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Dec 8, 2010 12:09 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Morrow Has New Plans For 'Tuckahoe Main Street'

Dec 8, 2010 12:09 PM

After running into a wall of opposition to his proposal for an ambitious multifaceted shopping center in Tuckahoe, developer Robert Morrow is pitching a new design to residents and lawmakers, one that greatly scales back the amount of retail space but keeps the large King Kullen supermarket that Mr. Morrow has claimed residents have asked for.

The new designs, which Mr. Morrow has shown to members of the Town Board and presented to the Tuckahoe Citizens Advisory Committee on Tuesday evening, call for just 15,000 square feet of retail stores adjacent to the 40,000-square-foot supermarket. That compares with a total of 75,000 square feet of additional retail proposed in the original plan, dubbed “Tuckahoe Main Street” by the developer. A third building on the property, just 3,500 square feet, would house a bank branch in the new plan.

A 100-foot strip of undeveloped, landscaped land would set the development back from County Road 39. Access to the property would be similar to that proposed in the initial plans: a side entrance off Magee Street, as well as an entrance and exit onto County Road 39, though no cars would be permitted to turn left, to the west, when leaving the property.

There would be no residential apartments above any of the storefronts. The first plan called for 12 one- and two-bedroom apartments.

Mr. Morrow’s new design now incorporates property now occupied by a hotel and restaurant adjacent to the 12 acres he has already bought with partners Lyle and Gary Pike and Lance Nill. The development would be spread over a 6-acre commercially zoned parcel and the 1.7-acre hotel parcel. Unlike the original plan, it does not call for any commercial development on an 8-acre parcel to the south that is zoned for residential development—the original plan stretched onto that property as well. Mr. Morrow said on Tuesday that he has a contract to purchase the hotel and restaurant property.

The revised plans also abandon the request for a planned development district to get past the area’s current zoning restrictions, opting instead for a 
change of zone request from “highway business” to “shopping center business.” The switch would still require permission from the Town Board, as 
well as the proffering of some “community benefit” in order to be granted. With a PDD, new rules for usage can be established; Mr. Morrow’s revised plan meets the current restrictions of a “shopping center business” zone.

Despite the changes, which Mr. Morrow said have been received positively by local lawmakers, the new proposal was not well-received by members of the Tuckahoe CAC on 
Tuesday. Even with the greatly reduced commercial development, committee members said concerns about the traffic the market would bring to the already bustling stretch of County Road 39 still made the idea of such a development there impractical and unpalatable for residents.

“There is a reason that supermarkets are not allowed on highways,” Susan Van Olst told Mr. Morrow and his partners. “They cause too much traffic.”

“This is already a very dangerous road,” added Lyn Fitzgerald.

The CAC members also said they worried that the commercial businesses would draw truck traffic, for deliveries to the property’s stores, down residential streets when traffic on the highway was bad.

The current zoning on the parcels Mr. Morrow and his 
partners have bought would allow up to four 15,000-square-foot commercial buildings to be built, though the town code restricts the types of businesses that can be built to those 
deemed to have a low traffic impact—offices, commercial businesses or retailers selling goods that are not common everyday needs, like furniture or appliances.

Mr. Morrow said in an interview on Tuesday that he 
would not propose a zone 
change for the residential portion of the property but would likely seek to develop it with housing at some point in the future, though no specific plans are in the works. He said the zoning would probably allow the construction of up to nine 
homes. Such promises did not quell concern that the property would one day be merged into the adjacent commercial development by the more skeptical of the CAC’s membership.

“Once the commercial zoning is changed, the residential will fall right in also,” Frances Genovese said.

Originally, the residential parcel had been the targeted for the placement of the supermarket, which would have put it adjacent neighboring residential areas, and drew opposition from those homeowners.

Mr. Morrow also said Tuesday that he had spoken to the 
owners of La Parmigiana restaurant in Southampton 
Village, and they had expressed an interest into adding a 
restaurant in the new center to complement the existing 
family-owned restaurant in the village.

The hostility to Mr. Morrow’s initial proposal from members of the community, organized in large part by a coalition of Southampton Village business
owners, eroded support for the project among Town Board members, most notably Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, who had initially supported the project. After seeing the new plans last week, Ms. Throne-Holst applauded the changes but said the future of the project still rests with the reaction of residents.

