Plans for Walmart Supercenter in Yaphank move forward

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YAPHANK -

Plans to open a Walmart Supercenter in Yaphank are moving forward, but not everyone appears to want the world's largest retailer in their community.

The proposed 200,000-square-foot store would be part of a new development called The Boulevard, where construction is already underway on apartments, townhouses, condominiums, an assisted living facility and a hotel.

The 24-hour supercenter would feature a full-service grocery, pharmacy and auto care center.

Local civic leaders didn't mince words when it comes to their opposition.

"Walmart has a history of destroying every downtown within a 5-mile radius," says MaryAnn Johnston, of Affiliated Brookhaven Civic Organizations.

Craig Surrasco and his wife retired to Yaphank, hoping for a quieter lifestyle. He says a Walmart wouldn't fit the community.

A Walmart spokesperson says: "The Long Island market is an important one for the company, so we're excited about our plans to expand our footprint there...We're also excited to bring hundreds of new jobs to Long Island, jobs that become great careers."

The Town of Brookhaven says current zoning for the development site would not have to be changed to accommodate a Walmart Supercenter. But site plans would go before the planning review board.

Brian Ferruggiari, director of public affairs for AVR Realty/Rose-Breslin Associates, said in a statement:

The submission of this retail site plan is a vital component of our Boulevard project. It will place a supermarket, restaurants, and shopping all within walking distance of nearby residents, while providing needed jobs and tax revenues. We are excited to see our vision for this Smart Growth community becoming a reality.

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