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May 11, 2011 10:39 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Developers Present Plan For Technology Park At Gabreski Airport

May 11, 2011 12:58 PM

The developers behind the proposed technology park project at Gabreski Airport gave Westhampton Beach officials and village residents a glimpse of what they are trying to build on the 50-acre site in Westhampton, which they said could be open by next year.

In a presentation made during last Thursday night’s Village Board meeting, cousins Gregg and Mitchell Rechler of Rechler Equity Partners—the developers behind the project—said their firm wants to build a three-story, 145-room hotel on the property. Gregg Rechler also said they are still searching for a flagship business that would anchor the nine-building technology park.

“We believe that this will become a real business community, and we wanted to make sure that all of the amenities were in place to enforce that,” he said.

Earlier this year, Suffolk County completed $1.8 million in renovations and infrastructure improvements near the entrance to Gabreski Airport, which is near the future home of “The Hampton Business District at Gabreski.”

The Rechlers, however, are still trying to secure approval to build the hotel as Southampton Town code forbids buildings that are taller than two stories, or 35 feet, within the airport’s planned development district. The hotel they are envisioning, Gregg Rechler said, would feature on-site catering, conference centers and food service. But he said that they need to build a three-story building for that to work. “Otherwise, it would not make economic sense,” he said.

He added that his firm has been talking to several potential tenants, including reaching out to an electronics manufacturer within the defense industry. Mr. Rechler declined to identify the company.

When asked by Village Board member Hank Tucker how many jobs the park would create, Mr. Rechler declined to give an estimate. But he said he expects that their future tenants would want to hire local employees. “I think it will have a great, positive impact on labor,” he said.

Also last week, the Village Board and the owner of Simon’s Beach Bakery on Main Street were still at odds over several zoning violations that are preventing the business owner from securing a permit to offer outdoor music and dining this summer.

Last week, board members postponed discussion on the application filed by Simon Jorna until Wednesday, May 18. Mr. Jorna, who appeared visibly upset, read a statement after the board voted to postpone discussion on his application. “I am embarrassed that I even have to be here tonight,” Mr. Jorna said. “I have fought hard for outdoor music.”

The board told Mr. Jorna last month that unless he took steps to remedy code violations at his business, it would not approve his permit. Village officials previously said that he has an illegal apartment above his bakery and is storing a trailer behind his business.

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"Billboard Hotel" still in the works?

Links to previous articles are not posted above yet.

Has the site plan changed since this January 2011 article?

http://www.27east.com/news/article.cfm/Westhampton/321458/Rechlers-Seeking-Amendments-To-Gabreski-Airport-Project

See the comments below this article, and the link posted by Editor Sutton to the site plan PDF at:

http://www.southamptontownny.gov/content/72/837/3269/3836/default.aspx

If the location ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 11, 11 1:24 PM
The editor has added links above to previous articles, although not to the article cited above.

Interestingly, there is another article from today 5/11/11 (re: PDD issues) which seems to indicate that ATH and ATH2 (and Ms. Graboski) are worried about the size of the entry sign to the proposed development (96 square feet !!! -- Oh No, Toto!). Do they realize that the proposed hotel WILL DWARF the entry sign by orders of magnitude, assuming the hotel is still located just east of the Riverhead ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 11, 11 2:54 PM
The various PDF's at the SH Town link above have newer dates on them, but the location and height of the hotel (parcel #9?) appear not to have changed. More over, the various height/elevation comparisons are disingenuous at best IMO, and do NOT show the proposed hotel in relationship to the Riverhead Road in an East/West cross-section.

By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 11, 11 6:32 PM
"Technology Park"! ( Hee - Hee - Hee!) Remember when it was a "Movie Studio"? I'm guessing that "technologists" are lusting after commercial space in Westhampton Beach just slightly more than movie producers.

The developers used the "concept" of a movie studio as tenant to request a 13 foot exemption to the height limitation, the extra headroom being necessary, one assumes, for the aerial footage in forthcoming productions. (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Westhampton Beach Invasion") ...more
By highhatsize (4216), East Quogue on May 15, 11 9:38 AM