The property that formerly housed the Pyrrhus Concer homestead on Pond Lane in Southampton Village will no longer be developed by the current owners, who have lost interest in the project and placed the lot on the market.
At the January meeting of the Southampton Village Board on Thursday night, officials unanimously approved a resolution to refund $18,750 in building permit fees to the property owners, David Hermer and Silvia Campo, after receiving a letter from Mr. Hermer dated December 15 withdrawing the application to develop the 51 Pond Lane property. The .82-acre property has also been listed for sale online by Corcoran Real Estate Group for $4,995,000 since November 26.
The property has been the center of controversy within the village since September 2013, when the Architectural Review Board first heard public comment on the proposal to demolish the Pyrrhus Concer house, which many East End residents said was an integral part of Southampton history, to make way for a new, single-family, two-story home. The house was purchased by the current owners in 2013 for $2.75 million.
Born a slave in 1814, Mr. Concer was later freed and went on several whaling expeditions, most notably when he was part of a crew that saved stranded Japanese sailors and returned them to their country, becoming one of the first Americans, and one of the first black men, to visit then restricted Japan.
After several months of public debate, the ARB denied the homeowners a certificate of appropriateness to demolish the structure, which led to a $10 million lawsuit filed against the village claiming property rights were being denied. In May, both the village and the homeowners reached an agreement on the property, and the village was able to go into the house to salvage historic artifacts before the house was ultimately demolished in August of this year.
"Due to a change in plans, I am no longer planning to carry out a building project at the above address," Mr. Hermer wrote in his letter.
At the meeting on Thursday night, Village Administrator Stephen Funsch said the building permit refund was at the recommendation of Village Building Inspector Jonathan Foster.
Attorney for the applicant, David Gilmartin Jr., did not return calls seeking comment.