Hardware store pitched for Mattituck; residents raise concerns

The owners of a Jamesport paint store unveiled plans Monday night to move to Mattituck and expand to include a hardware store — a project that would also involve the owner of Orlowski Hardware Store on Love Lane.

Brinkmann Hardware, a family-owned business with fives stores on Long Island, including VanKemenade Paint in Jamesport, is looking to move to the corner of Main Road and New Suffolk Avenue. Three siblings, Mary Neimeth, Hank Brinkmann and Ben Brinkmann, discussed the project at a standing-room-only forum hosted by the Mattituck-Laurel Civic Association at the Mattituck Presbyterian Church.

Residents expressed concern about traffic safety and quality of life.

While the Brinkmanns confirmed that Rich Orlowski, who purchased Orlowski Hardware in 2003, would be involved in the deal, they declined to get into specifics or elaborate on the future of the Love Lane location.

“Rich Orlowski and I will not be competing,” Ben Brinkmann said. “We will be working together.”

He also said that Mr. Orlowski has known of the plans since January, but did not want anything about his involvement discussed during the meeting.

Mr. Orlowski, reached by telephone Tuesday, said he did not have time to comment.

Residents were most concerned about the traffic in the area near New Suffolk Avenue, especially with with tractor trailers dropping off deliveries.

“Tractor trailers come twice a week,” Ben Brinkmann said. “They can navigate that turn.”

The Brinkmanns want to construct two buildings on the 1.775-acre property — a 12,000-square-foot building for the hardware store and an adjacent 8,000-square-foot building for the paint store — and are proposing 80 parking spots.

Residents packed the forum to hear details on the proposed hardware store. (Credit: Rachel Siford)

Mary Eisenstein, who served as president of the civic association from 2015 until June, moderated a question-and-answer portion where residents could ask the Brinkmanns questions, during which many residents expressed concern about traffic and safety in that area. Ms. Eisenstein is a Democratic Party candidate for the Southold Town Board.

The store would provide 25 jobs in the community, the owners said, and will fill a need in the Mattituck area so residents won’t have to travel to Riverhead for their hardware needs.

When asked if they would consider a different location, the Brinkmanns hesitated, saying that the Main Road property is ideal for them because they feel the zoning fits the proposal and the property is large enough and can meet health department requirements.

The Brinkmanns’ stores offer brands like Carhartt, Benjamin Moore Paints, Yeti and Weber.

The Brinkmanns have not yet submitted any plans to the Town of Southold. They requested the forum to gauge community response to their proposal.

“We got what we came for,” Ben Brinkmann said. “I’m pleased to take all the comments. We’re taking it in and we’re listening.”

Top photo caption: Mary Neimeth, Ben Brinkmann, center, and Hank Brinkmann spoke at the forum Monday night. (Credit: Rachel Siford)

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