Peppertree Commons is in for some much needed improvements, according to the company representing its new owner.
“We’re going to redo the entire façade,” said Elliot Nassim of Mason Asset Management. Tenants of the shopping center said they are happy to hear it.
“It’s always looked like this,” said Spencer Klein of , standing outside his shop as a customer jammed the door against a spot of raised pavement in front. He said he’s been there since 1988. “It needs a good facelift.”
A dark green sign runs along the face of the L-shaped shopping center. Large white letters spell the names of the businesses there, except for a few gaps over shops that sit empty.
“There’s no food. People aren’t hanging out here for the day,” Klein said. He has his own loyal customers which save him from relying on foot traffic, he said, but a food establishment would be a welcome improvement.
“You can’t [even] get a soda,” said Scott Stimell, owner of . “I don’t know of any other shopping center on Long Island with no food place.”
He said he’s hosting Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks in December as part of an effort to attract some attention to the location, where he’s been for more than three years.
“Things have gotten worse,” Stimell said. “It’s really been beaten down.”
Things were improved a little when a receiver cleaned up the property after the , according to Tom of One Hour Photo. He said business has been slow due to the economy and the center having so much unrented space.
“If it looked better and was full, that would be nice,” he said.
Nassim, speaking for the new landlord who he said would rather not be identified, said there has been plenty of interest from “regional and national tenants.” He said his company is already negotiating a lease for one food establishment, but declined to talk specifics at this time.
“We’re very pleased with the response we’ve gotten in such a short period of time,” he said of prospective tenants’ interest. “I think it’s a sign of a great retail area. The center had been neglected.”