The Stop & Shop supermarket on Hewlett Avenue in Merrick will undergo extensive renovations next year if the company can get the approvals it needs from the Town of Hempstead, an attorney for Stop & Shop said on Tuesday.
Plans for an overhaul of the supermarket have been long delayed, frequently changed and the subject of much debate in Merrick for years. Barry Fox, president of the Merrick Park Home Owners Association, which comprises residents from the Merrick Woods neighborhood near the store, said that the group began seeking an agreement with Stop & Shop on its renovation plans in 2005.
The association eventually obtained a number of written assurances from Stop & Shop, but construction work planned for 2009 never went ahead after the recession hit in 2008. Fox and Martin Valk, an attorney who serves as legal counsel for the association, said it would like Stop & Shop to reaffirm, in writing, that past assurances will be met in the latest version of its development plans.
The two spoke at a Merrick Park Home Owners Association meeting Monday night in the office building at 2174 Hewlett Ave., next door to the Stop & Shop. More than 50 residents attended the at-times raucous and contentious meeting to voice a number of complaints they had about the supermarket and its property, as well as their frustration that the issues they have raised about the building for years have not been addressed.
Improved parking and a different location for the store’s loading dock were at the top of a list of 13 conditions that the association is seeking. The list also included demands that Stop & Shop’s dumpsters be moved to a new location, that the store close at 10 p.m., that no cell antennas or neon signs be added to the building’s roof and that something be done about “the horrific odor” around the back of the building, which is not far from homes.
Resident Stan Cohen said that the smell was “the worst it’s been the 45 years I’ve lived here.”