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Sep 8, 2015 9:04 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

CVS Officials, Others Express Interest In Hampton Bays Diner Property

The Hampton Bays Diner is on the market. AMANDA BERNOCCO
Sep 9, 2015 8:41 AM

The owner of the lot that houses the Hampton Bays Diner, which closed in July after its operators filed for bankruptcy, said this week that he has several potential businesses—including a pharmacy chain—that are now interested in the property.

Tom Charos, the owner of Charos Properties Ltd. in Riverhead, said officials with CVS Pharmacy have contacted him in recent weeks in inquire about possibly taking over the space at 157 West Montauk Highway in Hampton Bays.

If CVS opts to pursue that option—chain representatives did not return calls or emails this week seeking comment—it would need to secure a special exception permit from Southampton Town as a pharmacy is not a permitted use of the land. The 1.7-acre property is currently zoned Hampton Bays Highway Business, which permits certain types of commercial businesses, such as restaurants, banks and retail shops. The land could also accommodate a church, library or some type of state-recognized nonprofit.

Another potential complication is that Frank and Maria Vlahadamis of Hampton Bays, the longtime operators of the now defunct diner, still own the actual diner building and have been ordered by a bankruptcy court judge to sell it, according to Paul Fetscher, president of Great American Brokerage in Long Beach.

He explained that his firm, which specializes in selling such properties, was directed by the court to help find a buyer for the building, which is now listed at $1.25 million. The Vlahadamises had accumulated some $1.3 million in debt prior to closing their business, according to court documents.

Mr. Fetscher explained that whoever eventually buys the former diner building—even if they opt to demolish the structure and construct a new one—would still have to lease the land it sits on from Mr. Charos. When he had the Vlahadamises as tenants, they agreed, as part of their lease, to also pay the property taxes on the land on top of $10,000 in monthly rent.

While he confirmed that CVS representatives have inquired about the property, Mr. Fetscher also pointed out that, as of Tuesday morning, 41 other people have inquired about the diner building as well. He declined to identify those who have expressed interest in the property.

“I would not be able to comment on that because they probably don’t want people to know [they’ve looked at it],” he said, “unless their competitor comes to look at it.”

He also stressed that CVS officials, who are still looking to open a pharmacy in Westhampton Beach and also want to open a store in Bridgehampton, would not sign any agreement without a change of zone.

“CVS will not do a deal without a pharmacy,” Mr. Fetcher said. “And the pharmacy is not a permitted use.”

Michael DeAngelis, director of public relations for CVS, did not respond this week to requests seeking comment.

Still, Mr. Charos said he would be willing to work with pharmacy officials if they have a real interest in buying the diner and, most likely, demolishing it and constructing a new building in its place. The Riverhead resident also pointed out that, in his opinion, a larger pharmacy would be a good fit in Hampton Bays.

“I think there’s a need for it,” Mr. Charos said of a CVS. “Right now I’m living in Riverhead and you see a lot of people from Hampton Bays shopping at the CVS in Riverhead.

“I think CVS would be a good tenant if they want to approve it,” he added.

A Rite Aid now sits at 50 East Montauk Highway in Hampton Bays, and the smaller Hampton Liggett Drugs is located at 39 West Montauk Highway, also in the hamlet.

Currently, CVS has two locations on the South Fork: one on Pantigo Road in East Hampton and a second on Main Street in Southampton Village.

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Just what the world needs, another CVS. Let's hope something better than this gets the property.
By HamptonDad (236), Hampton Bays on Sep 8, 15 9:59 PM
Agree - 2 pharmacies (1 local and 1 formula) already exist in Hampton Bays...no need for another.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Sep 9, 15 7:33 AM
1 member liked this comment
HB needs a GOOD Diner, not another drugstore!
By Infoseeker (280), Hampton Bays on Sep 9, 15 8:01 AM
“I think there’s a need for it,” Mr. Charos said of a CVS. “Right now I’m living in Riverhead and you see a lot of people from Hampton Bays shopping at the CVS in Riverhead."

