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Jul 6, 2010 6:38 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton hires appraiser for Poxabogue

Jul 6, 2010 6:38 PM

East Hampton Town is exploring the possibility of selling its interest in the Poxabogue Golf Center, which straddles the town’s border with Southampton Town on Montauk Highway in Sagaponack.

The town partnered with Southampton to purchase the 35-acre, 9-hole golf course for $6.5 million in 2003. At the time, each town paid $3.25 million.

The East Hampton Town Board on Thursday unanimously approved the hiring of appraiser Patrick Given Associates to evaluate the fair market value of East Hampton’s half of the property.

Board member Julia Prince was absent on maternity leave, but Democratic Town Board member Pete Hammerle seconded the motion.

The town, which is currently facing a projected $30 million deficit, has considered selling a number of properties since last year.

The logistics of a potential new arrangement, either between Southampton Town and a private entity or if Southampton were to purchase East Hampton’s share of the property, remain to be seen.

Southampton Town used primarily Community Preservation Fund money to purchase its share of the property in 2003, while East Hampton did not.

“They’ve asked us to consider buying their share out. We’ll certainly consider it,” said Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst. “We have a lot of other things on our plate as far as CPF purchases right now. We’ll certainly consider it but we would get an appraisal of our own before going any further.”

The golf course has not been a financial liability to the towns. Ed Wankel of Long Island Golf Management, the company that manages the facility on behalf of both towns, told the East Hampton Town Board last year that the facility had taken in $1 million in 2008 and had generated a total net profit of $800,000 since it opened under the towns’ ownership.

Ms. Throne-Holst said this week that the town currently has about $500,000 in a reserve fund to pay for upkeep at Poxabogue, though the towns recently learned of an extensive mold problem in the basement of the former Fairway Restaurant, whose owners had leased the building from the towns. The mold cleanup is expected to take until at least August and will cost $150,000.

The owners of the Love Lane Kitchen in Mattituck had anticipated taking over the space but their plans will be postponed while the towns clean up the mold.

Ms. Throne-Holst added that, in part because Southampton used CPF money for the project, she is skeptical that a private entity could or would be willing to purchase East Hampton’s share.

“I think that would be a complicated scenario,” she said. “Part of the reason it was 
bought was to preserve it. 
Unless a private owner would agree to a covenant that spoke to that, I don’t foresee that happening.”

East Hampton Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson said Tuesday that there is an option in the contract with Southampton that will allow East Hampton to back out of their stake in Poxabogue and that Southampton would be required to be given the first chance to purchase the other half. He said that he had only briefly discussed the potential sale with Ms. Throne-Holst and had not yet considered how a private entity could be involved in the purchase.

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great lets throw it over to some outside developer with no bidding process or oversight... wait, they already did that with the guy who ran the restaurant owners off the site.
By littleplains (305), olde england on Jul 7, 10 5:51 PM
I'm hard pressed to understand what possible incentive SH has to buy out EH, unless the golf course and restaurant are making money hand over fist, and the towns are getting that cash. I don't know about the golf course, but we all know that the restaurant is dark, and in fact needs more capital investment from the "landlord(s)" just to eventually open. Why go there when you can simply keep EH on the hook? And why would any private business go near such a deal?
By zaz (197), East Hampton on Jul 7, 10 7:52 PM
Why should we buy it? CPF funds can be used elsewhere.
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Jul 7, 10 8:55 PM
there they go again hiring more people
By asurest (117), easthampton on Jul 8, 10 7:53 PM
Just what SH needs-the chance to make their intial mistakes twice as large. Not a dime more of CPF funds for this project.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Jul 8, 10 9:58 PM
6.5 million? The restaurant space remains empty, the building is condemned.and the range cant be turning a monster profit. Unless they plan on ripping the whole place down and building condos its not worth a dime. Another waste of tax payers dollars
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jul 9, 10 11:51 AM