Hampton Bays shopkeepers say that a stagnant Main Street is hurting their bottom line and there are some things that they would like to see improved. In an article published on Tuesday on Westhampton-Hampton Bays Patch those business owners laid out their ideas, from shop local campaigns to bringing in artsy-type businesses.
Readers also had a lot to say on the topic. The following is a round-up of their comments. Feel free to add to the conversation by posting a comment below.
jks wrote, "Landlords need to reduce rents on Main Street to invite more retail. They also need to spruce up their buildings to make them more inviting to customers. The town in fact already looks good thanks to the HBBA."
Jacqueline Sirignano said, "I also agree- reduce the rent to a reasonable amount and spruce up the buildings to make them more alluring and inviting to customers. Have the County pave Main St.! Main St has so much potential to be spectacular and yet quaint. The narrow sidewalks are not the problem. Main St needs a few good cafes/bistros and tables should be arranged outside so customers can dine al fresco. It also needs moderately priced gift shops and clothing boutiques for ALL ages (women/men/teens/children.) I love the idea of artsy type businesses. Anything cultural related will lure customers. Any type of specialty shops would be great, too as customers are willing to pay more for gourmet, specialty items. I am a seasonal resident and when I am out there, I try to shop local as much as possible and am willing to pay a higher price to support this great hamlet. I read Westhampton Beach will be installing an antique clock in town to spruce up the area. This would be a wonderful idea for our town. Just a thought..."
michael responded, "Are the taxes on these commercial buildings going to be reduced so that these owners can reduce their rents? Think before you speak! High taxes (for our schools) equals high rent!"
Boo said, "HB looks like Brentwood and Freeport. Adios small town feel!"
Bojames wrote, "I spend summers( since 2003) in Hampton Bays. While I like to get the best price for a product and will travel to big box stores in Riverhead I find that shopping locally saves both time and money. All things equal, or even nearly equal, I shop locally. I like the service at Shinnecock Hardware."
tmw suggested business owners lower their prices. He wrote, "there's a huge markup,even in the dollar store!"
Besim Cukaj said, "You need more stores that will attract more women. Clothing, shoes, jewelry are all a girls best friend. But they have to be fashionable of course. That's why SH , EH, BH and WH have the traffic that they have. Then you need to market that to the right crowd and before you know it Main Street will be hopping. Go for it you've got nothing to lose!"
michael added, "If you want to fix the problem, you need to go to the source of the problem: The Town of Southampton and the Planning Board which has been in power for far to long. Every good idea over the past 20+ years has been turned down or they will drag the owners of said ideas through the mud for years until they give up! Hampton Bays needs to separate from the town and become its own township. Hampton Bays has the highest year round residents, why do we need some folks who do not even live or own anything in Hampton Bays making decesions for us? Otherwise we will remain the crotch of the Hamptons. If the problems are not fixed, we surely deserve the nicknames that we have been hearing and seeing for years, Harlem Bays, Compton Bays, Home of the Emerald Highway!"
Meatball wrote, "Enforce the speed limit, no one stops at stop signs. I did an experiment and walked and rode my bicycle in different hamlets and villages, People slow down, wave and smile in most cases. Hampton Bays is the only place where they speed up. I have witnessed speeding & running stop signs. To start folks pave the Montauk highway, paint the lines & redo the sidewalks properly. Why is Hampton Bays the only place on the east end with a year round green line, and now with shades of red? Saving tear downs does not help the area, commerce does (Job creation). Take a good look at the other Hamlets and villages, walk through. The highway here is a sad-looking place it is no wonder people speed through."
john langan added, "The parking patrol doesnt make it very convienant for parking, the entire town minus a few buildings need new matching facades. Pave main street, fix the sidewalks, try to attract restaurants and bistros. Live music in that "park" next to squiretown in the evenings, sidewalk sales, pave or seal the parking lot where Kriegs and Liggets are. The HBBC has done a great job landscaping but the private properties need to be landscaped also. How about a Gazebo in the park for the music and picnic tables so people can take to go food from town to eat. Maybe the businesses and movie thearter can get together and If you buy a meal for two you get a discount on movies."
jks said, "All seem to be good ideas. LIve music in the park next to Squiretown once in a while would be very nice."
And Patricia responded, "So true...the park is a waste,nothing goes on there , not even during parades or holidays."
Now, it's your turn. Post a comment below.
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