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Jun 27, 2018 11:11 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Developers Gregg, Mitchell Rechler Break Ground On Canoe Place Inn Project

A rendering of the Hampton Boathouses, to be built adjacent to the Canoe Place Inn and along the canal. COURTESY GREG GORDON
Jun 27, 2018 11:19 AM

Developers planning to build 37 townhouses on the eastern side of the Shinnecock Canal in Hampton Bays as part of the Canoe Place Inn restoration project broke ground on Tuesday morning.

Standing near the old Canoe Place Inn building, developers Mitchell and Gregg Rechler said the townhouses will be built, and the old inn will be restored, by 2020—if all goes according to plan.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Gregg Rechler.

Gregg Rechler explained that he and his cousin, who own Rechler Equity Partners LLC, started acquiring the property in 2005, marking the beginning of their journey to develop a swath of land along the Shinnecock Canal in Hampton Bays.

The developers plan to build 37 townhouses on the eastern side of the canal and restore the old Canoe Place Inn, a former nightclub complex, on the western side, creating a new 25-room inn. Additionally, the developer plans to build a 1,900-square-foot clubhouse and a 300-seat catering hall on the 5.6-acre property on the west side of the canal.

But the quest came with some roadblocks along the way.

Gregg Rechler said the first iteration of the project called for the demolition of the Canoe Place Inn and plans to build a 70-unit hospitality project. The proposal didn’t get very far, as the Hampton Bays community “fiercely” opposed the Canoe Place Inn building being torn down, the developer said.

The Rechlers went back to the drawing board after that and later—after meeting with community and town officials—came up with a new idea for the property, which was ultimately approved by the Town Board in January 2015.

To build the project, the developers requested a special change of zone through a now-defunct zoning law called a planned development district, or PDD. The Canoe Place Inn PDD was set to expire on January 21, three years after its adoption, but the Town Board granted the Rechlers a two-year extension earlier this year, noting that the developers have “acted in good faith,” even though significant work had not yet started on either property.

Some demolition and clearing work was completed ahead of the extension, but a May 2015 lawsuit filed by a group of homeowners called the “Shinnecock Neighbors,” who opposed the project, hindered the developers from securing the necessary Suffolk County Health Department and town building permits to move forward with any construction. Most of the complaints filed by the plaintiffs ultimately were dismissed by the courts.

After more than a decade of waiting, Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman applauded the Rechlers on Tuesday for finally breaking ground on the project.

“We all know that this is something that the community has wanted for a long time,” he said. “They have been waiting, watching this building in disrepair, and thinking about the memories—and there are a lot of memories at the Canoe Place Inn, that’s for certain. And just hoping that someone would come along and turn this around.

“We found an amazing partner in Rechler Equity, in Gregg and Mitchell Rechler,” he added.

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they're going to dock boats like that in the Canal?
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (613), southampton on Jun 27, 18 5:18 PM
it will certainly be entertaining watching the boat owners trying to deal with the current blowing through when the locks are open.
By bigfresh (4055), north sea on Jun 27, 18 6:03 PM
Can't wait to see this finished!!!
By HamptonDad (194), Hampton Bays on Jun 27, 18 8:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
What a beautiful project. It's been painful watching these gentlemen try to secure the permits to make our town better and get rid of this eyesore. Almost criminal what the opposition tried to do them, good luck on your project and thank you
By widow gavits (219), sag harbor on Jun 28, 18 8:43 AM
Here comes Nassau County!
By eagleeye (66), Sag Harbor on Jun 28, 18 8:47 AM
Where is the public access to the canal on the east side? I want to fish there and not just on the west side. I like the east side better.
By North Sea Citizen (516), North Sea on Jun 28, 18 10:15 AM
1 member liked this comment
Your full of it, There is still enough room to fish for a thousand people down there !
By 27dan (2599), Shinnecock Hills on Jun 28, 18 2:36 PM
2 members liked this comment
Darn, you missed your chance to buy the property and fish on the east side for as long as you wanted.

By bb (852), Hampton Bays on Jun 28, 18 4:26 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By AntonioCompass (1), Southampton on Jun 28, 18 12:05 PM
27 east, How was my comment inappropriate?
By AntonioCompass (1), Southampton on Jun 28, 18 12:27 PM
Hampton Bays is now on the map ! Read the article in the post !

Its about time !
By 27dan (2599), Shinnecock Hills on Jun 28, 18 2:37 PM
1 member liked this comment
May 15, 2018 12:30 PM
By Amanda Bernocco

Developers planning to build 37 townhouses on the eastern side of the Shinnecock Canal in Hampton Bays as part of the Canoe Place Inn restoration project are expected to secure the necessary approvals to. It was the last hurdle to clear before securing the necessary permits from the Building Department to begin construction.

