swan commons

Four years after Best Market set up shop and almost two years since a new Walgreens pharmacy was built, Auto Zone is coming to the eastern end of Swan Nursery Commons in East Patchogue.

Work has started inside the building, which is next to Best Market, and outside along Montauk Highway.

“They’re coming with a large, 8,500-square-foot store, and we are improving that side area to get all that unsightly scrub out,” said Steve Appas, the director of real estate for Serota Properties, which owns the plaza. “We’re putting in a few extra parking spots to add extra parking, drainage, and about $50,000 worth of plantings to improve the visibility and make the shopping center more friendly to the customers who walk in from that [eastern] end.”

As recently as 2011, the shopping center — home to one of the highest-rated Zagat restaurants on Long Island in Chachama Grill — had lacked an anchor tenant after Waldbaum’s pulled out in 2007.

With the supermarket, for which residents had petitioned for years, according to Patch.com, followed other new stores, including a liquor store and the newly built Walgreens location.

“Slowly but surely, we’re brining it back,” Appas said of the plaza.


Photo: Workers outside the future Auto Zone site on Friday. (Credit: Michael White)