Gas station eyes bigger store in NHP

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Umesh and Vijay Nayar’s plans to expand the convenience store at their Shell gas station at 1500 Jericho Turnpike. (Photo from Google Maps)

The owners of a New Hyde Park service station want to build a bigger convenience store to sell more food and drinks.

Umesh and Vijay Nayar plan to expand the convenience store at their Shell gas station to 791 square feet from “almost nothing” by eliminating one of three auto repair bays at 1500 Jericho Turnpike, architect Greg Spano said.

That will involve substantial renovations to the inside and outside of the 2,016-square-foot building at the corner of Jericho Turnpike and New Hyde Park Road, complete with larger windows, new bathrooms and more storage space, Spano said.

“It’s just going to be more of a freshening up and a significant boon to the village on this corner,” Spano told the New Hyde Park Village Board of Trustees on Tuesday.

Umesh and Vijay Nayar have owned the gas station and repair shop for about 10 years, they said.

The new convenience store would sell many of the same items they currently stock, such as snacks, soda, beer and cigarettes, with the addition of prepackaged sandwiches and some other foods, they said.

“It will remain the same, the way we are doing now,” Vijay Nayar said.

The Nayars, both Hicksville residents, would have four to five employees working in the store and repair shop at a time, they said.

They plan to have the convenience store open from 5 a.m. to midnight, with gas available for purchase 24 hours through a window after midnight, Umesh Nayar said.

The station is not technically allowed to operate as a convenience store, so the Nayars need a special use permit to operate the renovated one, Mayor Robert Lofaro said.

Deputy Mayor Lawrence Montreuil asked whether the Nayars would consider closing the store at 11 p.m., as other similar stores in the area do.

Umesh Nayar said he may consider closing earlier in the winter but staying open later in the summer, when the store is busiest. The pair hopes to finish the renovations by this summer, he said.

The Board of Trustees reserved decision on the Nayars’ application and forwarded it to the Nassau County Planning Commission. A decision could come as early as Tuesday, Lofaro said.

Also on Tuesday, Lofaro said the village has issued summonses to the Water Authority of Western Nassau County and T-Mobile for leaving a cell phone antenna on the ground near a water tower on Second Avenue.

Residents have repeatedly complained about the antenna, which was supposed to go back on top of the water tower after the water authority finished repairs to it about a year ago, Lofaro said.

Mick Tierney, the water authority superintendent, said it is T-Mobile’s responsibility to reinstall the antenna. The company has been waiting to receive necessary equipment and told Tierney it will be installed within the next couple weeks, he said.

“It’s basically out of our control,” Tierney said. “Every other week I’m calling them.”

T-Mobile did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Lofaro also said New Hyde Park has partnered with the villages of Floral Park and Garden City to retain Vertex, a New York City-based engineering firm, to help it review the environmental study of the Long Island Rail Road’s proposed third track project.

The villages are splitting the $118,000 cost of Vertex’s services, Lofaro said.

They also continue to retain Beveridge & Diamond, a Manhattan environmental law firm, that will also review the study.

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