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Oct 13, 2010 11:43 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Rechlers still have not made decision on whether to demolish Canoe Place Inn

Oct 13, 2010 11:43 AM

The developers who own the Canoe Place Inn property in Hampton Bays said they are still undecided about whether or not to demolish the 88-year-old structure after meeting with Southampton Town Board members in executive session last Thursday, October 7.

The day after that meeting, Gregg Rechler, a partner with R Squared LLC of Melville, said he and his cousin, Mitchell Rechler, will abandon their plans to raze the historic inn if they can reach an agreement with the town that preserves the building, which is not a protected landmark.

Earlier this week, Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said the Rechlers, who originally offered to renovate the exterior of the Canoe Place Inn in exchange for securing permission to build 40 condominiums on other land that they own on the east side of the Shinnecock Canal, are now willing to preserve the interior of the building as well. The goal remains to reopen the building as a catering hall, she said.

“I was encouraged by, I think, a much more solid … and tangible renovation project for the inn,” Ms. Throne-Holst said on Monday, referring to discussions held in executive session last week. “But they stand firm on the 40 condos, so my plan is to go back out to the community in the next week or two.”

On Monday, Gregg Rechler declined to talk about any details relating to the modified agreement being discussed by Ms. Throne-Holst. He said he and his cousin are still at the negotiation table with Town Board members.

In an earlier interview, Mr. Rechler said he and his cousin are moving forward with the process that will allow them to demolish the inn. The Southampton Town Planning Board is expected to begin the review of their demolition permit application at its next meeting, scheduled for today, Thursday, October 14, at 7 p.m., according to David A. Wilcox Jr, the planning director for the town’s Department of Land Management: Long Range Division.

“I’m moving forward with pulling the permits for demolition,” Mr. Rechler said, adding that he does not know when a final decision will be made.

“The goal is within a short period of time,” he added. “We need to take it step by step. This has been discussed long enough. We should know shortly.”

Mr. Rechler said he dropped off the completed demolition permit application with the town on October 1, and town records show that the company paid the $1,000 fee on October 6. A final decision on the application is not expected for at least two months.

Mr. Rechler said he met with Town Board members last Thursday to discuss the fate of the property, and to talk about the company’s recent decision to file the demolition permit application.

Calls placed to Town Councilman Jim Malone, who has described himself as the board’s liaison to the Hampton Bays community, were not returned this week. Mr. Malone lives in the hamlet.

As part of their latest proposal, the Rechlers will agree to preserve both the interior and exterior of the Canoe Place Inn and provide a public walkway along the eastern side of the Shinnecock Canal, according to Ms. Throne-Holst. In exchange, the town would have to approve a planned development district, or PDD, allowing the Rechlers to build 40 condos on the eastern side of the canal.

If an agreement cannot be reached, and the Canoe Place Inn has a date with the wrecking ball, Mr. Rechler said he also intends to apply for demolition permits to raze the five cottages located next door to the inn. Those cottages sit on 2.37 acres. He also said the two properties that the cousins own on the eastern side of the canal, which are now being leased to 1 North Steakhouse and Tiderunners, will remain as they are until those contracts expire in about two years. The developers want to build the condominiums on those properties.

“As soon as the leases expire, we’ll redevelop the site,” Mr. Rechler said.

If an agreement is reached, and the developers get their PDD, Mr. Rechler said his firm, R Squared LLC, would also drop a lawsuit it filed against the town alleging that past building moratoriums targeting Hampton Bays were designed to stop its redevelopment of the Canoe Place Inn.

“This is not going to go on for much longer,” Mr. Rechler said of negotiations involving the inn property. “If we work things out, we’ll be able to stop [the demolition].”

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Jeez...Just knock it down already.

