Great Neck Plaza welcomes three new businesses to the village

Great Neck Plaza welcomes three new businesses to the village
The Village of Great Neck Plaza welcomed three new businesses Wednesday night after the board granted them conditional use permits to operate their businesses. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

New businesses will be coming to Great Neck Plaza in the coming months, including a new medical spa, ballroom dance studio and pet groomer, after the board of trustees approved their conditional-use permits Wednesday night.

After encountering holdups in the permit approval process due to unanswered questions on the board, Long Wellness Medical’s permit was approved to open a medical and wellness spa at 1 Bond St.

“We wish you the best of luck and success with this practice, with this location,” Mayor Ted Rosen said. “We wish you be here for many years to come.”

Corina Wong, a resident of Great Neck Plaza and a certified physician’s assistant, said the services of the facility will range, including cosmetic procedures like botox and hair removal, medical treatments and services, spa treatments and skincare retail – a new aspect of the business the board requested to adapt to the predominantly retail-oriented space they are planning to open in.

Wong also changed the name to Long Wellness Medical Spa to signal a focus on cosmetics, not just general medical services.

Wong is partnering with her sister-in-law, certified medical doctor Anne Long who has operated a similar medical cosmetics office in Manhattan for 25 years, to open the medical and spa facility. Long said that the two of them have been working together for a few years already and she has served as a mentor to Wong.

As some medical treatments will be offered at the facility, the board previously questioned whether or not the facility could just be operated by a physician’s assistant and if the doctor must be present at all times on the premises. The board opted to not approve the permit at the Nov. 15 meeting due to this unanswered question and wanting to see the two owners’ licenses.

Long attended the meeting Wednesday night after the board requested to speak with her about her plans to operate the business with Wong.

Long told the board that she plans to be in the Great Neck Plaza office about 3 days a week as she transitions to the new practice, but could change to a full-time position as her clientele grows in Long Island. Wong would be working at the spa full-time.

The board determined that while oversight of a medical doctor over a physician assistant is required, it does not require her physical presence. Long said she would be conducting oversight of Wong’s procedures by checking patients’ charts and ensuring she is following the office’s protocols.

Long assured the board that medical procedures that Wong is not certified to conduct would only be done by her.

The second new business granted a permit was Great Neck Ballroom Dance Studio located at 34 Middle Neck Road.

“It used to be an art studio which couldn’t be more perfect for us, so we were very excited to see it,” owner Alexandra Banasik said. “We decided to give it a chance… make it beautiful, looking great from inside and outside so we can match the streets of Great Neck which are amazing and a really lovely place.”

Banasik is a professional ballroom dancer who has been dancing since she was six years old and has taught ballroom dancing for the past seven years. She previously worked at Arthur Murray, a ballroom dance studio franchise, as a teacher and managed a location in Bayside.

She will be operating the studio with her brother, with both of them teaching private and group classes for students of all ages starting as young as 5 years old.

“Where were you for my son’s wedding?” Deputy Mayor Pamela Marksheid jokingly asked. “I could have used you.”

Rosen said he was looking forward to the new business coming to Great Neck Plaza as there is no other local business like it, with one other dance studio in the village that does not offer ballroom dancing.

With only minor interior renovations needed, such as installing a dance floor, painting and decorating, Banasik said they are planning to open in January.

The final new business granted a permit Wednesday night was Paw Paw Pets Studio, a pet grooming store located at 15 Cutter Mill Road.

Owner Xin Zhang said the business would offer pet grooming services for dogs and cats and sell pet-related merchandise.

The business plan originally included the sale of cats, which would have been limited to about four in the store at the time, but Trustee Michael DeLuccia recommended she not do that due to community sentiments favoring adopting animals.

“I would strongly recommend not selling cats, and I’ll tell you why,” DeLuccia said. “There seems to be a very large population in Great Neck, there’s a large stray cat population, and there’s a feeling amongst a very large group that… you should be rescuing animals, not purchasing them. I think that, just as a suggestion, you’re going to get a lot of flack form the community if you’re selling cats.”

Trustee Lawrence Katz said that a New York State law that will go into effect next year bans the sale of cats, dogs and rabbits, so Zhang said she would no longer plan to sell cats.

Zhang said she has been working as a pet groomer for four years, learning the trade through private classes. She said plans to open her business in April.

In other news, the board amended a permit previously granted to Kung Fu Tea to allow the business to sell food. The business’ permit only allowed them to sell beverages.

Kung Fea Tea sells various boba teas and beverages, but will now be adding rice balls, french fries and popcorn chicken to its menu.

Owner Ting Chen said there are multiple boba tea stores in the village, making the business more competitive. She said adding food to their menu will differentiate her from other businesses and provide more for customers.

The Village of Great Neck Plaza will convene again at 7 p.m. on Dec. 20.

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