability to host a fireworks show sometime this year, with village attorney Brian Egan saying their permits would likely allow it.

• The village posted a notice to its website Sunday, May 17 hastily sharing the laws regarding selling alcohol outside windows, as some shops were doing that weekend. Takeaway cocktails must be in an enclosed container, not have a straw inside the cup and must come with food to comply with New York State law. Garant asked police 6th precinct for two officers to be in the village to enforce guidelines next weekend. The mayor added she has spoken with some businesses such as Old Field and Ruvo East or in Chandler Square for shared outdoor dining. She added the village would waive all outdoor dining fees except for the application fee.

Photo by Elyse Sutton

Gap Inc. announced plans last week to close 230 of its namesake brand stores over the next two years as it works to restructure. Gap will close about 130 Gap stores, or more than half of the fleet slated for closure, in 2019.

Among those affected will be the Gap in Port Jefferson, located at 100 Arden Place, which will close on April 25 after 27 years in business.

The retailer will split into two publicly traded companies: Old Navy and a yet-to-be named company that will include the Gap brand, Banana Republic, Intermix and leisure labels Athleta and Hill City.

In a statement Gap said its remaining store fleet will be a “more appropriate foundation” for future growth.