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You Vote: Top 10 Business Stories of 2011

Patch was there for the biggest business stories of the year.

In terms of business, 2011 was a year filled with significant events and major announcements which will impact the Huntington community for months and years to come.

In a mix of both good and bad news, some business announced plans to leave as others decided to stay or open new establishments in the area.

Here's Patch's Top 10 business stories for the year:

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The Huntington  approved zoning for the proposed Huntington Station AvalonBay project by a 4-1 vote last June — but not without a fight from some opposed to the plan.

Bringing live music back to the IMAC Theater location which was closed in 2009, the state-of-the art facility opened in September on Main Street.

For many, shopping at the Toys 'R' Us store in Huntington Station has been part of the holiday agenda for decades — but it all will be coming to an end. Store officials confirmed to Patch that the retail giant is moving out.

Plans for a 103,000-square-foot home-improvement store and a 26,500-square foot garden center for the vast site formerly occupied by the iconic  were cancelled in November.

The Barnes & Noble store in Huntington Station will close Dec. 31 when its lease expires. There are no plans for the bookstore to relocate to another property.

Huntington Social, a 50-seat "gastropub," opened in the former Chesterfield's space at 330 New York Ave. playing to its second-floor location with a speakeasy theme.

For booklovers worried that the Book Revue would depart its New York Avenue home, there's good news. Robert Klein, who owns the independent store with his brother, Richard, said in October that they are staying put even though a lease dispute with a new owner in 2011 led them to consider leaving.

Since 1985, Soundtracks record store has been a place to mingle, make friends — and most importantly— buy music on New York Avenue. It flourished as CD sales soured ahead of albums in the mid 80s and began to fade with the emergence of music downloads. A slight resurgence in vinyl sales helped to keep the store going in recent years, but in July it closed for good.

A Whitman Mall expansion proposal calling for 10 to 12 new tenants was discussed in Huntington with groundbreaking proposed for 2012 and completion slated for 2013.

Revitalization of Huntington Station is progressing despite some setbacks and differences of opinion about the priorities. Getting the property at 1000 New York Ave. rehabilitated and a pedestrian mall and retail space started at that site was high on the agenda of the town's Economic Development Corp. in 2011.

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