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May 29, 2015 3:19 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

CVS Hopes To Be A Tenant In Bridgehampton Gateway

A sketch of the buidling that was to house the CVS pharmacy in Bridgehampton.
Jun 3, 2015 10:54 AM

CVS Pharmacy no longer plans to open a store on a corner of Bridgehampton’s busiest intersection, a spokesman for the company said on Friday.

Instead, the company is negotiating a lease for a building at the Bridgehampton Gateway, a proposed mixed-use planned development district slated for the empty lot on Montauk Highway across from the Bridgehampton Commons.

According to Michael DeAngelis, director of public relations for CVS, the pharmacy giant terminated its lease agreement for the building that is slated to go up at 2510 Montauk Highway, at the eastern end of the hamlet’s business district. Mr. DeAngelis would not comment further about when the lease was terminated, or if the company planned to try to open at a different location in the community.

Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, however, said on Tuesday that she confirmed with representatives from Bridgehampton-based Konner Development that CVS is negotiating a lease for a building at the Bridgehampton Gateway PDD, a special zoning district that permits uses that are otherwise not permitted under current zoning, after a state environmental review is completed.

Developer Carol Konner confirmed Wednesday that she was “far along” in negotiating a lease with CVS.

CVS will be the second known approved tenant for the Gateway, as there is currently a site plan before the town for an Equinox fitness facility that would also be part of the complex, which town officials said could be approved by the end of this year.

Ms. Throne-Holst, who was consulted many times by residents concerned about CVS’s original pick for a location, said she thought the new plan for the pharmacy was a better one. “I think it’s great,” she said. “Hopefully, that is sort of a happy outcome all around.”

The prospect of opening a CVS on the corner of Bridgehampton’s busiest intersection—where Montauk Highway meets Ocean Road, Lumber Lane, and the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike—was met with fiery opposition from residents when CVS announced just over a year ago that it had signed a lease with the owner of the property, BNB Ventures IV. Many community members claimed the store would make traffic and parking more problematic than it already is there.

CVS had an application before the Southampton Town Planning Board for a special exception permit that was required for the pharmacy to occupy the entirety of the 9,030-square-foot, two-story building going up at that location; it was originally designed for two separate uses. In November, the company filed suit against the Planning Board, asking the court to overturn the board’s decision to require an environmental review of the property before granting the permit, as the building itself, which was approved in 2011 for office and small retail use, had already undergone such a review.

While CVS’s lease has been terminated, the litigation is still open in State Supreme Court, although court documents show that the town has a pending motion to dismiss the case, with the next hearing set to take place Tuesday, June 16. Because of that, Vincent Messina, the Central Islip-based attorney hired by the Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee to represent them in their fight against CVS, said BNB Ventures can still pursue another similar tenant.

“We are cautiously optimistic,” he said on Tuesday. “We’re hopeful that the entire situation would be resolved in a manner acceptable to the community.”

CAC Co-Chair Nancy Walter-Yvertes echoed Mr. Messina’s comment about the news. “We are cautiously optimistic that the corner will be developed in a way respectful of the hamlet’s character,” she wrote in an email on Saturday. She added that other community members hope to preserve the historic corner, known as the former site of Wick’s Tavern. “A subcommittee in cooperation with [the Bridgehampton Village Improvement Society] is seeking other ways to save the corner,” Ms. Walter-Yvertes said.

In the meantime, it remains to be seen when construction will resume at 2510 Montauk Highway. Work came to a halt shortly after the foundation was laid in the fall. Planning Board Chairman Dennis Finnerty said on Tuesday that he was not aware of why work had stopped, but he added that Wayne Bruyn, the Southampton attorney representing BNB Ventures, went before that board last week to renew the location’s site plan, as it had expired. The chairman added that Mr. Bruyn had not known himself when construction would continue. Mr. Bruyn did not return a call seeking comment.

And although the Planning Board extended the site plan, Mr. Finnerty said that might not be the case if the building is not completed before the next time it is up for renewal. “If it sat idle for another two years, we probably wouldn’t renew the site plan,” he said.

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What a bummer. It would have been so convenient for sag harbor folks
By hamptonsnrcit (47), sag harbor on May 29, 15 6:40 PM
I was one of the rare few that thought CVS was actually a good thing for that space.
By Myleftski (2), Bridgehampton on May 29, 15 7:02 PM
The right thing to do. Thanks for to everyone who showed up to protest and save the historical in Bridgehampton. Pst and Daley
By patricia Brennan (8), San Jose on May 29, 15 10:28 PM
Bridgehampton's Main Street is such a bottleneck and any business on that corner is a bad idea. Bridgehampton needs a village green, but of course it's always about profit.
By rvs (106), sag harbor on May 29, 15 11:09 PM
They must have found another, better location. Likely in the new complex being built across from Bridgehampton Commons.
By harbor (415), East Hampton on May 31, 15 11:07 AM
Poor location choice. That building is only good for office use where there is not a high transient population. Starbucks jams up that corner enough with all the in and out of that small parking lot. Maybe Konner can entice them in the gateway shoping center. When traffic is backed up going into the village then they have time to stop and pick up their prescriptions....
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Jun 1, 15 7:12 AM
Hey Patricia B. What is historical about Bridgehampton Man Street? The Starbucks? The City boutiques? Are you a local Brennan? You know, the ones who sold off all their family farmland for development? What did you expect would happen by converting all that farmland into luxury homes?
By G (342), Southampton on Jun 4, 15 9:21 AM
3 members liked this comment
Why did the Supervisor hire an architect and inject HER plan for this Gateway Center with taxpayer money?? She certainly has a great deal of nerve to do something like this!! Seems a little biased doesn't it. She accepted campaign money from Bob Morrow who wants a change of zoning for his King Kullen Shopping Center in Tuckahoe. Glad she is leaving . Beware her run for Congress!! She is not one to fight the cause for taxpayers!!!
By bayview (160), Southampton on Jun 5, 15 10:36 AM
1 member liked this comment