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Dec 1, 2010 11:07 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Canoe Place Inn Developers Are Now Willing To Build Townhouses Instead Of Condos

Dec 1, 2010 11:07 AM

The owners of the Canoe Place Inn said they are willing to alter their plans to redevelop land that they also own on the east side of Shinnecock Canal in Hampton Bays, stating that they want to build 40 townhouses, and not condominiums, where two restaurants now stand.

Developers Gregg and Mitchell Rechler, the owners of R Squared LLC in Melville, said this week that they made the change after meeting with community leaders last month at the Hampton Bays Diner. Gregg Rechler said hamlet representatives told the business partners, who are also cousins, that condominiums are taxed at a lower rate than townhouses in Southampton Town.

After that meeting, the developers distributed a letter to community groups on November 22, stating that they will modify their plans and, instead, propose building townhouses on the eastern side of Shinnecock Canal—if the town allows them to move forward.

The Rechlers have not filed an application for that project because they would be allowed to pursue such a development only if the Southampton Town Board approves a planned development district, or PDD, on the eastern side of the canal. If the town approves the rezoning, the Rechlers have said that they would withdraw their demolition permit application to raze the Canoe Place Inn and instead restore the structure so it could reopen as a catering hall. The Town Board has not indicated whether or not it would entertain such a zoning change.

The switch from condominiums to townhouses was in response to concerns raised by Hampton Bays residents, with some complaining that condos do not generate as much tax revenue. Townhouses are taxed similar to normal homes, meaning that their construction would generate more taxes, according to town officials.

Mr. Rechler said Town Councilman Jim Malone, who was representing the Town Board, attended last month’s meeting at the Hampton Bays Diner. Mr. Malone did not return calls on Tuesday.

“We’d love to do this but unless the town is willing to act, there’s nothing else we can do,” Mr. Rechler said of his latest modified plan that would preserve the Canoe Place Inn, which is not a protected landmark.

The Rechlers demolition permit application for the inn, meanwhile, is now before the Town Board. Last month, the Southampton Town Planning Board referred the application to the Town Board, citing an incomplete 2006 application filed by the Rechlers to raze the inn and build 75 luxury timeshares on the property. The developers previously stated that they will withdraw that application, explaining that it is no longer financially viable, in order to secure the demolition permit.

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The Rechlers have become genuinely excited about restoring the Canoe Place Inn. They were not at all excited about the restoration when discussions began in the spring. But they have pride, and egos (and money).If given the opportunity,they will make it a beautiful place. However, they are businessman. Sooner or later, they are going to conclude that they have made enough concessions, and they will put an end to discussions and to the CPI.
By gordie howe (55), hockeytown usa on Dec 13, 10 10:53 AM