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Apr 11, 2014 2:15 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Former Plitt Ford Building Demolished To Make Way For Home Goods Store In Wainscott

Apr 15, 2014 3:21 PM

The former Plitt Ford building on Montauk Highway in Wainscott was demolished last week to make way for a HomeGoods home furnishings store, which is expected to open for business in early 2015.

Architect Peter Cook of Water Mill plans to build a 15,000-square-foot shingled structure with a gray asphalt roof and white trim on the 2-acre property. Ninety-eight parking spaces are planned for behind the store, where cypress and maple trees also will be planted. A sidewalk will encircle the structure.

Mr. Cook presented his plans to the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee at its April 5 meeting, although East Hampton Town officials had already approved the project in late February.

“We’re good to go on everything except the actual stamp from the Building Department,” Mr. Cook said in a phone interview, adding that the project has received all necessary approvals. “It’s a fully conforming project,” he said. The area has a central business zoning designation.

The property, which sits at 368 Montauk Highway just west of La Capannina pizzeria, was purchased in 2010 for $3.8 million by Wainscott Retail LLC. of Garden City, whose partners include Mr. Cook and the late developer Gregg Saunders of Sagaponack. The group had been trying to redevelop the property ever since.

“It’s been a multi-year project getting this far,” Mr. Cook said.

Mr. Saunders was killed in an automobile crash on Montauk Highway in East Hampton in August 2012, just weeks after the opening of a Whole Foods gourmet market pop-up store on the site. His widow now represents his share of the company.

The original 7,500-square-foot building had been put to reuse several times since the closing of the car dealership in May 2009. In 2011, it was a temporary home to the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons thrift shop during the rescue organization’s renovation of its Sagaponack site. Mr. Saunders worked with local civic leaders to bring Whole Foods to the site in the summer of 2012 just before his death.

Expected to be a seasonal experiment, the Whole Foods market proved to be popular with the summer crowd, as well as many locals. However, it did not reopen the following year. The building most recently served as an outdoor patio furniture store last summer before being demolished this week.

Some civic leaders are now on board with the idea of a HomeGoods retail store, because they said it would have less of an impact than a food establishment or supermarket.

“We were pleased with the design and feel that the HomeGoods store would have less traffic and fewer truck deliveries, especially at off hours,” said Rick DelMastro, co-chair of the Wainscott CAC.

“It’s a wonderful thing for the community, because it represents a low use,” said Wainscott resident Richard Myers, who also sits on the East Hampton Town Architectural Review Board. “The more that we can tidy up … the better we’re looking,” he said, referring to recent beautification efforts in the tiny hamlet and construction along the Montauk Highway corridor. “I’m really pleased with what we have. I think we’re lucky to have HomeGoods. Lots of things are being done to clean up Wainscott.”

HomeGoods, a division of retailer TJX Companies Inc., sells everything from kitchen and bathroom supplies to furniture, bedding, décor and other home accents.

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What happened to our meaningless town board's manifesto on the proposed ban of chain stores in East Hampton town of several weeks ago ?

By wmdwjr (76), east hampton on Apr 11, 14 4:35 PM
3 members liked this comment
looks like 7-11 and cvs should have set their sights here instead.
By wmdwjr (76), east hampton on Apr 11, 14 6:11 PM
According to the article this project complies with the Town's code. It therefore requires no review by other Town agencies, in contrast to the CVS (in Bridgehampton, Southampton Town) and 7-11 in Amagansett which appears to have a host of problems associated with previous paperwork and permissions granted (or not).

No municipality has the legal authority to ban "chain stores." Instead limits on size, square footage, percent of lot coverage, traffic, hours, illumination etc. can accomplish ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 11, 14 6:48 PM
wonder what the definition of "low use" is??
traffic will be increased, as well as potential accidents
the more Wainscott tidy's up, the more traffic there will be on 27 & south of the highway for those trying to avoid the congestion
By Karin G (3), Montauk on Apr 12, 14 7:46 AM
1 member liked this comment
The busy bodies are in full force
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Apr 12, 14 5:20 PM
1 member liked this comment
the war on woman caused this & yes it was Bushes fault
By 27dan (2854), Southampton on Apr 13, 14 11:39 AM
Ugh. Tacky tacky tacky. Getting to be time to seriously consider moving. The beginning of the end.
By Hamptons Broker (3), East Hampton on Apr 12, 14 7:22 PM
You would move because of a Homes Good being built?
By deelove (152), Bridgehampton on Apr 22, 14 9:01 AM
Good God. What is going on here?
By watermillluvr1 (11), watermill on Apr 13, 14 1:12 AM
A retail store, which complies with the zoning code, is being built.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 13, 14 10:28 AM
Apr 13, 14 11:39 AM appended by 27dan
If it used to be a Hildreth's Home Goods and now It was a Ford Dealer moving in people would be just as appalled , lol
By 27dan (2854), Southampton on Apr 13, 14 11:39 AM
Can we please get a Trader Joes out here, or some affordable high quality food store? I mean, all we ever get are high priced options that are virtually useless to most of us that actually live here all year.
By louse pt. (143), springs on Apr 18, 14 7:56 AM
1 member liked this comment
The site had a summer whole foods which was a resounding economic failure (for the company). There's not enough year round traffic to make these companies invest out there. Look at where Whole Foods, Fresh Market, and Trader Joes are located - furtherest east is Lake Grove (where all 3 are situated right next to each other actually). They need dense populations to be economically sustainable.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Apr 22, 14 9:18 AM
Better than another auto dealership littering the side of the road with hundreds of vehicles
By llimretaw (118), watermill on Apr 19, 14 7:08 AM