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Jul 7, 2010 11:54 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Condos proposed in return for saving Canoe Place Inn

Jul 7, 2010 11:54 AM

The owners of the Canoe Place Inn property in Hampton Bays will agree to preserve the historic building—but they have one big condition: Southampton Town must work with them on a separate application to build dozens of condominiums almost directly across the Shinnecock Canal, on the site of the current Tide Runners restaurant.

Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said this week that the property owners, cousins Gregg and Mitchell Rechler of the Melville-based firm R Squared LLC, have agreed to revise their proposal to demolish the 87-year-old Montauk Highway structure known as the Canoe Place Inn. In return, they want the Town Board to consider their proposal targeting a 5-acre property they own along the eastern edge of the Shinnecock Canal, so they can build approximately 40 condominiums there, Ms. Throne-Holst said.

The supervisor said Tuesday that she was not sure at this point whether or not the proposed condominiums at the Tide Runners site would require Town Board approval and a change of zone.

The Rechlers had originally proposed demolishing the Canoe Place Inn building, where the nightclub Coliseum currently operates, and replace it with a $100 million resort complex, including 60 condominiums and a large catering hall. But some Hampton Bays residents opposed that proposal, saying the historic structure should be preserved.

The new proposal would have the existing Canoe Place Inn building renovated as a banquet hall and preserved in terms of style and size, Ms. Throne-Holst said. But that project alone will not be as profitable for the Rechlers as their original proposal, she added.

In order to make preserving the Canoe Place Inn financially worthwhile, the developers proposed the sister project at the site of Tide Runners on North Road. On Tuesday, Ms. Throne-Holst said she was waiting to see renderings of that project, so she could discuss it with Hampton Bays residents at their Citizens Advisory Committee on Wednesday, July 7.

On Tuesday, July 13, at 7 p.m., the supervisor will present those plans to the Hampton Bays Historical Society at the Hampton Bays Public Library on Ponquogue Avenue.

“I certainly support the effort to preserve the Canoe Place Inn,” she said. “We have to learn more about the condos.”

Gregg Rechler declined to comment through a spokesman on Tuesday, citing pending litigation. His company filed a notice of claim against Southampton Town in September 2009, contending that a building moratorium in Hampton Bays that began in June 2008 interfered with their property rights. The moratorium expired in March.

Ms. Throne-Holst said the proposed condos at Tide Runners would be “pretty upscale” and fairly small in size, making them geared toward second-home owners and unlikely to add students to the Hampton Bays School District. The project would also include a walkway leading to the canal, which would be open to the public, Ms. Throne-Holst said.

But Mary Jean Green, the president of the Hampton Bays Civic Association, was quick to dismiss the deal, saying that it would add unwanted traffic and density to the hamlet. While she has pitched for the preservation of the inn, she said that the Rechlers should not get more development in return.

“This is not a negotiation,” she said. “This is, ‘Does the community want it or not?’”

Ms. Green noted that a pool that sits close to the Shinnecock Canal in the designs of the proposed Tide Runners project is likely to contaminate the waterway. Ms. Throne-Holst said she was unsure exactly how close the pool would be to the canal. “It is far too premature to say that that’s spilling into the canal,” Ms. Throne-Holst said.

Ms. Green proposed an alternative to the current deal: that the Rechlers convert the Canoe Place Inn into a “real country inn,” with 35 to 40 guest rooms, a restaurant and a catering service, while restoring the roof and facade. That business, she said, would help make preservation profitable, without having to add new condos on the other side of the canal. “It would be a golden goose for the Rechlers,” she said.

She added that she thinks Southampton Town should purchase the restaurant property and create a maritime museum and a pavilion where the community could hold waterside concerts, as well as a boardwalk along the canal.

The original proposal to demolish the Canoe Place Inn and build a resort complex would have required Town Board approval, because it would have exceeded the existing resort waterfront business zoning. The Rechlers would not need special approval to preserve the building and convert it into a banquet hall, Ms. Throne-Holst said.

At this point, the next steps will depend on input from Hampton Bays residents, she said.

“As with all of these applications, I am eager to get the community feedback on it,” she said. “I have worked with the applicant to see what we could do about preserving the Canoe Place Inn. In terms of moving toward that, I think this is a significant leap.”

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Tit for tat, this for that.

Nothin's free, and that's that.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 7, 10 10:01 PM
SO the condos would be looking west to the Canoe Place INN?? Seems interesting and it depends on the density. I like that there are restaraunts on the water though as they are few and far between. Its a nice place to eat and watch the boats go by.
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Jul 8, 10 6:58 AM
"Seems interesting and it depends on the density."