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We have enought EMPTY STORES In the town and village, I guess the developers want to turn the East End into Nassau County. Please no more.....
By DJ9222 (81), southampton on Dec 5, 10 6:52 PM
1 member liked this comment
Forgetaboutit.
By Turkey Bridge (1773), Quiogue on Dec 5, 10 7:22 PM
It would be nice to have another supermarket somewhere, big enough to let carts pass in the aisle and to allow time to check prices without blocking the traffic flow in the whole store. I have nothing against the helpful staff at our only Southamton supermarket but shopping there is a nightmare in Summer.
By consciencepoint (16), Southampton on Dec 5, 10 8:15 PM
1 member liked this comment
I agree with you. The village used to have three supermarkets. The IGA and Christede's are now gone. The only other choices to the Walbaum's, which is fine too, are to go to Hampton Bays and Bridgehampton. Beyond the crowding in the aisles is also the traffic situation in the Village in general too. For other reasons I wont go into, Town residents also need alternatives that are not so Village centric.
By V.Tomanoku (622), southampton on Dec 6, 10 1:27 PM
Southampton is in desperate need of a large supermarket-I meet so many people from Southampton shopping in King Kullen in Bridgehampton every week.
By nurse (53), sag harbor on Dec 6, 10 2:07 AM
The only thing we "desperately" need is to put an end to overdevelopment. No PDD!
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Dec 6, 10 8:38 AM
Yes Just a Supermarket. The problem is Morrow is pushing the envelope. We do not need more empty spaces that will decimate downtown like Rte 58 did to riverhead. Just drive down 39 now, look at the empty stores.

The "new plans" are like the old plans and the answer is NO
By North Sea Citizen (457), North Sea on Dec 6, 10 6:15 AM
People are blinded by the glittery sparkle of anew supermarket. What about traffic, environment, quality of life. We Americans will sacrifice anything for convenience.
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Dec 6, 10 8:40 AM
1 member liked this comment
just want to understand: the public road gets widened to relieve constant traffic problems in a years long budget nightmare that gets solved by some intricate construction process. then a developer who bought land not zoned for heavy commercial usage upzones his property with a complacent dirty town board who just hired a $300,000 executive (if you include future pension obligations) with no job responsibilities and creates...constant traffic problems.
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Dec 6, 10 8:52 AM
1 member liked this comment
this project scares the puss out of me ; everything about it scares me of exploitation, non local developers who do NOT care how they destroy a town, local government officals loooking to make a buck on the side ... this is creepy and people easily seem to hate this
By david h (404), southampton on Dec 6, 10 10:52 AM
King Kullen, Hooters and Outback...that works for me
By itsamazing (208), Southampton on Dec 6, 10 11:47 AM
Move to Riverhead
By razza5351 (551), East Hampton on Dec 6, 10 11:50 AM
Is this the land that the Pike brothers wanted to convert cottages into small one family affordable housing a while back? If it is, the neighbors that opposed that project sure got a lot more schmutz on their faces now.
By V.Tomanoku (622), southampton on Dec 6, 10 1:34 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By david h (404), southampton on Dec 6, 10 3:13 PM
Papi was obviously being sarcastic but he is right (beofe all his comments got deleted by BIG BROTHER WHO IS OBVIOUSlY WATCHING) >> developing rt27 so its a contiunous mall is the future and if anyone has been to Myrtle BEach knows how endless strip malls and untempered development kills a beautiful area.
there is now possibility that this project helps an area in any way - what a few jobs?? IT will stress the infrastructure to the expense of th locals. any limited tax reveneu will be blown ...more
By david h (404), southampton on Dec 6, 10 4:12 PM
"no possibility" [now "now" ]
By david h (404), southampton on Dec 6, 10 4:18 PM
Just because a property owner applies for a change of zoning it shouldn't be guaranteed. This weasel SPECULATED on the land and isn't guaranteed anything, especially a change of zoning granted by our fearless Town Board. Wait a minute, didn't he contribute to Anna's campaign?, hmm, maybe he is entitled to his zoning change after all, my mistake, carry on.
By bigfresh (3090), north sea on Dec 6, 10 4:50 PM
Read the article - "Opposition to Mr. Morrow’s initial proposal from members of the community, organized in large part by a coalition of Southampton Village business owners, eroded support for the project among Town Board members, most notably Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst."
By razza5351 (551), East Hampton on Dec 7, 10 9:25 AM
The reason why there are so many empty stores is because the Town of Southampton makes it so difficult for any business to open here. Even in permitted uses, the Towns procedures are so onerous that any "mom and pop" trying to go into business cannot afford it. The vacant storefronts are the product of poor planning and unrealistic costs of going into business.
By The Real World (331), southampton on Dec 7, 10 9:36 AM
Can you give "real world" examples? Along County Rd. 39, there are very few vacant businesses (especially if you exclude that new "shopping center" that only houses a Sleepy's as that was built on speculation.