No. You see HB people there because they had to go to Riverhead for Target or Tanger or something. Not because the existing drug stores and grocery stores don't meet their needs.

By Nature (2966), Southampton on Sep 9, 15 9:11 AM
3 members liked this comment
Too bad the taxes are over 65G on the property and a Diner or privately owned business can't make it after they pay electric and rent in such a seasonal area. A Diner would be great in HB, but it isn't a reality anymore.
By jasmine (9), sh on Sep 9, 15 10:19 AM
1 member liked this comment
This is the gateway to Hampton Bays, a new inciting diner should be constructed on this land. Hampton bays needs a diner and the summer crowds look for diners. We do not need to spend millions on a new library.
By Resident tax (186), Hampton bays ny on Sep 9, 15 12:39 PM
Why stop with one CVS when the Town's PPD laws can permit a drug store, restaurant, some office space, a few condos and whatever else someone can think of? Wont impact traffic or character of the neighborhood at all! That intersection has been an effortless pleasure mornings and afternoons since April.
By grey ghost (6), Southampton on Sep 9, 15 1:37 PM
1 member liked this comment
My first choice would be a decent diner. This area needs one.
Second choice: Library pursuing expansion options.
That might work.
By baywoman (165), southampton on Sep 9, 15 4:28 PM
1 member liked this comment
I agree that HB probably doesn't "need" another drug store, but I am not sure we "need" a new library either. It would be great if the land owner can find a viable business that can stay on the tax rolls.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Sep 9, 15 4:58 PM
By NEWLONDON (48), westhampton beach on Sep 10, 15 11:42 AM
A CVS would be such a welcoming EYE SORE as you get off the highway in hampton bays..Unbelievable...
By CML (1), Hampton Bays on Sep 10, 15 12:07 PM
1 member liked this comment
Hmmh, I'm thinking an all encompassing pizzeria/bank/nail salon/Chinese food restaurant would be a nice touch. But on a serious note, if the funding was there, a new, beautiful library would serve as a wonderful entry into the hamlet
By BaymenNYC (59), Manhattan on Sep 10, 15 6:31 PM
The funding is NOT there- the taxpayers would have to be bent over again to pay for a library
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Sep 11, 15 8:38 AM
1 member liked this comment
Also - this would be a terrible location for those without vehicles to get to.
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Sep 11, 15 9:08 AM
Hampton Bays does not "need" a CVS. I am sure I speak for a lot of residents both full time and weekenders; the last thing I want to see when I pull into town is another chain retail store. I agree with a lot of the other commenters - what Hampton Bays could really use is an affordable, clean, welcoming dinner or other similar type restaurant!! Come on Mr. Charos.. step up and do the right thing for the town..
By hbayz (2), Hampton Bays on Sep 11, 15 7:26 AM
1 member liked this comment
I agree that HB does not "need" a CVS - didn't mean to confuse anyone, but glad more commenters voiced their opinion. I hope we all show up or write to town hall if this come true and not just post on 27east.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Sep 11, 15 8:02 AM
1 member liked this comment
The man is running a business, he has the right to sell to anyone. If you believe a social experiment is called for, feel free to fund it and purchase the property yourself.
By VOS (1241), WHB on Sep 14, 15 10:49 PM
2 members liked this comment
Why a CVS?

Isnt the space big enough for TWO CVSs?

Why stop at just one? Every town should have 2 CVSs on each corner. Over saturation of national chain stores is what makes this nation great. Look how beautiful the CVSs are in Southampton and Riverhead. They lend a beige monolithic solemnity to the area that no library or diner could hope to achieve.
I say we ask the town to substantially lower taxes on the property so that two CVSs could thrive there. Press one if ...more
By btdt (449), water mill on Sep 11, 15 8:48 AM
A diner is the only fit for the space. It is what HB is lacking.

