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Feb 20, 2013 10:22 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Village Market Proposed For Hampton Road

Feb 20, 2013 11:14 AM

Gourmet chain Citarella’s long-rumored interest in opening a market in Southampton Village is coming to fruition with a new proposal on Hampton Road.

Plans converting the “mini-mall” at 20 and 22 Hampton Road into a market—with Citarella poised to take over the space—are being considered by the Southampton Village Planning Board. A public hearing for the site plan is scheduled for Monday, March 4.

Having a new market downtown could have a direct effect on several business owners. Those who currently rent space in the mini-mall would have to move out, and surrounding delis and markets could face direct competition from a popular store that has locations in East Hampton, Bridgehampton and Manhattan.

If the plans gets the green light, the applicant, Elka LLC., which is owned by Arturo Quiros, will be able to prepare the buildings for a prospective buyer, according to the village Building Department. Mr. Quiros recently purchased 26 Hampton Road, where China Garden, a Chinese takeout restaurant, is located, so that he could upgrade the septic system behind that building to accommodate the new market.

Elka’s attorney, John Bennett, Mr. Quiros, and Citarella owner Joe Gurrera all did not return phone calls seeking comment this week.

While the site plan application does not specify that the market would be a Citarella, Village Mayor Mark Epley confirmed this week that it was his understanding that that was the case, and Suffolk County Health Department paperwork identified Citarella as the applicant. One business owner within the mini-mall also said he was approached by a representative from Citarella about leaving his space.

In November, Mr. Quiros submitted a site plan application to the Planning Board for approval of interior alterations to 20 and 22 Hampton Road. Because a market is a permitted use where it is located in the village business district, the proposal would not require a change of use variance. Years ago, the building housed an A&P grocery store.

If the plan is approved, Mr. Quiros’s next step would be to take his application to the Village Board of Architectural Review and Historic Preservation. If approved, Mr. Quiros would convert the existing numerous retail uses—the Perfect Purse, the Ananda Yoga and Wellness Center, and Sandcastle currently lease space—into a single use by removing walls inside the building and reconfiguring the space to accommodate a market. The building is currently 11,451 square feet of retail space and 1,777 square feet of non-medical office space; 20 Hampton Road is a one-story building and 22 Hampton Road is a two-story building. They are joined by a long hallway, which is why it’s been dubbed a mini-mall.

Also on the to-do list: an upgraded septic system and new storm water basins behind China Garden. Currently, the sewage disposal plans are awaiting a Suffolk County Department of Health approval under the name “Citarella and 26 Hampton Road.”

At the February 4 Planning Board meeting, board members approved a negative declaration on an environmental impact assessment prepared by Nelson, Pope and Voorhis, which said that no significant change is expected to occur with the proposed changes, meaning that an extensive environmental review would not be required, and set the public hearing date for March 4.

Mayor Epley said Mr. Guerrera approached individual members of the board a year or so ago about a possible Citarella in the village, but didn’t get a lot of support because of parking and sewage issues.

“My issue with it is we’re talking about a high-end market that is in direct competition with Schmidt’s and Catena’s and other delis in the area,” he said. “These places are all locally owned and participate in supporting a lot of things in this community. But this is not something we really have the right to say no to.”

The mayor said that he is concerned that there will be difficulty with access to the new market, as well as the volume of people and limited parking.

Dennis Schmidt of Schmidt’s Market on North Sea Road said he is also concerned about the potential market. “There seems to be a free rein and open season on opening food markets in and around Southampton Village,” he said, adding that if a new market moves in, pedestrians would have to dodge delivery trucks and a multitude of cars looking for a parking spot.

The Citarella proposal is not the first plan for a new market in the village. For a little over a year, the village has been buzzing with the prospect of a new Fresh Market grocery store at the intersection of Hampton and Flying Point roads, as well as a new King Kullen and shopping center in Tuckahoe along County Road 39. Waldbaum’s is the village’s only existing supermarket.

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And does the application include plans for a third-story parking garage?

Could there be a WORSE location for a popular market such as Citarella, Whole Foods, etc.?

The mayor is simply wrong when he says the Village can't say "no" to ludicrous proposals like this.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 22, 13 7:14 AM
Parking and traffic flow are important aspects of site plan approval, and this proposal must be denied at once. The parking lot was just re-done to improve school safety, wasn't it?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 22, 13 7:15 AM
With the increased traffic flow, ALL FORCED OUT ONTO THE ONE-WAY STREET BY THE GRADE SCHOOL, you might as well start handing out "points" for increased traffic accidents, pedestrian injuries, and so forth.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 22, 13 7:17 AM
Perhaps the drinking water in the Village should be tested for hallucinogens?

PS - let's skip the lawyer jokes for now . . .
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 22, 13 7:20 AM
Oh wait, perhaps we have overlooked The Golden Rule?

