Renovations have begun at the Coventry Commons shopping center in Stony Brook, a project that some businesses in that area have called long-overdue.
"It needs to be updated, brought into the 21st century," said John Killoran, co-owner of the Tudor Village Deli. "It absolutely, 100 percent affects business. ... This place used to thrive."
Construction kicked off several weeks ago in the rear of the facility, the former location of a fitness center. George Tsunis, whose company manages the property, said the buildings will be refurbished and in some cases reconstructed.
"I'm building it and hopefully [new businesses] will come," Tsunis said in a recent interview.
Last August, a representative of company that owns the property told Patch that
Tsunis blamed the delays on the permit process on local government agencies, which he said "tie you up and slow you down" when developers or merchants try to launch new projects.
"You can only go so far without town approvals," he said. "We just got approvals."
The Town of Brookhaven did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The property is zoned J-2 for "neighborhood business," which means the types of businesses that can occupy the space include daycare centers, delis, dry cleaners, laundromats, retail stores, dance and martial arts schools, bowling alleys, and offices.
The renovations can't come soon enough for some business owners, who say they have experienced roof leaks and other physical problems with the facilities.
But some merchants said they've been left in the dark even as the work has begun.
"They don't tell us anything," said Craig Comfort, a manager at Cataffo's Pizza. "I haven't heard anything."