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Mar 15, 2012 4:47 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

New Canoe Place Inn Application Filed With Town

Mar 22, 2012 5:20 PM

An application to build 40 luxury townhouses overlooking the Shinnecock Canal in Hampton Bays, in exchange for restoring the hamlet’s historic Canoe Place Inn, was recently filed with Southampton Town Hall by developers Gregg and Mitchell Rechler.

R Squared Development, which the Rechlers own and operate, filed an application late last month with the town clerk’s office that looks to include the Canoe Place Inn, and two other properties that the cousins own east of the canal, as part of a new Maritime Planned Development District, or MPDD. The plan, which is still being circulated at Town Hall, would require Town Board approval, since the project is denser than what is allowed under current zoning, so special overlay PDD zoning would be required.

In exchange for saving and restoring the Canoe Place Inn—which their application states will cost them an estimated $11.7 million—the Rechlers are looking to build 40 townhouses on 4.5 acres, located just east of the canal, where both Tide Runners and 1 North Steakhouse restaurants currently stand. Both restaurants, as well as a nearby bait shop and residential house, would be demolished to make room for the townhouses. According to Jim Morgo, a former Suffolk County deputy chief executive who is now representing the Rechlers, the cousins own the land but not the businesses.

Also included in the application is the construction of a sewage treatment plant, a facility that would service only the townhouses, to be built on a nearly 2.7-acre lot that the Rechlers also own along the east side of North Highway, just north of Montauk Highway, and east of the proposed townhouses.

In total, Mr. Morgo estimates that the project will cost the Rechlers in excess of $20 million. Both cousins were traveling out of the country this week and could not be reached for comment.

The application, which was filed with the town on February 23 and circulated to various departments on March 9, differs considerably from the original plan. In 2007, the Rechlers filed an application that sought to demolish the Canoe Place Inn and build 75 condominiums in its stead on the 5.6 acres. That proposal sparked an outpouring of community protest and ignited a push to save the inn, even though it is not a designated historical landmark.

While town officials are still reviewing the latest plan, some hamlet residents said this week that they support the revised application because it preserves and restores the Canoe Place Inn. Hampton Bays Civic Association President Bruce King, who opposed the Rechlers’ original plan, said his group will put their support behind the townhouse project.

“When we spoke with the developers, which had to be six months ago, we had decided that the only way to get the Canoe Place Inn renovated and saved was to support the project they are doing on the other side of the canal ...” Mr. King said. “We are looking forward to seeing it begin.”

The town is currently reviewing the latest application, which is not yet complete, according to the town clerk’s office. Once it is deemed complete, a process that Mr. Morgo hopes will happen before the end of the month, the application will begin going through the approval process. That process is expected to take around a year as the application must be approved by both the Town Board and Planning Board. Several public hearings will be held.

The application essentially asks the town to sign off on swapping the allowable density of the Canoe Place Inn property with that of the two properties directly east of the canal. If approved, the Rechlers will be able to build 40 townhouses—seven more than would be allowed without the combined densities—as well as a clubhouse/amenity area, pool and private marina on the east side.

In return, the developers will agree to restore the Canoe Place Inn, which, when completed, will feature 20 rooms, and also restore five cottages on site for long-term stays. The renovated inn will also serve as a catering facility capable of hosting up to 300 people at once, and also feature a 210-seat restaurant and a 24-seat bar, according to the application.

The public benefits of the project, which are a requirement of all PDD applications, include the restoration of the inn, according to Mr. Morgo. In addition, he said the Rechlers have agreed to buy an unspecified amount of open space within the hamlet of Hampton Bays that will be preserved.

“The bottom line is that, with the combined sites, the PDD will allow for seven additional units in exchange for significant community benefits,” Mr. Morgo said. “So for the seven units on the canal side, you are not only getting the Canoe Place Inn back to its former glory, but you are also getting open space and a separate wastewater treatment facility that will significantly improve canal water quality.”

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... disgrace, "Maritime Planned Development District" sounds nice. Maybe a museum and a "river walk" along side the canal with shops. How do 40 town homes with club house pool and marina fit this designation? To add insult to injury these guys are going to totally build-out the CPI property. Restore five cottages? I thought this was supposed to be passive /recreational use. How does the Town benefit? These guys are good, they bamboozled everyone and have taken an environmentally sensitive area ...more
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Mar 15, 12 5:44 PM
1 member liked this comment
Haven't we been thru this nonsense before? Let them build what zoning allows. Or perhaps they've already purchased the Republican votes on the Board..........
By bird (829), Southampton on Mar 15, 12 8:11 PM
1 member liked this comment
dats correct buoght and paid for you know it
By local 84 (353), riverhead on Mar 15, 12 11:52 PM
Its to dense of a use on the canal. Let them build "as of right' only. 40 Condo's driving down North road will be like driving down a canyon. I cannnot think of anything less hampton than that. They bought the properties and are sophosticated buyers so they know what they can do with what they own. Why then must we grant them more than they can legally have. CPI is not that precious versus over developing on the canal.
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Mar 16, 12 6:37 AM
1 member liked this comment
The place is going to be beautiful with a proper septic disposal system. Just jealous idiots worrying about how much money someone will make. Hampton Bays has every other house over crowded with cars scattered on the lawn but thats ok I guess.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Mar 16, 12 10:10 AM
2 members liked this comment
Normally I'm against almost all development in the Hamptons, particularly when it's so dense, but Hampton Bays could really stand to benefit from something upmarket to "gentrify" it a bit, and that's exactly what this sounds like. The CPI is an eyesore, and the nightclub there draws a sketchy crowd - seems every summer there's at least one shooting connected to that place. So long as it's landscaped well to hide the density and the buildings aren't overly tall, I think this will be a nice addition ...more
By Tay (35), Hampton Bays on Mar 16, 12 10:57 AM
2 members liked this comment
You are truly the voice of ignorance or intentionally trying to alarm people. The nightclub has not been open for almost two years and there has never been a shooting there - but don't let facts get in the way of a good rant.