The density was listed at 40 condos on 5 acres... that's a lot of density.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jul 8, 10 10:30 AM
By clamdigger (85), Quogue on Jul 8, 10 8:07 AM
Get rid of the Canoe Place Inn. Its a dump that cant be saved. Business does not last there. On the other hand TIDERUNNERS is a great place for dinners and boat watching and meeting friends. How can you compare the two? SAVE TIDERUNNERS, Get rid of DREAM and the CPI,
By LongIslander (43), HAMPTON BAYS on Jul 8, 10 8:14 AM
2 members liked this comment
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on Jul 8, 10 8:05 PM
How about selling all the new condos that are going up in Hampton Bays and rent the empty stores to upscale businesses. No more nail and spas and beauty shops.
By LongIslander (43), HAMPTON BAYS on Jul 8, 10 8:16 AM
WHO should sell all the new condos? WHO should rent the empty stores to upscale businesses? Do you not understand how free market systems work? There are no upscale businesses in Hampton Bays because it's not an upscale hamlet.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jul 8, 10 10:28 AM
It could easily be.
By LongIslander (43), HAMPTON BAYS on Jul 8, 10 11:51 PM
define "easily". Most of the year-round residents of HB are working class folk, with many renters and plenty of laborers. They drive the economy. How many business have opened up on Mtk Hwy. in recent years only to close before the year is up? Those with money bypass HB all together via Sunrise Hwy. or never make it here because they are too busy in Westhampton.

Embrace HB for what it is - a working class community in the Hamptons with access to both Bays. It's a cute and wonderful ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jul 9, 10 12:05 AM
3 members liked this comment
who wants upscale in Hampton Bays. We're happy just the way it is. It's not ostentatious like the rest of the hamptons and regular people can shop.
By Infoseeker (280), Hampton Bays on Jul 9, 10 3:07 PM
1 member liked this comment
Ditto!! We love HB because it's special and not like the rest of the Hamptons glitz. We can't afford to shop in the "upscale" stores and shops that only cater the wealthy tourists.
By Infoseeker (280), Hampton Bays on Jul 9, 10 3:10 PM
1 member liked this comment

One of my favorite words!!
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 11, 10 12:06 AM

If you are going to play dumb, at least say you don't know the details of the proposal. Once you tell the press the details, and follow it up with saying you're not sure if they would need Town Board approval or a change of zone you come across as an idiot.

I'm not the Town Supervisor (clearly), but I know they would need Town Board approval and I can gaurentee they would need a change of zone. My guess is the zoning is RWB (restuarant-waterfront business). To construct ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jul 8, 10 10:33 AM
What is wrong with you people....The original proposal was for luxury time shares, Whats the matter that sounded too good for HB? This was a step in the right direction Nature... or is that what was bothering you. Maybe when Anna gets done and we have 40 new low rent apartments to make room for more bus riding folk you will be happy. I don't believe it! Raze that crap hole CPI and yes get rid of Mr. diner and his new low class magnet "Dream". Tide runners is a nice place....As a matter of fact the ...more
By joe hampton (3461), south hampton on Jul 8, 10 1:55 PM
1 member liked this comment
Who said that they are building "new low rent apartments"? I seem to have missed that. Instead of building a 4 story luxury time share on the west side of the canal, they are building condos on the east side. Surely we all realize that they were going to build on both sides of the canal one way or the other. They didn't buy the parcel on the east to let it sit there with a bunch of drunks partying on the dock at Tiderunners. They were asking for a footbridge, that was so their residents could ...more
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Jul 8, 10 10:26 PM
"They were asking for a footbridge, that was so their residents could get to the other large structures they were planning on building."

Why would they want a footbridge to walk from one condo complex to the other? More like they'd want one so people can walk from their condos to the restaurant/marina.

Building condos on the Tide Runners site isn't feasible (at least not at the density they are requesting). They are calling ATH's bluff.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jul 9, 10 12:08 AM
1 member liked this comment
They are doing what developers always do...asking for more than they really want so they can haggle it down to something "realistic" which is generally still more than they should have.

The plan truly hasn't changed much. Just the location. One way or the other there was going to be construction on both sides of the canal.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Jul 9, 10 6:34 PM

I'm not sure why you are accusing me of being against this project (or against the original project). My point was that the Supervisor (ATH) sounds like an idiot when she explains the details of the proposal and then trys to say she doesn't know who would have to approve a project. It doens't take a rocket scientist to figure out it would need Town Board approval.

