Trader Joe’s take notice: the south shore communities between Blue Point and West Sayville want you bad. They want you more than Target or Whole Foods or any other store operation that could move into the Attias Flea Market location in Sayville.
But if they can't have you, they're happy to have Target for the most part, and overjoyed the flea market will be closed.
That's the consensus following news that Target is aiming to open in late 2013. Response to the news from Patch readers came fast.
“The flea market is a rat infested blight on the community,” wrote reader Big Joe.
“I welcome a Target in place of the flea market…the flea market is more of a drain on the economy than any big box store that goes there. A Target would promote more jobs for the area youth and bring more people to the Sayville area which will hopefully lead them downtown to support the businesses that exist there,” he commented.
But while many readers view Target favorably, a good majority residents would rather see Trader Joe’s or a Whole Foods arrive in town.
“I have to say, though, that a Trader Joe's would have been fantastic and would have probably made the local retailers happier too,” wrote reader Laura, describing such a scenario as “A win-win for everyone.”
Many, including Bayport Mom, who is a bit worried that a big retail chain could hurt Sayville’s downtown business sector, echoed her statement.
“A Whole Foods or Trader Joe's would be a much better way to go with this space,” she wrote. Big Joe chimed back in on that note as well.
“I agree with Karen and must admit Whole foods or Trader Joes would be an awesome addition to the area.”
But unfortunately for Big Joe, Karen and Bayport Mom, Trader Joe’s has no plans to open a new location on Long Island anytime soon. The closest store for Patch readers is the Smith Haven Plaza location in Lake Grove.
“We have a real estate team that explores store locations. We take a slow controlled approach to expansion as we strive to keep the store experience the same in every location,” a Trader Joe's spokesperson told Patch in a phone interview Monday morning.
“As we’re privately held we don’t disclose what aspects are used to determine potential new locations,” she said, adding, “We don’t anticipate opening any new locations on Long Island. We only announce store openings when we’re in the final stages of the store development.”
While that news isn’t going to excite the over 100 readers who gave Patch feedback on the news about Target, the fact the flea market will be closing is apparently enough satisfaction.
“ANYTHING is better than that awful flea market!!!!,” wrote Patti Collins, who also thinks it would be a great space for a business that provides a healthy outlet for teenagers, such as a roller skating rink.
A few readers expressed concerns about potential traffic issues with a well-known retailer moving into the site, and some believe a Trader Joe’s would be better off in the downtown-shopping district.
“I worry about the traffic along the south service road of Sunrise Hwy. & Broadway especially on weekends,” wrote reader Janet, who lives nearby.
“I'm concerned about Loop Drive becoming more of a short cut to Broadway by people trying to avoid the congestion Target will cause. Cars already fly through my street and ignore the stop signs,” she wrote, adding that a Trader Joe's should be considered for downtown Sayville as it would be “a destination for people from all over and bring more people to our lovely town area.”
PeKlass also contends the new retail operation will just make current traffic flow worse.
“Say no to Target. Let them take over Kmart. How many more traffic lights can we stand along that stretch of Broadway?,” she asked in her comment.
"There are already 4 in about 1/8 mile from Sunrise South Service Road to Church Street. And, what about heading south and trying to merge left while the line of cars backs up waiting to turn right into the shopping center?," PeKlass wrote.
And then there are those of the minority opinion who believe neither a Target nor Trader Joe’s is a good fit.
“Part of the value of our real estate comes from the uniqueness of our downtown stores. The Sayville Chamber of Commerce provides the year round activities that so many of us enjoy,” wrote Gale Tiedemann.
“We do not need another threat to their existence. Are we so incapable of driving a few miles to get to a Target or Home Depot? We do not need all of these box stores within 10 minutes of our homes. Again we are looking at convenience instead of quality - quality of products and quality of life. Visit your downtown area, shop in the stores, and remember why people say that Sayville is such a unique place to live," Tiedemann wrote.