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Hamptons Life

Jun 12, 2015 10:22 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Southampton Town CPF Might Purchase Concer Property In Village

Southampton Town is considering using Community Preservation Fund money to purchase the property that once held the Pyrrhus Concer house.  DANA SHAW
Jun 17, 2015 9:43 AM

Southampton Town might use Community Preservation Fund money to purchase the property that once was the site of the Pyrrhus Concer house on Pond Lane in Southampton Village, with plans to create a museum.

This week town officials scheduled a public hearing for July 14 on the proposal to purchase the property. The amount the town would be willing to pay for the 0.82-acre parcel will not be disclosed until the public hearing.

“The property is something that is important to the Village of Southampton,” Town CPF Manager Mary Wilson said on Tuesday. “And the Town Board also felt it was an important opportunity to acquire a parcel with historic significance.”

If the lot is purchased through the town’s CPF program, the village will act as its steward, taking care of routine maintenance. Ms. Wilson said this week that there would be restrictions on how the property can be used, but noted that the village would be able to operate a museum—possibly one built with elements of the original structure.

The property has been at the center of controversy since September 2013, when the Southampton Village Architectural Review Board first heard public comment on a proposal to demolish the Pyrrhus Concer house to make way for a single-family home. Many said the house was an integral part of Southampton history and of key significance to the history of the region’s African-American community; Mr. Concer was a former slave who went on to a prominent whaling career and was a key figure in the village’s history.

After several months of public debate, the ARB denied the homeowners a certificate of appropriateness to demolish the structure, which led to a $10 million lawsuit against the village, with the owners claiming their property rights were being denied.

In May 2014, the village and the homeowners reached an agreement to settle the lawsuit. The village was able to go into the house to salvage historic artifacts before the house was demolished in August. Then, in November, the owners, David Hermer and Silvia Campo, withdrew applications to develop the property, instead putting the empty lot on the market for $4,995,000.

If the town purchases the property, Southampton Village will pay to have the house rebuilt using materials pulled from the property during deconstruction by local historian Robert Strada.

During his time in the house, Mr. Strada and his team were able to salvage original portions of the house, including floors, joists, eaves, six-over-six windows, Greek revival panels, studs, braces and rafters. In May, Mr. Strada told Southampton Village officials that he was confident that a replica of the original house, which is believed to have measured 18 by 30 feet, would be possible with funding and an appropriate spot to put the house on.

The public hearing is scheduled for July 14 at 1 p.m. in Southampton Town Hall.

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Hey CPF...How about purchasing some of the Meyer land in Eastport??
By Mouthampton (439), Southampton on Jun 12, 15 11:55 AM
1 member liked this comment
Do away with the CPF. It is now used to buy beach clubs, motels, and other land just to appease those who do not want something developed. In the meantime, taking property off the tax rolls and passing the burden onto the rest of the property owners. In this case, more upkeep for the municipality and funds needed. The ultimate in self preservation. Keep it in private hands. Everything is "historic".
By The Real World (368), southampton on Jun 12, 15 1:54 PM
4 members liked this comment
The cpf bought the neptunes Beach Club, and now it eill become an african American Coast Guard museum. Now they want to buy an acre lot for 5 million dollars? The cpf has become a joke buying whatever the town wants.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jun 13, 15 9:08 AM
1 member liked this comment
American Coast Guard museum ? % ?


Sorry but what a joke
Jun 13, 15 12:17 PM appended by 27dan
african American Coast Guard museum Bwhaaaaaaa
By 27dan (2854), Shinnecock Hills on Jun 13, 15 12:17 PM
... It's over, the damage has been done. Why buy it now?
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Jun 14, 15 9:59 AM
CPF money should go to help with school tax burdens!
By left eq (28), Southampton on Jun 14, 15 10:29 AM
How about paving the lanes in Remsenburg which we are told there are no funds budgeted? And the lanes could be widened so there is no waiting to go North and South
By Ibill (47), remsenburg on Jun 25, 15 1:18 PM
Blame your school boards for the tax burdens, they "negotiate", ahem, the union contracts that are causing the tax increases!
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jun 15, 15 9:53 AM
1 member liked this comment

Because salaries are the only rising expense to be contended with. The price of electricity, heating, cooling, textbooks, resources, IT, and all the other things that go into education have nothing to do with it.

Quite the Cassandra, are we not?
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jun 21, 15 10:47 AM
Yet another misuse of CPF funds.
By bird (829), Southampton on Jun 21, 15 12:08 AM
It blows my mind that the town is sitting on one billion dollars.
By YAHBO (1), Quogue on Jun 21, 15 7:24 AM
Well your mind will be happy to learn that the Town is not, in fact sitting on one billion dollars.

The 5 east end towns have raised a total of 1 billion $ over the lifetime of CPF. Southampton is currently "sitting on" probably $20,000,000 but there are outstanding loans to be paid back and still plenty of properties to be purchased.

As for bigfresh - why don't you call up the CPF office and ask what PILOT funds are. Maybe your mind can be blown too
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Jun 21, 15 11:18 AM
1 member liked this comment