The business districts in Malverne, Lynbrook and West Hempstead have undergone some dramatic changes in 2012. The local businesses underwent major overhauls, weathered Superstorm Sandy and engaged in some battles with local officials and neighbors.
Here are the top 20 local business stories of 2012.
- :As gas station owners in Malverne, West Hempstead and Lynbrook contended with power outages and a limited supply of gasoline in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, customers were in a frenzy to fill up their tanks, waiting for hours on long lines.
- : Nearly two years after the infamous Courtesy Hotel in West Hempstead shut its doors for good, the luxury apartment complex that has been erected in its place opened for tours and leasing in late November.
- Lynbrook Board Denies Hotel's Request to Replace Homes With Parking Lot: After months of hearing arguments the owners of the Holiday Inn Express in Lynbrook and residents living nearby, the Lynbrook village board denied the hotel's request to build a parking lot where three homes currently stand. Still, the owners are pursuing plans to demolish the houses.
- Lakewood Stables Transformed Into Exquisite Equestrian Center [Video]: The once dillapidated Lakewood Stables in West Hempstead underwent an amazing transformation in 2012, opening in July with a new look and a new name.
- Malverne Officials Green Light New Restaurant at Old Cork N' Board: Despite some concerns regarding parking, Malverne village officials approved a proposal from Antonio Bove to open a new wine bar restaurant in the vacant building that had housed the Cork N' Board.
- : After serving the Lynbrook community for decades, the Dairy Barn on Hempstead Avenue closed its doors in late October as its loyal customers and dedicated friendly staff said their goodbyes. Dairy Barn was replaced by The Barn, a non-union chain of drive-thru convenience stores.
- Malverne's Only Supermarket Shuts Down Again: After making one last effort to try to stay in the village, Malverne's only grocery store shut down again in mid August and continues to sit vacant.
- Board Has Mixed Feelings on Proposed Radiology Building Design: The Lynbrook village board reviewed design plans for the new radiology center slated to open on the site of the former Tofu restaurant.
- Malverne Man Launches BadConsumers.com: One small business owner in Malverne launched a Web site this year giving merchants like himself a chance to level the playing field when dealing with customers who "are not always right."
- Storm Water Infiltrates Tanks at West Hempstead Gas Station: Customers who fueled up at one West Hempstead gas station following a major rainstorm in late September experienced problems with their cars as a result of tainted fuel.
- Billy Crystal Visits with Sandy Victims at Lynbrook Movie Screenings: The Lynbrook movie theatre served as the site for a special event Billy Crystal hosted for residents of his hometown of Long Beach who were devastated by Superstorm Sandy. The actor, along with village officials, visited with the hurricane victims before showings of his new holiday flick.
- Blight Study Builds Case for Declaring Lynbrook Factory 'Eminent Domain': The Lynbrook village board launched a study to have the vacant and dillapidated Mangrove Feather Factory declared "eminent domain."
- Malverne Board Approves First Phase of New Restaurant Plans: After initially encountering some problems regarding parking, a proposal to build a restaurant inside the vacant TriColor building in Malverne was approved. However, the developers appear to have abandoned the plans.
- 16 Handles Opens For Business in Lynbrook: The latest addition to the business district on Atlantic Avenue, a trendy self-serve yogurt shop, opened to quite a buzz.
- West Hempstead Couple Launches Job Site for Non-Profits: Finding a job for a Long Island non-profit organization became much easier with the launch of a new search site created by these West Hempstead residents.
- Carrie's Closet Re-Opens After Summer Fire: After suffering major damage in a fire in the summer of 2011, Carrie's Closet on Merrick Road re-opened in February.
- Long Island American Water Completes Aqua Acquisition: The Lynbrook-based Long Island American Water, which also services all of Malverne, Lakeview, part of West Hempstead and surrounding areas, completed a takeover in May of one of its competitors.
- Ed Burns Returns Home for 'Fitzgerald Family Christmas': Actor and filmmaker Edward Burns chose the Malverne Cinema 4 to hold a special screening of his new film followed by Q&A session, where he answered questions from the audience.
- Malverne Commuters Want Old Morning Train Back: Commuters in Malverne who use the West Hempstead branch of the LIRR made their voices heard, calling for the MTA to restore their favorite morning train.
- Valley Stream Bike Center Loving Life in Lynbrook: After more than 22 years in Valley Stream, this bike store moved further east on Merrick Road to a new location.
What closed businesses will you miss in 2012? What new ones are you looking forward to patronizing in 2013? Tell us in the comments section.