On the other hand I agree that this development plan can be an asset to Hampton Bays, unfortunately at the expense of Tiderunner's and One North.
By VOS (1241), WHB on Mar 16, 12 6:35 PM
1 member liked this comment
I agree there was never a shooting at the Inn.

As far as Tiderunners and One North, they are history no matter what the development plan is. The property was sold, the new owners are going to be developing the property.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 17, 12 4:40 PM
Vos , Just what is your deal anyway.Why would you even suggest the the CPI in its current condition is not both a danger and a disturbance.Tau is right on. The place in its current state is both an eyesore and a potential crime scene.I for one welcome the Rechlers to Hampton bays and hope they never leave.Maybe the can buy the Dream club next knock it down and give our locale police a break. I agree tide runners is a nice hang out full of locales, mostly well mannered adults and everyone except ...more
By They call me (2826), southampton on Mar 19, 12 10:42 AM
Hey Call - What's with you? You "liked" my comment then read things into that weren't there to come up with your own little rant. I strenuously object to those trying to make their own feeble point by creating fiction as Tay has. CPI is neither a danger (except to a possible trespasser) nor a disturbance since it is closed, never to reopen. Are you saying it disturbs you when you look at it? Of course it's an eyesore - that's the way the owners want it until they get their approvals and I ...more
By VOS (1241), WHB on Mar 20, 12 12:03 AM
The PDD law should not be used to circumvent the Town Zoning Laws. Combining the CPI site with building 40 New Town Houses and a Club House with a huge septic system on a hill overlooking the east side of the Shinnecock Canal is not what the PDD law was intended to be used for. Adding this much density and pollution to a site that feeds the water of both Peconic and Shinnecock Bays should be avoided at all cost. The R Squared Company should be allowed to build what they want within the existing ...more
By Ernie (88), Hampton Bays on Mar 16, 12 12:59 PM
3 members liked this comment
... "jealous idiots"? What's up, chief?
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Mar 16, 12 5:55 PM
what happened to public access alongside the canal? Wasn't there supposed to be a public walkway on the east side of the canal? Also, what are their traffic management plans for the residents/guests at this intersection? It's a complicated intersection, and North Road is very narrow to begin with.
By CalHampt (2), Hampton Bays on Mar 21, 12 2:30 PM
So after they fix the CPI, who's gonna run it? Will the town own it and lease out the space? I guess i'm a little confused. Sure gonna miss tiderunners!
By captnrose (6), Hampton Bays on Mar 21, 12 3:38 PM
1 member liked this comment
A deal with the devil, as usual.

Problem is, neither party involved is remotely angelic.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Mar 21, 12 6:02 PM
The $20 per square foot renovation the R Squared people hplan to spend to renovate the CPI is a joke. Renovatibg a 78 year old 98,000 sq ft building for $2 million is impossible in the Hamptons.They are just planning on putting lip stick on the pig. They are just buying enough time to build the 40 town houses and the septic system then will dump the useless CPI on the town to avoid paying the $90K per year in real estate taxes. The CPI is a dump and should be replaced with a park using CPF funding. ...more
By Ernie (88), Hampton Bays on Mar 26, 12 11:45 PM
$11.7 million, not $2 million. They are building a sewage treatment plant, not a septic cystem. Read the article or are you intentionally trying to spread false information?
By VOS (1241), WHB on Mar 26, 12 11:55 PM
2 members liked this comment
Now now, you wouldn't want to muddy the waters with the FACTS would you VOS?

Much more fun to rant, rave and spew distorted facts.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 28, 12 8:10 AM
1 member liked this comment

The Inn was built in 1922. It is 90 years old, not 78.
The Inn is +/- 40,000 sq. ft. in size, not 98,000 sq. ft.
(The 98,000 number in the pre-submission report refers to the potential buildout of the Inn site at underlying zoning.)
The Community Preservation Fund cannot buy and replace anything with a park unless there is a willing seller. Its owners have stated that the Inn is not for sale. Also, there is a park at the canal and another one in the works for the downtown.
The ...more
By PQ1 (167), hampton bays on Mar 27, 12 10:55 PM
1 member liked this comment
The pre-submission document says 99,000 square feet on two floors. The fact remains to renovate a space in the Hamptons you need to spend at least $250 a square foot. The Inn needs everything from the roof down. This building should be torn down and replaced with something like 20 town houses where the owners can get some return on their investment. The building is beyond repair after 40 plus years on neglect. The CPI site should not be linked to replacing waterfront restaurants on the east side ...more
By Ernie (88), Hampton Bays on May 22, 12 6:14 AM
1 member liked this comment
Who ever said, and exactly where is it written, that the building could, would or should be "turned over to the Hampton Bays Historical Society?"

Is there a source for this "information"?

If there is, where can it be found in actual, shared reality?

By PQ1 (167), hampton bays on Jun 2, 12 8:33 PM
Buildings are designated as "historic", and therefore worthy of preservation because of their architectural uniqueness and the memorable activities that occurred therein. It always seemed to me that the Canoe Place Inn only fulfilled one of these criteria. It carries a charming history as a watering hole for social and political society of the early twentieth century but as a building it is undistinguished.

The memory of historical good times can be preserved in other ways than by the ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on May 22, 12 11:51 AM