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Volunteers Revitalize Retail Space in West Hempstead [POLL]

The Chamber of Commerce's Beautification Committee and volunteers clean up commercial property on Hempstead Turnpike.

Since Gothic Cabinet Craft closed its West Hempstead store earlier this year, the building located at 540 Hempstead Turnpike has sat vacant, covered in graffiti and flyer postings, and was quickly becoming an eyesore in the community.

Thanks to several local volunteers though, this commercial space has been revitalized, making it more appealing to potential new tenants.

Arriving at 10 a.m. this past Saturday, more than 20 volunteers spent three hours cleaning the windows and painting the exterior of the 8,400 square foot building. They painted over graffiti, cleared up debris from the building's perimeter and rid its windows of old flyers, posters and tape before washing them.

The project was hosted by the West Hempstead Court Aktion Club and was part of a larger effort organized by the West Hempstead Chamber of Commerce’s Beautification Committee to spruce up the neighborhood one location at a time. The committee, which formed in October and is led by Chamber President Karl Riesterer and Aktion Club advisor Diann Forquignon, has now successfully held two clean-ups in the community. was at Halls Pond Park in early December.)

 “It was really important to take action and get this project done now and do whatever we can to help enhance not just our commercial area but the community in general," Forquignon told Patch.

The Atkion Club also enlisted the help of the West Hempstead Kiwanis’ LISC Service Leadership Chair, Rich Santer, Adelphi University’s Circle K, Division 6 Key Club members from West Hempstead High School and surrounding areas, and Boy Scouts representing Troop 240.

Division 6 Key Club Governor Domenick Pesce, who has been a member of the Key Club for seven years, enthusiastically supported the project, saying “community service is an important part of the K-family of organizations and it’s great to be a part of something that’s going to better the community.”

Forquignon, who organized the effort with the support of the building’s owner, Ron Geltan, said, “It’s amazing the difference in the look of the building, when you remember what it looked like before and after."

Geltan, who supplied all the paint and other materials needed to spruce up the building was pleased that the Chamber’s Beautification Committee chose his property for one of their projects and hopes this helps to attract a new business to the location.

What type of business would you like to see open here? Vote in our poll below or tell us in the comments section.

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