I'm sick of hearing about it. Much ado 'bout nothin'. Its an 88 year old building!!
By C Law (331), Water Mill on Oct 8, 10 6:11 PM
2 members liked this comment
Either knock it down or turn it into a catering hall. Let's put an end to empty buildings that become an eyesore!
By for truth and justice (11), Westhampton on Oct 8, 10 6:47 PM
The town is playing the same games they always play. They will stall as long as possible and then get whacked in court like the Mc Donalds, Stop and Shop deal
By joe hampton (3229), south hampton on Oct 8, 10 7:51 PM
4 members liked this comment
The ToS.H. better wake up and cut spending. Where did all the money go? I'll bet to thew lawyers, who fight the battles statred by the ego maninacs who run the town. How do you spell obsolete and incompetent?
Let the owners of CPI put up a casino with the Indians!
By rrc1049 (63), Bridgehampton on Oct 9, 10 9:27 AM
The ToS.H. better wake up and cut spending. Where did all the money go? I'll bet to thew lawyers, who fight the battles statred by the ego maninacs who run the town. How do you spell obsolete and incompetent?
Let the owners of CPI put up a casino with the Indians!
By rrc1049 (63), Bridgehampton on Oct 9, 10 9:27 AM
I am glad to hear that the Town and Rechlers are still talking. A compromise that benefits both sides and provides an additional public benefit would be wonderful thing!
By METCOMedia (116), Hampton Bays on Oct 9, 10 10:19 AM
1 member liked this comment
Enough with the kumbaya stuff, get real! The CPI is a hazardous eyesore with no historical significance, no architectural distinction and no community value. The Rechlers are businessmen who will, as businessmen, extract the highest price they can from the Town for preserving this white elephant. The Town should not do any deal to keep the CPI standing. It would be like paying good money to prolong a viral infection.
By fidelis (199), westhampton beach on Oct 10, 10 12:46 PM
1 member liked this comment
Nuff Said
By joe hampton (3229), south hampton on Oct 10, 10 6:24 PM
If they are making deals "behind closed doors", one of the concessions the town should get is that whatever project they select...they must hire all contractors within Suffolk County! Then let them build whatever they want!
By c'mon now (46), southampton on Oct 10, 10 9:53 AM
1 member liked this comment
What kind of BS is that. They can hire whoever they feel like. As long as they are legal citizens. Stop trying to put the fix in all the time. Just get out of the way and let the rich be rich and the lazy be lazy. Stop trying to red line mortgages so we have ethnic diversity, stop the bail outs, stop the lobbyists and the unions! its all crap! just do the right thing, love your fellow man and work hard the rest will come by itself
By joe hampton (3229), south hampton on Oct 10, 10 6:32 PM
2 members liked this comment
I notice that everyone who wants CPI demolished doesn't live in Hampton Bays. Guess if it's not in your back yard, you don't care.
By kwileside (1), Southampton on Oct 11, 10 10:52 PM
1 member liked this comment
I want it demolished. Does that balance things out?
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 12, 10 11:13 AM
R Squared sez the CPI R Screwed
say bye bye to a an eyesore chunk of local history
By uncleronk (136), southold on Oct 12, 10 12:30 PM
I don't live in the area but I don't think this a good deal for the town or HB. The restoration of the CPI for the building of 40 condominium units on the other side of the canal does not seem like a fair and balanced trade. If more could be had for the town great. If nothing then refuse the PDD and let the developers build what they would be authorized to do normally.

I saw the site the other day and believed then that they wanted to build the condos on the west side of the canal where ...more
By V.Tomanoku (675), southampton on Oct 12, 10 2:07 PM
Yes, they own the entire CPI site including cottages to the left of the CPI. They also own the properties on the east side of the canal. The Reichlers plan to redevelop the properties on both sides of the canal.
By METCOMedia (116), Hampton Bays on Oct 12, 10 10:29 PM
1 member liked this comment
It is my understanding that they would restore some of the front facade of the Inn and incorporate it, and what ever else they can preserve into a new building to be a catering hall/restaurant facility, thus preserving the memory and history of the Canoe Place Inn. In return, they would like to build canal-front condos on the east side. They also would provide a public walkway at the canal's edge. I suspect the number of condos is a major issue of negotiation. A PDD would be needed to build ...more
By METCOMedia (116), Hampton Bays on Oct 12, 10 10:57 PM
1 member liked this comment
i don't need to see another picture of these guys or that polo player nacho ever again. please help us with that.
By justduckey (58), artist colony on Oct 12, 10 2:40 PM
1 member liked this comment
Thank you for your clarification MECTO.
By V.Tomanoku (675), southampton on Oct 13, 10 9:40 AM
Oops, METCO..
By V.Tomanoku (675), southampton on Oct 13, 10 9:41 AM
DOZE THE DUMP!!!!
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Oct 15, 10 8:30 PM
All of them?
By bb (828), Hampton Bays on Oct 21, 10 9:23 AM
gurney's, new year's eve, celebration, montauk