AThere are some vacancies in the village, but your argument holds no weight there, as the Town has no jurisdiction. You have to look toward Water Mill to find some empty store fronts - but that's more a product of the economy than the Town.

In Hampton Bays along Main ...more
By Nature (2964), Hampton Bays on Dec 7, 10 11:58 AM
Ummm, how about there are so many vacant store fronts because the rents are too damn high? Real estate investors did their math wrong & the market can't support their wishful thinking.
By East End 2 (121), Southampton on Dec 8, 10 8:02 PM
1 member liked this comment
Why exclude the new shopping center with Sleepy's? It's been vacant for several years. The fact that NO tenants have moved in shows the problem. Look around, there are many more vacancies than you think. Also, look at how long it takes to go through the process. You obviously have never been through it. As for the economy of the town. Buy local for the holidays. I always find it funny when I see members of the planning and town boards shopping in other towns. (Yes, sometimes I have to go elsewhere ...more
By The Real World (331), southampton on Dec 7, 10 3:25 PM
I'm excluding that shopping center because the idiot who built it didn't do his research and didn't have tenants lined up... it was pure speculation. For a business to move into that shopping center, all they need from the Town is a permit for a sign (unless it's a restaurant, then they would need a building permit for interior work, but that's minor). The center is for retail use, so if I have a business and need a store front I can move in tomorrow without so much as a phone call to the Town. ...more
By Nature (2964), Hampton Bays on Dec 7, 10 8:56 PM
If you think all you need is a microscopic sign to go into business in the town your are seriously misguided. Read the use classifications. ALL development has a form of speculation. There is nothing guaranteed. You obviously have never done it. To call someone an "idiot" for building something, employing people, expanding the tax base shows where you are coming from. Find a better adjective.
By The Real World (331), southampton on Dec 7, 10 10:02 PM
I'm just saying, he spent how much $$$ on that building and has found just ONE tennant? (A sleepy's, which, basically comes included with any strip mall on this island). He clearly did not do his research...

Any retail store that wants to go into that building can. I'm talking strict retail use. Not 7-11's (convenience stores), not nightclubs, not some convoluted special use. Any retail use can move in without a notice to the Town - it happens every day all over this island! If I ...more
By Nature (2964), Hampton Bays on Dec 7, 10 11:35 PM
Give me an example of a normal "mom and pop" business that has tried to go into business and has been denied, OR put out of business because of the Town's restrictions. The Town benefits from businesses, there is no benefit to vacant store fronts.

The old Starbucks on 39 has been how many different places over the years? They haven't failed because of the Town and none have gone before the Planning Board for anything other than signs... the current tenant is in violation of so many ...more
By Nature (2964), Hampton Bays on Dec 7, 10 11:38 PM
Go to town hall, get a sign permit application, read it, and then comment. You have to do a site plan, hire an engineer, hire a lawyer, and go back and forth with revisions. Very costly. This is not the rest of Long Island, it is Southampton Town. Just about every use is "special exception" which means planning board review, which is expensive and puts businesses behind the eight ball before ever putting the key in the door. There is no strict meaning of retail. The Town restricts businesses ...more
By The Real World (331), southampton on Dec 8, 10 7:27 AM
Those are all standard zoning designations that exist in other towns. Brookhaven Town has J1, J2, J4, J5, L1, L2, L3 zoning along many of theirstreets. Each zoning category has different requirements.
By Nature (2964), Hampton Bays on Dec 8, 10 9:06 AM
A simple yes or no question: Have you ever been through the planning board process?
By The Real World (331), southampton on Dec 8, 10 1:06 PM
no.
By Nature (2964), Hampton Bays on Dec 8, 10 1:39 PM
Thank you for your honesty. All I can tell you is that you would be amazed at the soft costs do open a business and erect a sign in the town. I will have to discount many of your comments because you really would never understand unless you tried doing it yourself with your own money.sorry
By The Real World (331), southampton on Dec 8, 10 2:47 PM
We could sure use another supermarket! Why should we have to travel to bridgehampton or Hampton Bays to grocery shop?
By Walt (265), Southampton on Dec 8, 10 4:17 PM
Let him build his grocery store, just not at that spot where the 29 is already a death trap. By they way, there are a lot of things "we could sure use" - when do we finally draw the line and say no more?
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Dec 8, 10 4:39 PM
its also a pain to go all the way to riverhead for home dpot. hope they put one in. and also love the hooters idea but maybe an Outback Steak House fits the area better.
By david h (404), southampton on Dec 8, 10 4:23 PM
There are real issues here concerning traffic and environmental impact and your perverted obsession with Hooters does not help move the conversation forward.
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Dec 8, 10 4:37 PM
Many of us live out here, because we DON'T WANT all the modern chains, and their hoopla.

