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Last Updated: December 11, 2018
The following articles - and more - can be found in our print edition:
Snouder’s Open House
Shows Extent of Damage
By Loriann Cody
Hamid Nazif, the owner of Snouder’s Drug Store, held an open house at the store on the corner of South Street and West Main Street in Oyster Bay this past weekend. By opening the doors and allowing visitors to tour the premises, he hopes to show the full extent of the damage to the interior of the structure. And in doing so, perhaps change the minds of those in the hamlet that hope for a total historical restoration.
At last week’s Town of Oyster Bay Landmark Preservation Commission meeting, the Commission voted to direct the Town of Oyster Bay to issue code violations when applicable to Nazif. Nazif, who purchased the building in 2015 for just under $700K, had hopes to put retail space on the ground floor, and apartments on the top two floors. At one point in it’s more than 100-year history, there were apartments on the upper floors. Once all the debris had been cleared from the upper floors the extent of the damage became apparent, and has hindered Nazif’s restoration plans. He contracted with A.S. Engineering, PE to conduct a review.
Previous renovations to the building had been done in a piece-meal format and not to code, and because of structural damage caused by a fire, A.S. Engineering, PE, recommended the building be demolished, and a new one built in it’s place. In direct contrast, the firm Jan Hird Pokorny Associates (JHPA), hired by the Landmark Preservation Commission, found that much of the building could be restored. Noting the historical value of the building to Oyster Bay, JHPA argued the building should be saved. At last week’s meeting, the commission voted to adopt JHPA’s report. Nazif was not present at that meeting due to illness, though he had asked for a delay.
As with most historical buildings, it is often more expensive to restore than to rebuild. Rough estimates of the cost of historical restoration range anywhere from $1.5 Million to $2.0 Million. This high price tag makes restoring the building almost out of the question for Nazif. It is possible that with help from the Oyster Bay Main Street Association, restoration grants could be found, but at this time that has not happened.
Touring the building was difficult without lighting. There is no plumbing on any of the floors, and fire damage to beams was visible. The attic space was expansive, but sunlight showed clearly through cracks in the façade. The piece-meal development of the building could also be seen clearly in the basement, with a stone and brick foundation common to structures built in the 19th century.
Nazif has offered this link for interested residents to let their personal views on the development of Snouders be known: www.108southstreet.com Password is: 108w
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