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Builder targets drugstores for Little Neck Eckerd site

"We've just started to reach out to a couple of different pharmacies," developer Tim O'Sullivan said in a meeting with community leaders at Councilman Tony Avella's (D-Bayside) office Friday. "All we can do is offer to them and hopefully they'll take it."When the Eckerd across the street from O'Sullivan's site closed early in January, some Little Neck residents were dismayed that there was no longer a pharmacy within walking distance. A Staples will replace Eckerd."It's clear that the community needs a pharmacy," Avella said. "I think we have an opportunity here to do something and get the pharmacy right back."O'Sullivan and his partners, H.B. Landmark Realty, hope to demolish the vacant site of Patrick's Pub on Northern Boulevard and start construction in April on a three-story retail and community facility building called the Plaza at Little Neck Hills. Once construction begins, the building should be finished in a year, O'Sullivan said.Civic leaders were generally receptive to the plans, although some raised concerns about parking."Our only concern is that there's ample parking," said Bob Nobile, president of the Little Neck Pines Civic.The preliminary plans, which still await approval from the Buildings Department, show 13 spaces in front, 45 underground and eight more in an area around the back, accessible from Browvale Lane. O'Sullivan said the underground parking will be intended mostly for employees, and the easily accessible spaces in front of the building are designed for retail customers.In addition to marketing to drugstores for the first floor retail space, O'Sullivan said he hopes to get a large day-care center for part of the upper story space. A day-care center has less traffic during the day than other uses, such as medical offices, where patients are frequently going in and out.Having plenty of parking benefits both the community and the builder, O'Sullivan said, because retail tenants choke when their customers cannot find spaces."We spoke to tenants up and down Northern and that was their one big complaint," he said.Reach reporter John Tozzi by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300 Ext. 174.

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