I for one, as a resident of Hampton Bays, am for the demolition of CPI and the construction of a time share ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jul 8, 10 2:15 PM
Furthermore, I don't know why you would think the owner would construct "low rent" housing. It's a prime location (EAST of the Canal) and it's waterfront AND it has a marina. Those units would be anything but affordable.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jul 8, 10 2:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
You said the condos would require a sewage treatment plant, what if they had or were to purchase waste water credits to allow for the increased density?

I'm all for dozing the CPI, the building is far from historic.... maybe the location is, but that could be said about many places out here. Just look at what has been done to Native American grave sites!
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on Jul 8, 10 8:05 PM

You said, "You said the condos would require a sewage treatment plant, what if they had or were to purchase waste water credits to allow for the increased density?"

In theory, the Town could "gift" the developers the density for the site (which isn't exactly legal, but hasn't stopped the Town before. The development in Water Mill with the table tennis club is a prime example of free density). If HB residents were to make a fuss (along with people like the Peconic Baykeeper) ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jul 8, 10 8:21 PM
1 member liked this comment
One way or the other there are condos...this way they are only on one side of the canal. They are "upscale" condos. They own the property on both sides of the canal, no matter what the fate of the Canoe Place Inn, they were building on both sides.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Jul 8, 10 6:24 PM
I'd just like to say something to everyone who says "tear down the CPI". Please think this through.
The building is in disrepair and the owners sure have abused the hell out of the building and surrounding neighborhood for years, especially with ear splitting music that would make your china vibrate even if you live blocks away.
That being said, this site is the oldest inn site in America. It was an inn site before America became a country. Shouldn't that mean something to people in HB? ...more
By baywoman (165), southampton on Jul 8, 10 7:06 PM
1 member liked this comment
I'm sorry, but you are completely wrong! The CPI is not the oldest Inn site in America. There are many that pre-date it.

Here is a link to one of them: http://theseasidecottages.com/history.htm

By ICE (1214), Southhampton on Jul 8, 10 8:10 PM
CPI has a great history - there is no arguing that, but the place is a dump and it burned down in the '30s. It has been changed so many times, it is a far cry from what it was originally.

Like I previously posted, if something were to be built in its place, the Town Board/Planning Board/ARB would have a say in what it looks like. They could force the developer to make it look similar to what the original CPI looked like.

My suggestion is they make a small building or some sort ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jul 8, 10 8:27 PM
"Oldest Inn in the Country (to our knowledge*)
1. Oldest Inn in Maine & New England (if above is true)"

They don't sound too sure of themselves here do they? Which others ones are there? Is there a limit on historic inns that should be left standing?

Everyone groans about how HB is dumped on, then they refuse to have any vision and try to allow something that would add character or charm.

By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Jul 8, 10 10:34 PM
I consider CPI being dumped on. The fact that that nightclub is still standing is a disgrace. Fortunately White House knew it's time was up and got out - only to be replaced by "The Coliseum" which, correct me if I'm wrong, but has not been opened one day this summer? I seem to remember reading the owner was arrested for threatening employees before Memorial Day.

Regardless, lux time shares or condos are a welcome bit of development on this site as long as they are done tastefully. ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jul 9, 10 12:02 AM
As I recall, there was a race track that should have been a historical landmark well before CPI ever should be.

Good luck...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 8, 10 9:38 PM
I would love to have had them "save" the racetrack, even if it wasn't in HB. Surely we could have more than 1 historical thing saved? Not to mention, 1 thing left in HB?
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Jul 9, 10 12:54 PM
This is a very reasonable compromise.ATH did a great job extracting a compromise from the developers-that the developers could, if they wanted to, demolish the CPI today and put something undiserable there. That preserving the CPI aesthetics is a great accomplishment. And the development will bring some construction jobs to our hamlet!!
By gordie howe (55), hockeytown usa on Jul 9, 10 3:16 PM
Tear down CPI. Clean up the area. Leave Tiderunners where it is so people can sit and enjoy themselves on weekends. They are respectful of the neighborhood. You do not see their parking lot ful of garbage or litter like CPI and Dream.
By LongIslander (43), HAMPTON BAYS on Jul 9, 10 4:35 PM
Restore the CPI, CLEAN UP THE AREA. Why does cleaning up the area have to include tearing down the Inn. Do people still not understand that the Inn as we know it will not exist after the Rechlers are done? No one wants what is there now to remain. Restoration means it will be restored ie fixed up, made respectable, CLEANED UP... not left as an abused building.

The Rechlers are businessmen. Apparently they think this is a good business decision or they would not be making it.

By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Jul 9, 10 4:43 PM
It would be nice if it actually became a REAL inn again.

