Dev withdraws application for Elwood mega-mall project

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ELWOOD -

The developer looking to build a new mall in Elwood has withdrawn his application for a hearing on the project.

Great Neck-based developer Kris Torkan originally wanted a hearing that would make way for a zoning change for the $80 million Villadom Mall project off Jericho Turnpike.

"After careful consideration, and with the consultation of family and partners, we have made a decision to withdraw our present Application," Torkan said in a statement. "We do so, to provide us with sufficient time to re-craft a plan that the community will support."

Neighbors said their main concern was that a new project like the mall would bring with it unnecessary traffic. They also said they don't need more stores, in addition to ecological concerns.

"The EAF (Environmental Assessment Form) said that development of this land would push wildlife out 100 acres -- beyond that," said resident Patrick Deegan.

Those in favor in the development said it would help taxpayers.

"Tax levy here in Elwood is about $45 million," said James Cameron. "That property pays $100,000 of that. If this were to be developed the way it is, that property would pay $3 million of that."

At this point, those in opposition of Villadom said they want the land preserved. But for that to happen, they'd have to wait to hear back from the town.

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