For years, the dilapidated shell that is the vacant building situated at 2549 Merrick Road has been an eyesore for the local community.
Formally home to a hair salon and a light fixture business, the 6,500 square foot structure has stood empty and in disrepair for an uncertain number of years.
“I only purchased it eight months ago,” said Mike, the new owner of the building. “Prior to that, it was vacant for at least two to three years.”
However, according to Matt Berman, owner of Bellmore Kickboxing next door, the property has been abandoned for far longer than that.
“I feel like it’s been six years, seven years...maybe even longer,” he said. "It really hasn’t had an effect on our business, at least.”
Mike said that one space in the building has, in fact, been rented to a company called Glamorous Parties, and is currently undergoing renovation. But due to the tough economy, Mike found that he had to cut a deal to draw in the new tenants.
“The primary reason I was finally able to finally rent the space that I’ve rented is because I gave them very below market rental per square footage on the property, or else I think it would still be empty,” he said. “It was below $18 a square foot and on Merrick Road in Bellmore, you usually talk about rents from the low/mid twenties to the thirties.”
There is still a 4,500 square foot space available for rent in the building and the high ceilings of the property ensure it could be used for a variety of businesses, according to Mike.
“I think there are several different types that it could be ideal for,” he said. “A storage facility, or an industrial business, like a cabinet maker, or a granite or tile shop. My idea was to build a training facility for young kids for different kinds of sports.”
As for what kind of business he’s like to see open up at next door to his kickboxing gym, Berman was uncertain, but he took the time to point out yet another local vacancy...an issue that continues to grow on Merrick Road.
“I’m not sure what kind of business would be good there...anything would be good, as long as it’s not competition for us,” he said. “But then there’s this Temple on the other side of us, which has been vacant for a while as well....we’re in-between two places where there’s nothing going on right now. But at least we have all their parking right now.”
What businesses would you like to see fill vacant storefronts on Merrick Road? Tell us in the comments below.