Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 30 August 2013 00:00
Business is booming at New Hyde Park Auto Body on Second Avenue, which is adding a second building on Third Avenue to accommodate demand. On Tuesday, Aug. 20, the New Hyde Park Village Board approved the plan, which had already been given the Nassau County Planning Commission’s stamp of approval.
Shop owner Charles DiMarino, a New Hyde Park resident for 30 years, says his business has outgrown the current site and he needs to expand. His shop specializes in collision repairs, foreign, domestic and fiberglass work as well as color-matching and unibody repairs. He envisions the new digs resembling a dealership where all cars can be viewed.
“It’s very cramped in our shop,” he said. “The [new] spot, it’ll help tremendously.”
Currently, the shop operates from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. The new location, with 11 or 12 car lifts, will focus on body and frame work, according to DiMarino, and house the business offices. Cars would be moved to the existing location, which has seven car lifts, for “finishing and assembly.” DiMarino employs nine people and plans to hire another seven once the new location opens.
Trustee Richard Coppola was concerned with car storage and prep work on vehicles. “We just want to make sure the area is not negatively impacted,” he said.
Environmental issues, specifically smells, are always a cause for concern when it comes to expanding an auto body shop. DiMarino says he’s taken measures to mitigate possible negative impact on residents.
“We’re a green shop,” he said. “We use waterborne material, which has limited amounts of flammables. Most body shops use solvent-based products. I don’t. [In the new location] there won’t be any of that.”
The size of the whole old property is 6,500 square feet. DiMarino estimates the shop itself takes up about 2,800 square feet. The new building will be about 5,000 square feet.
“It’ll be a drive-in facility, so when you pull in, you’ll be able to get the cars out of bad weather and the like,” DiMarino said. “We outgrew [the current site]. We have the lot with all the cars so there’ll be less cars out on the street.”
New Hyde Park Public Works Superintendent Tom Gannon said parking will not be an issue. He canvassed the area and the building encompasses the entire property, so all cars will be stored inside on site.
“It’s a big warehouse with office space inside so it’ll fit,” he stated.