Dejana demolishes property on Manhasset Isle

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The demolished warehouse on Secatoag Avenue. (Photo courtesy of Caroline DuBois)

Dejana Industries demolished an old warehouse last week on Manhasset Isle, clearing the space for an unknown future purpose.

The site is located between Secatoag Avenue and Matinicock Avenue, across the street from Dejana’s Manorhaven headquarters and east of the Thypin Steel property. The property had been used to store equipment, according to Manorhaven Mayor Jim Avena, but was mostly unoccupied.

He said he was glad to see it go.

“It was an abandoned manufacturing plant that was an eyesore,” he said.

Residents with the Manorhaven Action Committee expressed concern over the building’s demolition.

“The bulldozers just came in and smashed it up,” said Caroline DuBois, the acting secretary of MAC. “[Residents are] worried about asbestos.”

DuBois said that Superintendent of Buildings Bill Rogel told her that the building had a small amount of asbestos that was removed beforehand. She also said that permits were not on display at the site until demolition had begun.

Avena said the permits for demolition were secured ahead of time and surrounding business and a nearby school were notified of the demolition.

“They’re howling at the moon when the village did everything appropriately,” Avena said. “The fencing was up and the material was watered so that it didn’t spread dust. It was done in three days, it was routine business.”

With the building demolished, attention has turned to the future of the site, which is owned by Dejana Industries’ founder, Peter Dejana. Dejana sold his company in January.

Efforts to reach Dejana Industries were unavailing, although Avena said that the property was owned by Dejana himself and was not under the company’s control. Last week, the company’s vice president of operations, John Hogan, said that the company was looking to leave Manorhaven.

“We have a lease to stay here, but we are looking for a new location, and we have been looking for the past five years,” he said.

DuBois said she had heard rumors about the future use of the site, but Avena stressed that plans for the site did not have to be submitted before the demolition took place.

I don’t discuss that with him,” said Avena, who is the grant administrator for a charitable foundation run by Peter Dejana and is engaged to Dejana’s sister. “He hasn’t made any plans.”

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