After more than two decades as a family fun spot in Lynbrook, the building that housed Fun Station USA will be auctioned off Dec. 6.
“This past Saturday, I took my daughter there, and she instantly made a friend her age, who sat beside her squealing with delight on the ride,” Denise Weiner said. “These innocent kid moments are priceless.”
The family fun center served as a place for many children and families to create memories for more than 20 years, but its future is contingent on the desires of the highest bidder.
The Central Islip-based Maltz Auctions will host the sale of the 29,685-square-foot building, at 40 Rocklyn Ave., near Sunrise Highway and Merrick Road. Reached by phone, a Maltz Auctions representative referred the Herald to the company’s website for information. Calls to Fun Station USA and its president, Michael Izzo, had not been returned at press time.
Fun Station USA opened in 1997 and featured several rides and arcade games, while quickly becoming a popular birthday party spot for children. The original building opened in 1955 and was renovated in 2008. The facility offers laser tag, bumper cars, a maze, a restaurant, a flight simulator, a roller coaster simulator and many other rides and games. In July, it added a new ride called the Himalaya, which replaced the carousel and was similar to a roller coaster. The ride, which can hold 30 to 35 people, featured two large hills.
The bidding for the building will open at $2.6 million, according to the Maltz Auctions website. The auction will take place at 11 a.m. on Dec. 6 at the Maltz Auction Gallery, at 39 Windsor Place in Central Islip.
The sale of Fun Station USA comes after news broke that another once-popular Lynbrook business, Hot Skates, at nearby 14 Merrick Road, was being sold to Georgia-based Mequity Acquisitions LLC. Once the sale is finalized, the roller rink will be converted into a storage facility called CubeSmart.
For years, there have been discussions about redeveloping Fun Station USA. In August 2017, developers from Mill Creek Residential pitched ideas to Lynbrook officials to build a transit-oriented residential community on the three-acre site where Hot Skates, Fun Station USA and Hi Tech Security operate. Ten days after their initial proposal, after lukewarm reactions from officials and residents, contract talks ended.
Responding to a Herald Facebook inquiry seeking resident feedback about their memories of Fun Station USA, Rachel Fuchs Ramirez said she had a blast as an employee there throughout the many iterations of the building.
“[I remember] all the friends I made working there,” she wrote. “Working the bar mitzvahs after hours. Watching all the changes from Whitey Ford’s Fun Zone to Fun Zone to Fun Station. The batting cages turning to laser tag and the basketball courts turning into a video game area. And of course, bumper cars.”
Tommy Lamoreaux joked that he had fond memories of the basketball courts because he used to slam-dunk over his friends. “They left with their heads hanging as tears fell on their Malverne Mules letterman jackets,” he wrote.
Donna Ward DiGi said it was a treat to take her children there and that they used to make a day out of eating at Nathan’s, playing games and going on rides. “Lots of fond memories of Funstation!” she wrote. “It was a local, convenient, fun place to take my children for special occasions and for me to spend some quality time with them on weekends or when school was out.”
Other residents, such as Jeanne Murphy, wrote that they hoped whoever won the auction would keep it a fun space for children and families. “Lynbrook needs a safe, modern, and fun multi-sport and recreational facility so that families that live here today can make their own memories while supporting businesses in Lynbrook,” she wrote. “I would hate to see all these sites turn into storage facilities and apartment rentals.”