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Crews Begin Leveling Sitar Site 

A work crews demolishes the former home of Sitar restaurant Friday.

The former of home of Sitar, once a hotspot for Indian Cuisine in Huntington, has been demolished – and just in the nick of time for the property owners to avoid a hefty fee from Town Hall.

A demolition permit was issued Oct. 29 after inspections confirmed that no asbestos was still in the building. Demolition began on Halloween.

The Sitar property has been on the town’s code enforcement department’s radar for two years. Property owners ELA Management signed an agreement with the town in late September to tear the building down by Nov. 1.

Because ELA Management agreed to level the building by Nov. 1, the town waived $10,000 in commercial blight registry fees for 2012 and 2013. Otherwise, the town would have torn it down themselves, and charged them the blight fee and the cost of demolition, town spokesman A.J. Carter said. The town, he added, deemed that ELA Management was in compliance with the deal.

Sitar has been closed since September 2008. The 0.4-acre parcel at 665 West Jericho Turnpike in Huntington Station was added to the town’s blight registry July 9. The town began taking steps toward demolishing the building themselves over the summer.

Over the summer, real estate agent Stephen R. Preuss, of Massey Knakel Realty Services, said Huntington Station-based ELA Management LLC was looking to sell the property to a developer and acknowledged that the building might need to be leveled.

He said offers focused on a 4,000-5,000 square-foot, one-story strip mall with multiple stores, or a “pad site” for a fast food restaurant, a national bank or credit tenant.

According to a fact sheet published by Sabre Real Estate, the previous agents for the property, the 0.4-acre site has been described as a prime new development site on Jericho Turnpike that boasts an approximately 25,000-vehicle-per-day traffic count and approximately 200 square feet of frontage on Jericho Turnpike.

Keith Archer, attorney for ELA Management, said there are no concrete plans for the property yet.

“They want to develop it,” Archer said. “It’s a good location.”

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