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Hamptons Life

Jan 8, 2015 8:08 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Concer House Property Owners Place Parcel On Market, Abandon Building Plan

Jan 12, 2015 11:06 AM

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.

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Great. They tore down an historic house that the community wanted saved, and now they want to leave. Nice.
By oystercatcher (126), southampton on Jan 8, 15 9:48 PM
4 members liked this comment
WT.....
I can say a very small part of me want to go Cra Cra Ballistic etc. but for the most part for me this is just simply confirmation of what I strongly felt and Discovered from the onset of this madness. Again I could really "go there" in so many directions regarding ALL parties involved but I won't. I will say personally I lost a lot of sleep and almost lost a dear friend behind this mayhem but I will close with this "Word " Deuteronomy 32:35. I am at peace I have a "Lawyer and Advocate" ...more
By MsB (13), Southampton on Jan 9, 15 2:12 AM
2 members liked this comment
money does not replace honor, appreciation, dignity, scruples, class, righteousness, rights, divinity...nor does it entitle ownership to anything. when we spend our money, in reality, we are borrowing for a temporary period in time, the privilege of being care-giver to our purchase.

money is the root of all evil.

in other words, where evil suddenly appears, you can bet your life, that the irresponsible utilization of money started that whole indignant process. dig deep. you'll ...more
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Jan 16, 15 10:40 AM
I understand your point, but the correct quote from "1 Timothy 6:10 in the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible is:
"For the LOVE of money is the root of all evil..."
By ValGal03 (39), Montauk on Jan 16, 15 12:16 PM
Oystercatcher you could not have said it better!!
By surfmat (15), Southampton on Jan 9, 15 10:24 AM
2 members liked this comment
unbelievable -- tear down a historic house and then, oh, nevermind. Their building permit fee should NOT be returned.
By bettyboo (31), Westhampton on Jan 9, 15 2:28 PM
5 members liked this comment
what an outrage. people think that because they have monetary funds to buy things, that that gives them the right to destroy what is of value. it does not. it never will. we, who understand this, must speak...'to those' who do not. its our duty to.
resources, as well, are lost and/or wasted by so many irresponsible money holders. the same principle holds. either we love and respect what can be gone in one puff....or we disregard it and lose it.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Jan 16, 15 10:27 AM
I would have thought the village knew better, these folks had NO interest other than themselves. Oystercatcher is correct..
By sandydog21 (181), Southampton on Jan 9, 15 6:37 PM
1 member liked this comment
Hopefully someone with more class than this pair will buy the property and put something tasteful in its place.
By Toma Noku (524), uptown on Jan 9, 15 6:37 PM
2 members liked this comment
Yup. Money don't equal class.

Whoever buys the property should be encouraged to incorporate into their new house those parts of the old house recovered prior to demo. For that they should get a great big multi-year tax abatement thank you from the Village, especially if the rebuilt house substantially evokes the original.
By PQ1 (167), hampton bays on Jan 11, 15 12:43 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Inch_High_PI (29), Southampton on Jan 9, 15 6:53 PM
"Lost interest?" After insisting on tearing it down? No words fit to print.
By M. O'Connor (147), Southampton on Jan 9, 15 10:05 PM
2 members liked this comment
Wait--they got a REFUND???????
By M. O'Connor (147), Southampton on Jan 9, 15 10:11 PM
2 members liked this comment
Are you kidding???? Return the building permit money to these creeps? In reality they should be named defendants in a multi million dollar lawsuit filed by the SH Historic Preservation Society based on fraudulent misrepresentation.
By BillWillConn3 (128), Southampton on Jan 9, 15 10:13 PM
These so called creeps didn't know who lived in this house. In fact no one else knew who Mr Concer was until a permit was taken out for new construction. By the way the house was never proven to be a house Mr Concer ever lived in.
Now the owners have decided to put the property on the market. So my question is where are the fundraisers to buy the property? Where are the big mouths that are going to buy and preserve the property? The big mouths can go to the meetings, and tell us of the historical ...more
By chief1 (2258), southampton on Jan 11, 15 8:40 AM
I'm here. join me. preservation used to be the cornerstone of Southampton.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Jan 16, 15 10:46 AM
Too all those who have negative things to say about the OWNERS tearing the house down, why didn't you put your $$ where your mouth is and buy the property? Oh, we can't afford it, so we want the tax payers to buy it or make the new owners preserve it, we don't want to pay for it, just preserve it, let someone else foot the cost!
By tim2011 (11), southampton on Jan 14, 15 11:55 AM
the house ought never have been torn down. the sellers of that property to the current owners had a responsibility. the town should have been privy to that. the town ought to have purchased it. the current owners may have been duped, but my guess is, the current owners knew the score and probably assumed they could disregard it, because they had the money it would take to do so.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Jan 16, 15 10:50 AM
Are you aware that the owners had a letter from the town historian saying that the house had no historical or architectural significance? What else could they have done? This is not their fault, it is the town's for not keeping track of those things and, in this case, for refusing to buy the house when it was offered to them. People should bark up THAT tree.
By Broo100 (11), Southampton on Jan 16, 15 11:04 AM
2 members liked this comment
Where's the money to purchase the property Nellie? More hot air from the peanut gallery.
By chief1 (2258), southampton on Jan 19, 15 8:46 AM