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[POLL]: What's Missing in Downtown Syosset?

With so many empty storefronts, what could survive on Cold Spring and Jackson?

Two years ago, . Despite customizing orders to fit consumer needs and offering high quality service, everyday was a struggle in 2010.

Today, her storefront along with four others stand vacant in the same strip of stores. The curve of businesses as Jackson Avenue morphs into Cold Spring Road have endured a recession, train traffic, and the Jackson Avenue overhaul. While some like simply moved to a new home, others quietly went out of business and locked their doors for good. All those open store fronts, including the former Cell Phones for You, , and Owen Photography, have yet to see new tenants.

"Even though downtown Syosset has some empty stores, we have been doing a lot better," said President Lisa Predmore, putting Syosset's economic state into perspective.

"We have a lot of new members joining. We've had seven new people in just the past few weeks."

As for those businesses who have not made it through the tough times, Predmore partially attributes it to a not always customer-friendly parking situation.

"It gets tight over there…[LIRR] commuters take merchant and customer parking spots, the meters don't always work."

Though the vacant stores are slowly gaining new tenants -- a CRE Real Estate office is reportedly opening in the strip -- they still must survive the sometimes harsh environment that comes with being a Cold Spring or Jackson business owner.

What does downtown Syosset need? Is there one thing the center of town could use and that would stay in business? Is there room for unique establishments or should those looking to rent stick to the basic stores and restaurants?

Vote in the poll below and tell us your ideas in the comments!