"He who has the gold makes the rule!"
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 22, 13 7:27 AM
Stupid is, stupid does...After eliminating all those parking spots in that village lot for a sidewalk, now they are entertaining allowing this store there. As it is parking can't be found in that lot as it is now because of the school, town hall, and businesses along Hampton Road. This store will suck all the parking away from those businesses. They will suffer as customers go elsewhere in frustration. Citarella should know that parking is fundamental. In Water Mill there was large parking lot ...more
By Toma Noku (616), uptown on Feb 22, 13 7:51 AM
Remember the A & P was there?
By Toto (25), southampton on Feb 22, 13 8:09 AM
Sure, about FIFTY years ago!

And Toto, "we aren't in Kansas any more!"
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 22, 13 8:12 AM
Did the Village learn anything from the public outcry about the Glennon Whole Foods proposal?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 22, 13 10:23 AM
Go for it.......the Village and surrounding business in and around the area will benefit! It seems no matter what ideas are thrown out there, everyone thinks it's a bad plan, yet most of you complaining and insulting these ideas will be shopping there......In case you all haven't noticed, parking in any of the towns and villages on the east end is anything but plentiful.....think big picture..more foot traffic, more business for the local shop owners. Competition is a good thing....Schmidts and ...more
By rjhdad (73), southampton on Feb 22, 13 10:57 AM
3 members liked this comment
There are laws on the books about parking requirements, and responsible adults can plan AHEAD and see that the proposed use is outside the zone of accommodation, in spite of the other benefits you mention.

A chain is as strong as its weakest link, and this one fails on the parking requirements IMO.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 22, 13 4:54 PM
Actually, there is plenty of parking at the new Parrish Art Museum on the highway just east of the Glennon site, and not too far from the Village. The new building looks like a Costco anyway, so maybe the Town could condemn the site, and put all proposed supermarkets in one place (incl. the Tuckahoe proposal)?

The Village could share in the cost . . . or bring the Parrish back where it belongs, back inside the Village?

PS -- fairwind, maybe it's the caffeine?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 22, 13 11:21 AM
1 member liked this comment
I was just reminiscing. We bought our house on Elm Street in 1962 and on occasion my mom would send me on my bicycle to pick up an item or two.
By Toto (25), southampton on Feb 22, 13 11:56 AM
1 member liked this comment
This idea is so stupid it makes my hair hurt. Like the pachysandra they try to grow on main street - year after year after year, and it still dies - this idea ain't gonna work. Maybe while we're at it, we should look at the alleyway restaurant "extension" off main street. What;s that all about, eh ?
By lazymedic (100), southampton on Feb 23, 13 12:50 PM
1 member liked this comment
Saves me a trip to Bridge
By Summer Resident (251), Southampton N.Y. on Feb 25, 13 12:01 AM
me ..... me ..... me .....
By Nero (301), Sag Harbor on Feb 25, 13 6:28 AM
1 member liked this comment
A Citarella would be great, but there is not enough parking in the proposed area. What about that empty brick medical office building next to the post office? There is plenty of parking behind it. The downside would be making a left turn out of the lot, and Schmidts would not be too happy, but that place has been empty for years.
By fishcove (39), southampton on Feb 26, 13 8:36 AM
It would be great at the Glennon location. Plenty of parking.
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Feb 26, 13 12:51 PM
Has the Village water been tested yet?

Funny that the Glennon site looks "great" next to the current proposal, sited as it is on one of the busiest intersections on the entire East End.

"Plenty of parking?" Yeah, especially right ON 27 as the traffic stands still on most summer weekends.

You can't make this stuff up!

PS -- The better suggestion is to condemn the new Parrish Art Museum and let it realize its potential as a Costco Cast-off.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 26, 13 3:28 PM
I love the new Parrish.
By Toto (25), southampton on Feb 26, 13 7:43 PM
1 member liked this comment
I cannot think of a worse place to put Citarella.
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Feb 28, 13 8:25 PM
1 member liked this comment
Ditto. The more one thinks about it, the crazier it seems! Monday's hearing should be interesting.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 28, 13 8:41 PM
Related 2/27 article is not linked above.

By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 28, 13 9:05 PM
Correction -- link is above under text of article, not at the top as is customary.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 28, 13 9:16 PM
Citarella's daily operation is closer to a "restaurant" than a "market" IMO, and the permitted theoretical use should be seen as not covering tripe proposed use. It may be time to change the code to reflect reality in this regard. In any event, the spirit of the code should be followed, as putting lipstick on a pig does not . . . you get the drift.

Traffic and parking studies must be required, similar to the Glennon site.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 28, 13 9:42 PM
Check the water!

Knifing, hit and run, this proposal . . .
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Mar 1, 13 12:08 PM
village needs another supermarket NOT another speciality foods store. very bad idea at that location and will impact all village businesses with the parking issue ( in BH Cit employees were told to park at BNB across the street until the bank issued parking regs) so where will the employees park? where will the customers park? where will the customers for other businesses in the area park? village government is faling apart bending over backward for the rich contributors and for what cause?? ...more
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Mar 1, 13 8:13 PM
Bad idea. Bad location. Unnecessary.
And, just quirious...does anyone remember Quiros-Gate?
By foodwhiner (148), Southampton on Mar 2, 13 9:02 AM