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Jan 15, 2019 2:21 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Sag Harbor Residents Concerned About Size Of Planned Water Street Townhouses

Renderings of the proposed townhouses.
Jan 15, 2019 3:33 PM

After hearing numerous concerns from the public and members of the preservation group Save Sag Harbor, the Sag Harbor Village Architectural Review Board last Thursday, January 10, decided to keep open a public hearing on developer Jay Bialsky’s plan to build a three-unit condominium complex on three-quarters of an acre at 2 West Water Street.

Mr. Bialsky plans to demolish an existing building known for a time as the “1-800-LAWYERS” building and construct three separate townhouses.

The townhouses were originally slated to total 36,000 square feet; after reconsideration and input from the Zoning Board of Appeals and ARB, the proposal is down to 24,000 square feet, and broken into three residential buildings.

Dave Harvey of D&D Harvey Architects in Sag Harbor, Andre Kikoski, the project architect, and Brian DeSesa, Mr. Bialsky’s attorney, spoke on Mr. Bialsky’s behalf as the latest color renderings of the project were presented to the ARB.

Mr. Kikoski said that the architectural plans call for a “brick industrial mixture of vernaculars to coincide with brick buildings around the town that are similar.” In addition to narrowing down the square footage, they’ve consolidated the third-floor areas into open terraces and a pool area. Mr. Kikoski said he planned to “soften” the feeling of the townhouses and make them appear more “residential.”

“It’s come a long way,” Mr. Harvey added.

Initially, the buildings were slated to be within 6 feet of the 7-Eleven convenience store. Now, Mr. Harvey said they’ve pulled the building back 23 feet to create driveway access for the townhouses and to create a green court to the rear of the property.

“It has a much nicer rhythm now. There’s a space between the neighboring building on the west,” Mr. Harvey said.

“We’re really looking at the buildings on Bay Street and trying to synthesize the architecture in Sag Harbor,” Mr. Kikoski said.

Mr. Bialsky originally purchased the property from Greystone Development in April 2018, which included the properties at 1,3 and 5 Ferry Road, which have since been purchased by the Town of Southampton. The 1.25 acres of Ferry Road land will be used to create the John Steinbeck Waterfront Park.

Through a projection screen, Save Sag Harbor members showcased a three-dimensional rendering of the proposed building, in comparison to the existing 1-800-LAWYERS building.

“The two buildings are almost completely within the 1-800-LAWYERS building, but the third residential building does stand out quite dramatically,” Randolph Croxton, a member of the Save Sag Harbor board of directors, said while showing the audience his presentation.

Renne Simons, a Sag Harbor resident, said she understood the evolution of the project and appreciated the downsizing of the square footage.

“My concern is still the mass of the buildings,” she said. “I’m concerned about the visual impact coming across the bridge—it’s an iconic view of the village coming across that bridge, and there’s a beauty and a simplicity in it. I don’t get that feel by what I’ve seen. I think it’s huge. It’s heavy. It does not carry the character of the village, and I think you’re charged with maintaining the character and scale of the village.”

In addition to the color renderings, the board asked for a physical three-dimensional model of the proposed construction in order to understand the size of the townhouses in relation to the current building.

The public hearing will continue at the board’s next meeting, on February 14.

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By rvs (106), sag harbor on Jan 15, 19 10:53 PM
Going to be built any way???
By knitter (1902), Southampton on Jan 16, 19 1:02 PM
Wow. The Sag Harbor ARB is interested in the public's opinions. The Trustees should try that tack.
By Arnold Timer (326), Sag Harbor on Jan 17, 19 3:18 PM
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