The mall debate is back.
The Long Island Regional Economic Council met Wednesday to discuss the pros and cons of building a mall at the old in Syosset. Developers from Taubmann Properties and representatives from the Cerro Wire Coalition met and continued the 17-year debate at Molloy College in Rockville Centre.
"There [are] traffic concerns, crime concerns…Traffic congestion projects 4,500 cars per hour at prime time on Robbins Lane," said Todd Fabricant, chairman of the Cerro Wire Coalition, a group of community members and merchants against the project. "It is not an appropriate project for the area."
The Cerro Wire Coalition cites safety issues regarding traffic and the property's "close proximity to and ," decreasing property values, and "increased noise and air pollution" in their many reasons for why the mall is a bad idea.
Taubmann disagrees, saying the modern mall with about 150 retailers, would enhance the community while creating much needed jobs.
Among retailers who have signed on to build new locations at the mall is Lord & Taylor, who looks forward to building in Syosset.
"We're very excited about plans for a new Lord & Taylor in as vibrant a community as Syosset," said Jane T. Elfers, Lord & Taylor president and chief executive officer. "We look forward to continuing our strong ties to the area and welcoming its residents to a beautiful new store."
"Lord & Taylor [is]... synonymous with the type of shopping experience we are seeking to create at The Mall at Oyster Bay," said Taubmann's senior vice president of development Harry Murphy. "Our goal is to create a mix of the finest retail, making this shopping center a true world- class shopping destination."
Whether or not the opposing forces come to an agreement, progress will not be seen for some time. After losing two court cases, Taubmann is still garnering support for the mall, and Cerro Wire Coalition is offering alternative plans including senior housing, next generation housing, a hotel and office buildings.
According to TOBAY Supervisor Jon Venditto, more discussions are needed before moving forward with the project.
"Unless any further discussions deal with alternate development, I seriously doubt they will be productive," Venditto said in a statement today.
In the meantime, Cerro Wire Coalition is planning a rally Sunday at 12 p.m. near the property on Robbins Lane.
"The rally is to show legislators how steadfast they must be in their opposition to…this project," said Fabricant.