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Jun 24, 2015 10:44 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Good Ground Park Renovation Takes A Step Forward

An aerial view of the Montauk Highway entrance to Good Ground Park in Hampton Bays.
Jun 24, 2015 11:08 AM

Plans to revitalize downtown Hampton Bays are finally coming to fruition, with the Southampton Town Board prepared to accept bids next month to start phase one of Good Ground Park.

Officials hope to have at least part of the estimated $4 million, 36-acre park open to the public by next summer. The first phase will focus on preparing roughly 7 acres for the addition of a stage, playgrounds and a new road.

“It really is a very big deal for the Hampton Bays community,” Aimee Pfeiffer, principal planner for Southampton Town, said this week. “Honestly, they have been working tirelessly on this for over a decade, and things finally started to align. All of the pieces fell into place. So the town is thrilled, the people of Hampton Bays are thrilled, and it is such a great, to me, nice thing to see.”

When all is said and done, the park will be centered on a new amphitheater, with two playgrounds, hiking trails and picnic areas, as well as a new boulevard lined with stores and parking and dubbed “the new Hampton Bays Main Street.” MKW Landscape Architecture of New Jersey designed the park to connect to Main Street through a pair of greenbelts, and for buildings on the north side of Main Street to be redeveloped with secondary storefronts facing onto the park itself.

The new “boulevard” will lead from Squiretown Road into the southernmost end of the park, with approximately 150 parking spaces scattered along it between the park and the north-facing storefronts.

The project will be partially funded with a $943,000 grant from the State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Empire State Development Office. A $1.9 million bond was authorized in December for the first phase of construction, and the grant money will be used to pay down the bond.

According to Ms. Pfeiffer, phase one of the project will include installing utilities, building the amphitheater and playgrounds, and putting in a new road to allow access to the park and parking, plus paving, landscaping and signs. Based on the plans, Ms. Pfeiffer said most of the trees that are in the park now will remain, and that new plantings also will be part of the landscaping.

The plans show the amphitheater boasting a center stage with viewing areas on two sides—one a terraced seating arrangement, the other a sloping, tree-lined hillside for more informal, picnic-style seating.

Ms. Pfeiffer said the new roadway will run parallel to Montauk Highway, with parking on both sides of the two-way street. It will end in a cul-de-sac, and park lighting will line the street.

The property that will comprise the park runs from Montauk Highway north to Sunrise Highway and along Squiretown Road. The town purchased the property for $3.5 million in 2003 from the Rosko family using money from the Community Preservation Fund.

On Wednesday, Ms. Pfeiffer said the town plans to open the park in stages, as construction of each section is completed. The main goal for phase one is to set up everything for installations in later phases so that sections of the park will not have to be closed for long periods of time after being unveiled. During the initial construction, the park will be closed off with construction fencing. As portions open, the fence will be moved to allow access.

Eventually, the park will also feature an adult fitness area, terraced seating, public bathrooms, and hiking and biking trails that loop through the northern reaches of the wooded property.

“Having a new park is sort of like the pie in the sky,” Ms. Pfeiffer said. “It is such a fun project.”

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The new stores are a concern for me. Existing businesses in Hampton Bays have a hard time staying open year round.
By beachbabe (14), Hampton Bays on Jun 24, 15 12:39 PM
2 members liked this comment
Yeah, it would be a tragedy if 7-11 and the karate studio got some competition. I personally couldn't sleep just thinking that the UPS Store might be lost.
By SHPredatorDept (72), Southampton on Jun 26, 15 3:45 AM
I agree. As there is now there are empty store fronts on main street, unless the rents are considerably less, I can't imagine this is going to attract that many new businesses.

Not sure how this went from a park to more stores and a new street.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Jun 28, 15 3:06 PM
It would be nice to renovate the facilities at Ponquogue Beach. Have you been to Main Beach in Easthampton? Like that but more modern. It wouldn't take $4 million, either.
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Jun 24, 15 6:54 PM
Dog Park?
By Toto (25), southampton on Jun 24, 15 7:59 PM
2 members liked this comment
Sounds wonderful-- however there is no mention in your article about the BBQ 's that are to be added to the plan. This is a wooded area and just one spark can spell disaster.
Your next project needs to be Ponquoque Beach remodeling. This is a major attraction and in dier
need of repairs and updating
By jgbar (1), Yorktown Heights on Jun 25, 15 12:10 PM
1 member liked this comment
OMG you are right. Let's demolish your house because it contains flammable materials.
By SHPredatorDept (72), Southampton on Jun 26, 15 3:48 AM
good point on Ponquogue Beach. A real craphole. But, what do they care? Only politicians looking for further gains.
By Ibill (47), remsenburg on Jun 25, 15 1:34 PM
"...for buildings on the north side of Main Street to be redeveloped with secondary storefronts facing onto the park itself." Guess no upside for commercial real estate owners on Ponquogue Beach means no upside for upgrading the facilities there.
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Jun 25, 15 9:40 PM
Now let's get rolling on tearing down CPI.
By SHPredatorDept (72), Southampton on Jun 26, 15 3:46 AM
Ahhh, I see you are not only negative but uninformed. Enjoy!
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Jun 28, 15 3:04 PM
1 member liked this comment
People might actually have a reason to shop in Hampton Bays and take a stroll
They clusters. It can only help the other stores and hopefully improve the entire area.
By cybelep (2), NEW YORK on Sep 24, 15 7:30 PM