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The Market Now


Saltaire Details Market Plans

                       By Timothy Bolger


Saltaire officials unveiled this month the long-awaited plans to rebuild the Sandy-damaged market, including artist's renderings and an ambitious timeline to open the village's new lone general store by next Memorial Day.

The estimated cost of the new market was $4.6 million--nearly double the quote Mayor Robert Cox gave five weeks prior--plus another $1.2 million for a neighboring village building planned for the site, bringing the total price tag to $5.9 million. Elevators, which are federally required on all second-floor spaces built with public funds, are one of several government mandates adding to the cost. Although the question of whether there will be a liquor store is unsettled, the sketches include a sign for one.

"We're using every resource at our disposal," Cox, who is leading the project's management team, told residents at the July 5 village board meeting. He noted that the new market will be "significantly higher" when it's raised on posts to protect against future floods.


The details were the most specifics released since Cox announced May 26--19 months after the storm--that the administration struck a deal to buy the market from the Whitney family for $850,000. It plans to knock it down, build a new one and then have the Whitney's run it. That deal ended the family's litigation against the village and their plans to simply renovate the old building.

The village is expected to close on the property in the coming weeks. It plans to issue requests for proposals next month to have contractors bid on the job and expects to have secured the required permits to begin construction by October. The plan leaves eight months to finish the job in time to hold a grand opening in time for next beach season.


"Right now the focus has solely been on the store," said Trustee John Zaccaro. He emphasized that the market, not the municipal building they're planning to build next to it, is the priority. Finishing the new village building will come after the store opens.

Among those resources Cox is calling on are Saltaire residents themselves. More than a dozen villagers formed three committees separately planning interior design, architecture and commercial needs. Members of those committees detailed reasoning behind such plans as securing enough stock room and modern refrigeration units--to ensure the food is fresh and at its tastiest.


"We made the store as conventional as possible," one member said, describing departmentalized aisles that shoppers would expect to find in a mainland Long Island supermarket.

Some details were still being negotiated, such as the decor and whether the village will install solar panels to reduce the electric bill. Other plans were set, such as the installation of centralized air conditioning and the entrance to the new market no longer facing Broadway. Shoppers will enter from the central plaza between the market and the village building.


One of the toughest questions to answer will be how high the new market will drive village homeowners' tax bills, with estimates that it could be near $500 or more. The administration hopes to reduce the cost by selling off village-owned real estate. Either way, Saltaire can expect that their new market will cost more than just the sum of their grocery bill.