The rehabilitation of the old auto yard and repair shop at 1566 Montauk Highway in Bellport is complete. The brand-new Holla Dollar and Boost Mobile stores opened Tuesday.
Owner Jesus Valverde of Patchogue took over the property about a year ago.
Prior to that, Holla Dollar was forced to move from Miracle Plaza at Station Road and Montauk Highway after new owners committed to cleaning up the blighted shopping center.
To do so, they welcomed national chain Family Dollar (also now open) as an anchor tenant.
That left the independently owned Holla Dollar, which offers everything from beauty products to school supplies to auto necessities like anti-freeze,, facing an uncertain fate.
But the community rallied, circulating a petition that garnered over 400 signatures. It was those signatures that kept the Valverdes in Bellport, says Jesus Valverde.
“I stayed right here for the community, because of their support,” he said from inside the Holla Dollar. “If I didn’t have that support I would have tried to go somewhere else. Now we have a new facelift. And, it’s a little quieter here.”
The new location is on the south side of Montauk Highway and few hundred yards to the east from the more prominent old location.
“They did a phenomenal job,” said Regina Hunt of Bellport, who recalled urging the Valverdes to look at the property at 1566 Montauk Highway. “We’re so happy they stayed. They fixed the building up really nice and we’re glad to have them. They’re wonderful people and a wonderful family.”
After leaving Miracle Plaza over a year ago, Holla Dollar set up in temporary space not far away on Montauk Highway in East Patchogue. Throughout the two moves, Holla Dollar only closed for seven days total.
The larger and newly outfitted Boost Mobile (pictured below), which had also been in Miracle Plaza, shares the same 3,600-square-foot building. There is a retail space in between but it’s not available; Valverde said Holla Dollar will expand into that space soon.
The renovation work included adding all new windows more appropriate of a retail operation, as well as new doors, an interior renovation and clearing of weeds and debris in favor or new landscaping. The family also added a 24-spot parking lot over what had looked like an old junkyard.
The Valverde family will be hosting a grand opening party on Sept. 2 as a thank you to the community, as well as the town and county, which assisted in them getting the space opened.
“I’m excited and very thankful,” Jesus Valverde said.
Top: Jesus Valverde outside his new Holla Dollar and Boost Mobile stores. (Michael White)