Well lets review what really happened .....

We brought in a dumpster and filled it with some concrete. ...more
By 27dan (2599), Shinnecock Hills on Jun 29, 18 8:22 PM
1 member liked this comment
pw, dan, I would not worry if I was you I got out here on Thursday and all people have been talking about going to dinner in Hampton Bays ... Looks like you got the new Hot Spot in town LOL
By widow gavits (219), sag harbor on Jun 30, 18 4:35 PM
Do you think we can buy some ice cream from Mr. Softee when it’s all finished?��
By Tomjulie (43), Hampton Bays on Jul 1, 18 3:03 PM
By the time anything productive is accomplished on the CPI site you'll be able to stay home and have the Mr Softee drone deliver your ice cream to your backyard.
By VOS (1156), WHB on Jul 1, 18 3:57 PM
More small business space traded for density. So plays the fiddle...
By Mr. Z (10910), North Sea on Jul 1, 18 5:29 PM
Small business space..what small business? There was a restaurant open for a few months of the year, there was one restaurant open within the last year or so of the property being sold. The rest was vacant. Just like the many vacancies on Main Street. And of course there is a plan for plenty of 'small business' on the new area that will surround the park.

Then of course there was a prior owner who wanted to put restaurants and 'small businesses' and when it was presented to the ...more
By bb (852), Hampton Bays on Jul 1, 18 6:57 PM
Not quite, bb. Tiderunners was a seasonal restaurant, One North was open year round. Both were open until their leases were terminated and the property was abandoned by the Rechlers. Whitewater boats and tackle was open until their lease was also terminated. All three businesses met the criteria for Resort Waterfront Business zoning criteria - townhouses do not.
By VOS (1156), WHB on Jul 2, 18 1:59 AM
Not quite vos, Tiderunners knew they weren't there for the duration and they are now in another location. And yes, that is what I said, Tiderunners was open for a few months of the year. Seasonal. Whitewater was long gone before then. Didn't they relocate to East Main Street? Again, there are plenty of empty places on Main Street, where are all those small businesses you think no longer have a home?
By bb (852), Hampton Bays on Jul 2, 18 8:14 AM
Sorry North One relocated not Tiderunners.
By bb (852), Hampton Bays on Jul 2, 18 10:42 AM
And North 1 is much better off in there new location that I have been to and enjoyed several times. Instead off that dilapidated shack on the boat houses property they used to be in.
Jul 2, 18 12:26 PM appended by widow gavits
This is the Hamptons people want new exciting places to eat not the rundown Shacks of yesteryear
By widow gavits (219), sag harbor on Jul 2, 18 12:26 PM
2 members liked this comment
The bottom line is that three viable businesses were forced from their sites as conforming RWB businesses. Two were able to relocate, one was not. The community has been deprived of access to those businesses even though the comprehensive plan stated that such businesses were vital to the social and economic well being of the area.

After years of intransigence, the developers were given an extension to complete the project and in the five or six months since that was granted no positive ...more
By VOS (1156), WHB on Jul 4, 18 1:11 AM
1 member liked this comment
Guess since you felt so strongly about these businesses you should have purchased the property. The property was for sale for years and no one bought it. And again, as I previously stated, the last person who wanted to develop it into a "Gossman's Dock" type of buildings, were shot down by the community. I guess they only wanted those specific businesses. My understanding is Tiderunners chose not to relocate. Their decision.

As far as the Rechler's taking so long, you are clearly not ...more
By bb (852), Hampton Bays on Jul 4, 18 9:41 AM
Feeble, dismissive style argument. Poor, credibility eroding opening salvo.
By Mr. Z (10910), North Sea on Jul 4, 18 9:46 AM
"Tiderunners chose not to relocate." To where? At what expense?

There has always been very limited Resort Waterfront Business zoning which is why it was recognized as essential to the area. Do you have a location in mind that would have been suitable and properly zoned?

The town has regulations regarding building permits, their terms and renewal possibilities - I am well aware of the requirements - one would expect no less from deep pocketed professional developers.

I ...more
By VOS (1156), WHB on Jul 4, 18 3:49 PM
So we've waited since the extension of the building permit was approved in the beginning of the year and finally have had a ground breaking ceremony. Wonderful!

Progress in the past six weeks has been stunning!
By VOS (1156), WHB on Aug 6, 18 10:39 PM