Housing Contest - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2075794

Housing Contest

Thank you for your editorial “Bait and Switch” [January 19]. I was at the meeting where the Liberty Gardens housing complex was introduced. What I heard from Ralph Fasano: He was going to get a traffic light installed on County Road 39 and use Seasons Lane and Hillcrest Avenue for coming and going. After push-back from the community, his company changed its infrastructure plans to eliminate using the local streets.

The proposal also included 15 units reserved for veterans, which has changed, like everything in their presentation. Who in their right mind would put a housing complex at Southampton’s busiest intersection, County Road 39 and North Sea Road? The answer is: the developers of Liberty Gardens.

Follow the money — they would be getting millions from the federal, state, county and our Southampton governments. What do the developers care if it fails or succeeds? Once the money starts rolling in, it never stops. This ever-changing development proposal seems to only benefit the developers, not the Southampton community. They get millions because they start off saying they are going to do something, but end up doing something else. The editors at The Press called it a “bait and switch.”

I have a proposal: Acquire the vacant buildings on Nugent Street in Southampton Village, the former Astoria Bank and the old post office. With some imagination, build a nice-looking apartment complex with a supermarket on the ground floor.

Have an open competition for architects, designers, laypeople to come up with ideas for this apartment complex and supermarket. (I’ve included a supermarket to replace the two the village has lost, IGA and Schmidt’s.) And then have the townspeople vote on their favorite rendering. Show the world what Southampton is capable of.

The Press ran an article “Governor Pitches Plan To Create 800,000 Homes Statewide in a Decade” [27east.com, January 18]. The quote highlighted in the article: “‘New York faces a housing crisis that requires bold actions and an all-hands-on-deck approach,’ [Governor Kathy] Hochul said.”

There are many things that I don’t agree with in her New York Housing Compact, such as penalties to local governments for not complying, fast-tracking projects that the local governments have no control over, etc., etc. Read the article.

I suggested these two vacant buildings because they have been vacant for decades. Many decades ago, Southampton Village banned putting apartments above the ground-floor shops. Now, when 5 o’clock rolls around, we have a ghost town.

We do need affordable housing and another supermarket. We have plenty of vacant million-dollar houses.

James Ding

North Sea