MASTIC BEACH, Long Island (WABC) -- A restaurant in Suffolk County, destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, is finally getting demolished after neighbors complained about the eyesore for nearly a decade.
Violet Cove Restaurant is no more. The long-time focal point on the Great South Bay is being torn down to make room for a new image, a revitalization project for all of Mastic Beach.
"It's a rebirth where people are able to come back again to this site and really enjoy the natural beauty of this location," Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said.
Bellone announced that a million-dollar state grant is being used to hire a firm to plan and design the site.
The goal is to expand the waterfront access with walking and biking trail connections to the larger Mastic-Shirley conservation area.
The Violet Cove was badly damaged by Superstorm Sandy.
"It was absolutely devastating after Superstorm Sandy and now 10 years later, we're seeing a rebirth here on this site," Bellone said. "That could lead to one of the more extraordinary natural resources and assets of anywhere on Long Island."
Suffolk County acquired the building through a tax foreclosure.
"It's truly a gem, a hidden gem," said Frank Fugarino, President of the Pattersquash Creek Civic Association. "What you have around us is this partnership. You have the town developing the fishing pier, a marina, and now you have the county stepping in and helping with the course of things."
Founder and President of the Mastic Beach Conservancy, Maura Spery, says there will be six and a half miles of continuous public waterfront.
Her group has been planning the revitalization of the trail with the town of Brookhaven since 2006.
There's also an urban renewal project focused on rebuilding the 37 acres of downtown.
Spery said it will all be connected to the waterfront.
"When you're downtown, you'll be able to get a boxed lunch, ride a bike, maybe get a kayak and you'll be able to get around the whole six and a half miles," she said.
Spery said the town of Brookhaven is also working with the Audobon on a 147-acre natural habitat restoration right next door to this project.
Some residents are sold.
"Oh, it's great. I like it," resident Bokhee Lee said. "We have to fix this town."
Bellone says the county already chose the architects. He hopes to have a community-supported plan in place by next year.
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