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Valentin Staller

Graphic courtesy Valentin Staller

During a meeting of the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Chamber of Commerce on Monday, June 20, the developer of the Jefferson Plaza project presented his vision for its future.

Valentin Staller, vice president of the Hauppauge-based real estate firm Staller Associates, delivered a presentation on the proposed redevelopment of Jefferson Plaza, a property that has been in the family for over half a century.

The history of Jefferson Plaza

Jefferson Plaza shopping center is located on Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station. The property was first developed in the late 1950s by Erwin and Max Staller, Valentin’s grandfather and great-grandfather, respectively. For a period, the shopping center was a popular and prosperous commercial hub serving the Port Jeff Station and Terryville communities. However, the plaza experienced its share of setbacks as the area underwent a steep decline.

“The whole commercial corridor began to suffer its challenges,” Staller said. “Certain negative elements within the commercial corridor made it really hard to do business.” He added, “Unfortunately, the pandemic only exacerbated things.”

In 2014, the Town of Brookhaven released the Port Jefferson Station Commercial Hub Study, a 135-page document outlining a comprehensive plan to revitalize the area, emphasizing mixed-use commercial and residential zoning with pedestrian walkability. After being approached by, and entering into negotiations with, the Town of Brookhaven, Staller Associates began to seriously consider redeveloping the property. 

Under the current plan, the site would include a main street, food hall, fitness center, apartments and more. Graphics courtesy Valentin Staller

A redevelopment plan

Staller’s plan includes 49,400 square feet of commercial space, including restaurants and a proposed food hall. The plan accommodates 280 apartments “with a heavy skew toward one-bedrooms.” Staller also said 80% of the apartments will be offered at market rate while the remaining 20% will be designated for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, “a tremendously underserved community as it relates to housing on Long Island,” he added.

When the developers began planning for the redevelopment of the property, they quickly entered into conversations with Suffolk County about extending sewers into downtown Port Jeff Station.

“We recognized immediately that for any redevelopment to occur, whether it’s this property or any other property in the corridor, a connection to sewers is vital,” Staller said.

The goal of the project, according to Staller, is “to create a dynamic, mixed-use suburban environment.” The developers have already undergone several iterations of their site plan with the Brookhaven Planning Department. 

Under the current site plan, the development “is designed to create a much more neighborhood business feel than what exists today and create a more walkable downtown type of environment,” he said. There are also plans to accommodate a fitness and retail center in the plaza. 

At the core of the project is a proposed main street that would include retail stores, restaurants and a food hall. The main street would be distinguished by its “exceptional landscaping and distinct pavers” that are both pedestrian-friendly and promote outdoor dining. 

“We want to be able to close it off for events,” Staller said. “We want to work with the Terryville Fire Department so that we can have things like farmers markets, Oktoberfest, winter holiday markets and St. Patrick’s Day right on our main street.”

Opposite the main street, there are plans to have what Staller calls “the innovation center.” This venue would serve as a gathering space for engineers, entrepreneurs and programmers.

“We want this to be sort of a mini economic development hub right here in this community,” he said. “We want to bring in Stony Brook [University]’s growing engineering department.”

At the south end of the site, Staller proposes to build apartment complexes that are “designed to be tucked away into the site” to avoid pushing up against and obstructing existing neighborhoods in the area. 

Three-dimensional rendering of the proposed redevelopment project at Jefferson Plaza. Graphic courtesy Valentin Staller

Impact on the community

Staller believes the development will stimulate economic activity in the Port Jefferson Station-Terryville community. In order to qualify for a market-rate apartment, Staller said, a prospective tenant must first demonstrate that he or she makes three times the rent before income taxes. 

“If you add all of that together, with 80% [of the apartments] at market rate, there’s a lot of disposable income that is concentrated in this community,” he said. This disposable income, he suggests, will inject $7 million per year into the local economy. 

Jefferson Plaza is uniquely situated near several major employment hubs on Long Island. Among these are Mather and St. Charles hospitals and Stony Brook University. Staller believes that this redevelopment plan will work due to the demand for housing that these centers generate.

Staller summarized his vision as follows: “We’re talking about a major investment in the built environment with purpose-built outdoor dining, great building materials, high quality architecture and landscaping.”

The developers are still at least two years away before they can begin building. In the meantime, there remains much to be worked out with Brookhaven and Suffolk County.

To read about how the local civic association has embraced the redevelopment project, see the TBR News Media March 31 story, “Reimagining Jefferson Plaza.”

Photo courtesy of Corbett Public Relations, Inc.

Melville-based Allied Physicians Group, an independent provider of comprehensive family health care services for both children and adults, held a “Start of Construction Ceremony” for its new Rocky Point office located at 346 Route 25A, Rocky Point, on April 6. 

Local dignitaries and elected officials, including Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Edward P. Romaine and Town Councilwoman Jane Bonner, joined Allied physicians and executives at the ceremony.

 The 5,500 sq. ft., state-of-the-art pediatric office will have eight employees, including 2 pediatricians and medical practitioners. Services for patients and families will include wellness care, vaccinations, sick care, a new parent helpline, breastfeeding support, telehealth services, social work access, nutrition assistance, asthma control education and community education (webinars, CPR classes). The build-out will be by the Klinger Construction Corporation, based in Coram.

The Rocky Point office will also feature new health safety focused enhancements to protect patients from the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. Design elements include separated sick and well areas and a state-of-the-art HVAC system with UV lighting to improve air quality.

 “Allied Physicians Group is a physician led organization committed to quality, personalized health care. Our doctors know every one of our patients and their families, this is critical for providing the highest quality of care and exceptional patient experiences. Today, we mark the start of construction of our 24th Long Island independent Allied Physician Group office.   This location will bring much needed care to Rocky Point and the surrounding communities,” said Dr. Kerry Fierstein, CEO Allied Physicians Group. 

“Allied Physicians Group’s new pediatric practice here in Rocky Point is an important new medical practice in our community. We have a growing number of families with young children in the area and as is the case with children, they need regular checkups as well as medical care. This new office will be convenient for families living here in Rocky Point and the surrounding area,” said Supervisor Romaine.

“Rocky Point is a community with numerous young families and children who will be well served by this new facility from Allied Physicians Group,” said Councilwoman Bonner. “This is another great addition to the Rocky Point community, and I look forward to their grand opening.”

Pictured from left, Brianne Chidichimo, Director of Marketing; Valentin Staller, VP of Staller Associates; Councilwoman Bonner; Kevin Edwards, Sr. Vice President of Business Development; Jason Halegoua, Allied Partner Pediatrician; Andrew Phillips, Director of Operations; Kerry Fierstein, CEO of Allied Physicians Group; Robert Creaven, Chief Operating Officer; Gary Mirkin, President of Allied Physicians Group; and Supervisor Romaine. 

Visit www.alliedphysiciansgroup.com for more information.