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Aug 30, 2017 10:42 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Town, Developer Revive Talks About Bridgehampton Gateway; Performing Arts Center Pitched As Part Of Site

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Aug 31, 2017 11:06 AM

The development of a prominent Montauk Highway property, known as Bridgehampton Gateway, is back up for discussion, with Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman trying to come up with an idea that would include some community benefits.

Due to more than three years of delays, developer Carol Konner last year pulled back on a town-initiated planned development district plan for the 13-acre property, which sits across from the Bridgehampton Commons shopping center. After discussions fell through on the plan and PDDs were subsequently removed from the town code earlier this year, Ms. Konner is once again preparing a development proposal.

This week, Ms. Konner noted that current plans for the property still include an Equinox fitness facility, which is allowed by current zoning, but that a CVS Pharmacy was “off the table.”

Mr. Schneiderman said that Ms. Konner can develop the land under its current highway business zoning, but that she has been open to discussions to create a community-driven portion of the property. “We’ve been talking about, basically, the last attempt to develop this property,” the supervisor said on Tuesday.

One idea is to establish a performing arts center on the property, Mr. Schneiderman said, adding that it would have limited and “very periodic” traffic.

Ms. Konner countered that she would consider a performing arts center on the land—if a tenant comes forward.

“No one has approached me to operate a performing arts center, to sign the lease or to engage,” she said in an email on Wednesday. “Unless the town or the [Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee] have a tenant, that too will go the way of the PDD,” she continued, referring to last year’s failed plan.

The supervisor said he also would like to see the rear section of the property, near Kellis Pond, preserved for water quality purposes, although he noted that he did not know if Ms. Konner would be open to that possibility.

Ms. Konner did not make it clear whether she would consider that option—but she steadfastly maintained that the Gateway property has never been responsible for the pollution of Kellis Pond.

“Rather, the neighbors who complain about the pollution provide the waste from their homes and their pesticides to the pond—and that is what is polluting the pond, not one small Carvel with one toilet,” she said, referring to the existing Carvel ice cream shop on the property.

Regardless of what other development might be negotiated with the town, Ms. Konner emphasized that she plans to file a site plan application to the town “soon” to build the Equinox fitness facility on the eastern side of the property—a pair of buildings, one 13,000 square foot and one 14,000 square feet—as of right. She noted that the plan complies with the present zoning and that she already has a lease with the company.

“Whatever else is going to happen there, Equinox is not a discussion,” she said on Tuesday. “Equinox is a reality.”

In an email the following day, she added: “Make no mistake, the Gateway will file an application under the law and it will be a complete one.”

In 2016, Southampton Town officials initiated a planned development district proposal for the property across from the Bridgehampton Commons. This included 100,000 square feet of development made up of 80,000 square feet of commercial space, 15,000 square feet of affordable housing units—the part of the project that fulfilled the PDD “community benefit” requirement—and 5,000 square feet of market-rate housing.

Although the Southampton Town Planning Board can control how the parcels look, household appliance stores, radio and television stores, as well as auto and home supply stores are all allowed in highway business zones, according to the town code. Car dealerships and fast-food restaurants are permitted, though they would require a special exception permit from the Planning Board.

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On this episode of "Jay Knows Best"...
By Mouthampton (331), Southampton on Aug 30, 17 11:54 AM
Carol, stop playing games with these people and develop your property the way you see fit they've wasted 10 years of your life with their BS
By widow gavits (116), sag harbor on Aug 30, 17 4:23 PM
Really, another center for elite Kulture?
By Just sitting on the taffrail (11), Southampton on Aug 30, 17 9:42 PM
... urbanize the East End, that is what is going on here.
By William Rodney (446), southampton on Aug 31, 17 11:40 AM
Remnants, rolls, area rugs