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Locals react to news of Whole Foods coming to Holbrook, loss of SunVet Mall

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Whole Foods Holbrook

Locals are stoked — but not without worry for small businesses — over islandwide news reports that Whole Foods Market will be coming to the SunVet Mall property in Holbrook.

“I have been shopping at the SunVet Mall since the 1980s,” said Ella D’Amico, of Holtsville. “I was so disappointed to see it slowly disintegrate. I’m thrilled to hear Whole Foods will be occupying space. I’m looking forward to shopping locally again.”

According to Long Island Business News, Whole Foods will anchor a 168,000-square-foot open air shopping center, with Blumenfeld Development Group and Regency Centers leading the effort.

Specific terms of the deal were not shared.

A Starbucks might also take up space in the new center, the report reads.

The news didn’t come without a little trepidation, however.

“I am so excited Whole Foods will be so close,” said Jodi LoGrippo of nearby Sayville. “[But] I’m concerned about how it will affect Cornucopia,” for example.

Cornucopia is a popular mainstay natural foods market in downtown Sayville.

“I will continue to shop in our town but for those hard-to-find items that Whole Foods has, I look forward to not having to drive all the way to Lake Grove.” LoGrippo said.

Whole Foods’ nearest location to Holbrook is Lake Grove, but there are also locations in Commack and Massapequa. Work is expected to start later this year, according to the report.

For the unfamiliar, the SunVet Mall off Sunrise Highway had essentially become what’s called a ghost mall in recent years. The shopping center sustained big hits when it lost anchor stores Toys “R” Us, Payless Shoes and Pathmark, among others. It never recovered.

Click here for a photo tour from November 2019.

“I think it’s great that they’re making use of that shopping center,” said Kristina Caraballo, also of Holbrook. “I think it will make that area look alive again. It’s also very convenient for families that shop at Whole Foods now … Super stoked to see that shopping center full of cars again!”

Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash