Nassau OTB’s Wantagh branch on Sunrise Highway has been shuttered after the agency lost an appeal against the buyer of the 6,000 square-foot building.
Nassau OTB’s appeal against Larry Weinberger, who purchased the 0.72 acre property for $3.4 million, was rejected in the Appellate Division 2nd Department in Brooklyn last week, paving the way for the Bellmore-based developer to begin development of the parcel.
Weinberger, who is president of MGD Investments in Bellmore, said he has already received inquiries for the property on 3430 Sunrise Hwy. including national restaurant chains Buffalo Wild Wings, Starbucks and Five Guys Famous Burgers & Fries.
“I’m looking forward to re-developing the site and adding something to the community that will generate higher sales tax which is what we
need,” said Weinberger, who owns several retail properties along Sunrise Highway and Merrick Road. “I’m sure the community is going to be very happy to see [the property] re-developed into something that will be a lot more aesthetically pleasing.”
The property on 3430 Sunrise Hwy. had been run by Nassau OTB until its lease ended on Dec. 31, 2010. Last April, the property’s landlord Gloria R. Keily Trust decided to sell the betting parlor to Weinberger of MGD Investments.
Nassau OTB did not give up control of its Wantagh location without a fight and filed a lawsuit against Keily Trust claiming that the landlord impeded its right of first refusal to purchase the property by adding a last-minute request that required financing be guaranteed by Nassau County. The financing requirement was not issued to Weinberger when he contracted with Keily Trust to buy the property.
“We vacated the property and handed over the keys to [Weinberger],” said Arthur Walsh, counsel for Nassau OTB. “We complied with the court order.”
Walsh said Nassau OTB’s lawsuit against Keily Trust is still ongoing.
Nassau OTB still owns a lot located south of 3430 Sunrise Hwy. that contains 32 parking spots but the agency would like to sell it. Weinberger said he would be interested in purchasing that land to utilize for parking once stores and restaurants move into the Sunrise Highway property, which is located at the corner of Seaford Avenue.
“It is a great site for retail that will enhance the community,” said Weinberger.
Weinberger did not give a timetable for when construction of new stores and restaurants might begin on the old Nassau OTB property.