Supporters, critics debate proposed $80M Elwood mall

Supporters and critics of a proposed mall attended a planning board meeting Wednesday night at Huntington Town Hall.

Supporters and critics of a proposed mall attended a planning board meeting Wednesday night at Huntington Town Hall.

Supporters and critics of a proposed mall attended a planning board meeting Wednesday night at Huntington Town Hall. (6/23/16)

HUNTINGTON - Supporters and critics of a proposed mall attended a planning board meeting Wednesday night at Huntington Town Hall.

Developer Villadom wants to transform a heavily wooded site on Jericho Turnpike in Elwood into an $80 million megamall.

Currently, the property is classified as low-density residential zoning. Villadom is asking the town to amend its master plan to classify the property for commercial use.

Those in favor of building the mall say it will boost the local economy by creating jobs and bringing more businesses to the area.

Opponents of the proposed 56-acre mall say the property will be bigger than the Nassau Coliseum complex. They are concerned about the traffic and they say the Walt Whitman Mall is less than 3 miles away.

Opponents also say construction of the mall will be bad for the environment due to the number of trees that would have to be eliminated.

The planning board will make a recommendation to the town board based on Wednesday night's public comments.

The town is expected to hold another public hearing about the proposed mall in the next few months.

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