We are quite content to eat at local places, with fresh ingredients, and local cuisine.

If you want to be near that stuff, move to Manorville.
By Mr. Z (9651), North Sea on Dec 12, 10 12:56 PM
I agree about the chains, local places with locally sourced ingredients is the way to go. If it was cooked by locals too, instead of by non-local illegal aliens we would really be on to something! I have worked in restaurants all over the eastend and they all have a few people in the kitchen working off the books, if not most of the kitchen help. And before some body starts pulling the race/racist card, I happened to like and get a long most of them, even sharing staff housing on occasion in the ...more
By ICE (1207), Southampton on Dec 13, 10 7:50 AM
i dont understand why u say "my perverted obsession" though because i have never ever mentioned the franchise before. i kind of just had chicken wings (Extra hot because i used to live up near buffalo) on m ymind and someone else had menteioend the franchise ... we need more restaruant chains around any way ... and by the way i did see teh most spectaular little auburn owl on my back porch the other night!!! it was as beautiful little creature ive ever seen (an owl, like the hooters logo)
By david h (404), southampton on Dec 8, 10 4:56 PM
I'd rather have a Costco at that location...The problem with Hooters is they don't do lap dancing, yet.
By V.Tomanoku (622), southampton on Dec 8, 10 8:50 PM
Lighten up, fc.
By clam pie (161), Westhampton on Dec 8, 10 9:32 PM
It seems to me that we have all chosen to live in our area and must have some affection for the way of life here. We don't "need" another supermarket, it would be convenient but it's not neccessary.. Why create more developed space? Why bring more traffic onto a residential side street? Why turn our Town into an Up the Island nightmare? Enough is enough. No more large scaled development and nore PDDs. Vote out any Board member who votes for this abomonation.
By bigfresh (3090), north sea on Dec 9, 10 7:48 AM
2 members liked this comment
Something we can definitely agree upon. We need to distinguish between wants and needs. If we allow this it will only lead to more and when will people and government finally say "Enough"? When it is already too late.
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Dec 9, 10 7:59 AM
How about most of us get over our dreaded cases of "canal disease".

We are not, any of us, the Headless Horseman, and I'm pretty sure we can all cross running water.

Is ten, or fifteen miles really so far to travel, if you desire a "better" shopping experience?

I have a "Stop 'n' Shop" card, as well as a Waldbaum's card, shop both circulars, and stock the pantry when really good deals are attractive.

Come on people!!!!
By Mr. Z (9651), North Sea on Dec 12, 10 12:50 PM
1 member liked this comment
Well said, Mr. Z
By razza5351 (551), East Hampton on Dec 13, 10 8:44 AM
I really can see where a King Kullen or better yet Stop 'n' Shop could be a postive addition to that area. It may cause Waldbaum's to get it's act together.
The new proposal is a huge Improvement and is a better design than I was expecting from Mr. Morrow.
By ICE (1207), Southampton on Dec 13, 10 7:55 AM
Don't be fooled. This proposal is not significantly different and he STILL maintains the remainder of that property which could later be developed as the mega-mall extension. They want westbound traffic to turn left from thirty nine before Magee street into this place! Can you imagine. The road is already a death trap. And what about environmental impact from runoff - he still has nearly 350 parking spots.

All Mr. Morrow has done is to change his plans so they are not tainted by the ...more
By razza5351 (551), East Hampton on Dec 13, 10 8:43 AM
a few questions? please anybody respond if they know answers. Do Morrow and company have the right to use Magee Street entrance? Why cant there be a light on county road 39? when is the next board meeting on this matter?
By rickc (1), freeport on Dec 18, 10 1:22 AM
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