Like any other greedy business owner.. He is not going to do what's good for the area. He will do what's good for his wallet.
By SHTownHB (75), Hampton Bays on Sep 11, 15 9:32 PM
1 member liked this comment
Hampton Bays needs stupid people with money to lose in a crap hole like Hampton Bays. The big mouths in Hampton Bays will make sure nothing goes to the diner space. One idiot even thinks the diner should be a library. Lol
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 11, 15 10:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
Chief1, I apologize if I see greater usage of the proverbial welcome mat of the hamlet. So easy to hide behind an internet handle. How many hours a day do you devote to internet trolling?
By BaymenNYC (59), Manhattan on Sep 12, 15 11:49 AM
Sure a library what a great use of commercial space.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 12, 15 11:32 PM
1 member liked this comment
A diner with late hours is still very needed for this area- and the building would be great to stay as is..... Hoping someone can take it over and make it work...
By Darlene C. (2), Southampton on Sep 13, 15 12:55 AM
The Southampton Princess diner has the key in the door at 9:45PM! That's the way diner's out here are operated today. They don't believe in providing a service to the community anymore (to shift working nurses, police, truck drivers, etc.) I hate that they close so early and so selfishly.
By Zorro (66), Southampton on Sep 13, 15 3:32 AM
"I hate that they close so early and so selfishly."

So they should stay open and lose money? Don't you think that if they could be making money at those hours, they would remain open?
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Sep 13, 15 10:45 AM
2 members liked this comment
A "special exception permit" is NOT the same as a "change of zone".
By Zorro (66), Southampton on Sep 13, 15 3:39 AM
good point
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Sep 15, 15 8:37 AM
Honestly a chain store is the last thing that should go there. When you come off the high way the first thing you should see is something beautiful and unique...something that is just Hampton bays. That's what the town needs. I envision a funky bakery/diner type place. I just can't see how anyone could afford to come in and do it. From what I understand of the article you have to pay for the building (at around 1million) then pay 10k a month plus taxes? That's insane. How can anyone who has a dream ...more
By Polandspring (96), Southampton on Sep 13, 15 10:10 AM
What the hell is a "funky bakery"??
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Sep 15, 15 6:57 AM
Good grief - something fun... something unique...just something that isn't Starbucks, McD, CVS, Or some other chain store...something that would be a gathering place for locals and tourists alike...but I guess that isn't what people want...people want big companies like Starbucks to take over. The term funky by the way "different but cool/nice." or if talking about music "having or using a strong dance rhythm.." I was going for the "different but cool/nice" meaning.
By Polandspring (96), Southampton on Sep 15, 15 1:09 PM
I was thinking more of "that plate of leftovers in the back of the fridge is getting funky- better throw it out" or "it smells funky in here- who needs to bathe?"
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Sep 19, 15 6:57 AM
1 member liked this comment
It would be an ideal location to set up a new Immigrant Welcome Center for the all the immigrants being accepted into our country now!
By LovinLife (61), East Quogue on Sep 13, 15 5:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
What? No condos? It's a perfect spot. Just pull off the highway,,drive a quarter of a mile and your commute from tg e city is over. You're at your summer home in no time flat. So much easier than driving all the way out to condos in Water Mill or Sag Harbor.
By btdt (449), water mill on Sep 14, 15 9:44 PM
A say put nothig there so it looks like the CPI, and the canal site.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 15, 15 8:20 AM
Why not utilize the old Center Island Pharmacy building?? Too many storefronts left abandoned and unfilled in Hampton Bays. Hampton Bays needs another diner there!
By beachbabe (14), Hampton Bays on Sep 16, 15 12:56 PM
1 member liked this comment
Absolutely not.
Listen up Town Hall...absolutely NOT.
Don't even think about it.
Got it?
By PQ1 (167), hampton bays on Sep 16, 15 10:33 PM
NO CVS! Absolutely, NO!
By elliot (254), sag harbor on Sep 19, 15 3:25 AM
By politcal pawn (121), Flanders on Sep 19, 15 12:14 PM