Kevin Holian April 12, 2012 at 10:24 AM
Syosset needs: a good bakery; a good butcher; and a small movie theatre that can double as a meeting or conference space.
Lynn April 12, 2012 at 11:32 AM
Empty stores in that location may also have something to do with the high rent. As a landlord, unfortunately we may have to absorb the losses in order to keep tenants. Our taxes and insurances go up but we have been stabilizing rents so we don't loose tenants. It's better than an empty store.
Kathleen Tracy April 12, 2012 at 01:22 PM
The last time I was in downtown Syosset, I felt like i was driving through a time warp from when I lived there 1950-1968. All of it needs to be updated to get customers to want to have a wonderful 'experience' while shopping and dining. Syosset is an exclusive town and does not 'show' that it's exclusive. Kathleen Tracy, New Canaan, CT.
Brenda Wendelken April 12, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Syosset is a town that likes to eat out. Restaurants are usually a good bet for success. In view of the number in town, another one or two with different venues would probably succeed. I'd like to see something like The Station Restaurant come back where a brunch could be had, or a diner style place if space permits. To get a nice omelette one has to travel to Jericho Turnpike. Too bad!
Steve Ross April 12, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Parking is the #1 problem! Ross Realty Group
Bonnie Griffin April 12, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Need pedestrian friendly sidewalks. The area looks rundown and dirty. We need a really nice ice cream/candy store where families can hang out. Look at Southhampton and Easthampton main streets for wonderful ideas.
RM Peskin April 12, 2012 at 03:16 PM
I don't think the addition of another restaurant or a single store is necessarily going to cause the downtown area to be a hustling/bustling place. Besides if it would, where would everyone park? Perhaps what is needed is to think outside of the box. What happened with the idea of moving the railroad station further west? Maybe by opening the current parking lot to other commerce (like a small to mid-size food store on the order of John's Supermarket in Plainview), residents would come downtown rather than go out of town.
Kathleen Tracy April 12, 2012 at 06:07 PM
New Canaan has the same problems with high rents and parking, but I know for a fact that people from the surrounding towns do come into N.C. to shop, see a movie, walk around with an ice cream cone, just to look at the store windows and relax. The weekends are boppin,' but the streets do close down around midnight. New Canaan is a town with about the same population as Syosset, and we do have quite a bit of turnover of shops due to high rents. When we were transferred into Fairfield County (from the San Francisco area), I looked at 3 other towns for a home, but when the real estate agent brought me into the town of New Canaan, I said, "This is it. Find me a home in this town." If you would like to see a photo of Elm Street, http://www.travelguideofamerica.com/mainstreets/newcanaanmainstreet.html
Kathleen Tracy April 12, 2012 at 06:08 PM
At one time, we had a lot of antique stores and it seemed that when one other type of store wnet out, an antique store would come in. I don't know what happened to change that, but we now have a good balance of stores, shops, restaurants, etc. We don't have a problem like you do with the railroad station/tracks, because the RR station is at the end of the line. But we do have congestion at the 4 way corners by the RR station when people are being picked up or getting in their cars in the RR station lot (smaller than the Syosset lot by the station) to go home. That's not the only lot that we have. I think there are 3 others, where people have to walk some to get to the station. I love my town, and I always loved Syosset. I have all of my memories growing up in Syosset and I would love to see a turn-around for that great town. It's way past over due.
Kathleen Tracy April 12, 2012 at 06:19 PM
I have lived in New Canaan since 1987 and I have seen downtown evolve. It didn't look like this when I moved in, but it was still a charming New England town. There are a lot of buildings that have not changed at all... just refreshed. They have added brick sidewalks and beautiful black sidewalk lanterns. I think it would be great for you to travel the 1 hr and 15 mins. some beautiful Saturday (bring change for the meters) and don't get frustrated by trying to find parking (LOL), but I think it would be a nice afternoon trip for you to see what Syosset could be. I have to go to an appointment right now, but if I think of anything else, I will write again. My best to all of you in Syosset.
Heather Doyle April 12, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Great feedback everyone! Judging by the poll, it looks like basic Main Street stores and eateries are most favored. Does anyone think trendy places could be in Jackson/Cold Spring's future, even if not now? Or is it the wrong neighborhood for such places?
Michael Dee April 12, 2012 at 08:02 PM
The town of Syosset needs to be more like the town of Huntington. Basically duplicate that and Syosset will flourish
Grifhunter April 12, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Nightlife- bar/coffee shop with live music. Dunkin donuts is so scuzzy. A Dairy Queen- the best soft serve ice cream in the country- none on long island! Would be a destination. (Frozen Yogart is for pretentious yuppies.) Fresh fish and butcher are actually good ideas too but the competition is tough as a stand alone business.
Moti Ramnani April 13, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Perhaps a Dairy Queen Franchise with Food might pep up the strip & bring more exciting traffic. Moti Ramnani
Mark Rutkowski April 13, 2012 at 09:38 AM
Put in a Starbucks like the one in Woodbury and the other stores will follow. Huntington should be the model. I think the empty storefronts downtown have more to do with the fact that the landlord wants outrageous rents for those spaces than a comment on the economy. there is no shortage of consumer dollars in this town.
Randy Stricker April 13, 2012 at 02:17 PM
I was born in Syosset in 1955 and spent the very best years of my life there. I remember Syosset when you knew everyone you passed on the street. Just east of jackson Ave. was Lollipop Farm and then nothing clear up to Van Sise farm in Woodbury. Knowing it can never return to those days, instead of updating and modernizing everything to the 21st century, I would like to see the old stores cleaned up, painted and with new signs that reflect the charm of old Syosset the way it once was with a soda fountain where kids can go and sit on the round stools at the soda bar. My wife and I go to main st in Northport where the stores remain the same with their old century charm. On weekends the streets are packed with people. An ice cream shop, antique stores, restaurants, art stores and many stores that reflect that era. Syosset used to be a warm collective town but has become a home to Yuppie spinoffs. Most of these people want modern and flashy but rarely even know their neighbors. Like Northport maybe a nice gazebo where the gas station is on the fork of Berry Hill and Splitrock roads where band concerts can be held on summer weekend nights. Bring the residents of our once charming town back into the streets where they can get to know one another again and a wonderful change will take place. Just a dream folks...
Brenda Wendelken April 13, 2012 at 03:57 PM
After reading all the comments, I believe that moving the train station would be a good start, leaving the parking lot for stores, old and new ones. I also like the idea of a movie house (why didn't someone think of making the old Bank of America a small one?) for community meetings and films. Also moving the station would cut down on the amount of time I spend waiting to cross the railroad from north to south. Oh boy, if you don't have the train times in your head, you are sunk.
Randy Stricker April 14, 2012 at 12:14 PM
There is a "very fresh" seafood store in the pathmark shopping center in East Meadow called the "Sea To You" fish market. The owner goes to the bronx every day for fresh seafood. His display cases are ultra unique for sanitary reasons. Go look at his shop and re-produce that in Syosset and I guarantee it will succeed!

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