No noise, no garbage, less disrepect of the community, that would be good all around.

A nice, relaxing, overpriced, B & B...

(Well, what isn't overpriced around here?)
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 9, 10 7:58 PM
1 member liked this comment
I absolutely agree!! Wouldn't that be great?
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Jul 9, 10 9:23 PM
When I first heard of Luxury Timeshares there I laughed. Railroad tracks and Montauk Hwy views. An idea that would have floated in 2005 or 2006 with all the idiotic financing that was going on, but not in 2010. Now we have them changing it to Luxury Condos. I want to see the Bank that is going to fund this. This is just a ploy to get the Town to buy it from them with restoration funds. They are stuck with a bad investment. It is best for the Town just to wait it out. They will go away just like ...more
By Dr Spock (36), Hampton Bays on Jul 9, 10 8:06 PM
4 members liked this comment
I agree, let them stew.

Lawyers they may have, but we have more guns, and maybe money...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 11, 10 12:09 AM
The developers have lots of clout and money - they are the same ones building at Gabreski airport and co-own the Nassau Coloseum site - they are big deal developers and are much more sophisticated and knowledgeable than ATH and her planning staff re: developing what they want. Just watch.
By sunshine (47), southampton on Jul 12, 10 10:19 AM
The Inn was supposedly built between 1635 and 1640 according to one source I read. The Inn in Maine which a previous writer referred to was built in 1664 or 1667.
Canoe Place Inn still appears to be oldest inn site in America!
By baywoman (165), southampton on Jul 11, 10 3:36 AM
1 member liked this comment
LOL Supposedly is right! I don't know where you get your stories from, but citations would be interesting to see. You obviously know very little about local history, between 1635 - 1640 there were only Indians in this area. It was June 12 1640 that the first settlers landed in Conscience Point in North Sea. Tell me how the Inn could have possibly predated the first English settlers?

A review of historical deed transfers also disputes your claim, as property in the western portion of Southampton ...more
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on Jul 11, 10 10:54 PM
old should have been oldest in the last sentence.

For anyone going to the Hampton Bays Historical Society's webpage, you should take note that they have an error on there claiming the CPI to be the oldest continually operating Inn site in NYS, this is INNcorrect. The below Inn is part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Here is a link to one which is older. http://www.beekmandelamaterinn.com/

Please anyone wishing to challenge what I have said be sure to ...more
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on Jul 11, 10 11:15 PM
1 member liked this comment
No one said the INN was built in 1635...this is the oldest continually used site. Check out your research and not just what you find in Mrs. Wetterau's book. There are plenty of publications which predate that and offer more information
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Jul 13, 10 11:13 PM
I am truly sorry for my mistake in dates if they are incorrect. I am sorry I didn't use a citation. Here it is. I copied them from a NY Times article I read which was written July 6 1921 when there was a devastating fire at the Inn.

The article says in part: " The inn was built originally between 1635 and 1640, and was reconstructed more than 100 years ago. It was a stage way station at one time, and had been used as a Headquarters by British army officers in the Revolution. It got its ...more
By baywoman (165), southampton on Jul 12, 10 12:00 AM
1 member liked this comment
No apology needed! Besides it wasn't your mistake in dates, it was the NY Times reporter's mistake and their subsequent digitizing of erroneous information without a footnote to correct it.
I don't dispute that the site has history, that is established and respected. Wether or not the current building has any true historical value is the real question. I don't happen to think it is old enough to merit historical designation.
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on Jul 13, 10 10:33 PM
To paraphrase Bismarck, the CPI isn't worth one bathroom of one condo, much less "dozens" of condos at the Tide Runners site. Don't do this swap, Southampton!
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Jul 13, 10 7:13 PM
1 member liked this comment
I commend you for a non-partisn post!
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on Jul 13, 10 10:32 PM
Do you honestly believe that if the Inn is destroyed they will NOT build condos? There is no plan, no where that do not include condos. They did not spend millions purchasing acres of property to build nothing.

4 story structure on one side and who knows what on the other; or two stories on both sides, which includes preserving an "historic" Inn.

There are condos, no matter what, they aren't asking us they have the right and that is what they plan.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Jul 13, 10 11:15 PM
Considering the condition of the town's economy and the disgusting shape and use of the CPI, can anyone who has any grasp of reality quarrel with this
compromise? The renovated and restored inn and the luxury condos will provide strong and desparately needed tax receivables. And, oh by the way, the Rechlers own the property; property rights are important in this country. They could demolish the inn and put up a Wendy's "as of right" in short order. We should congratulate ATH and the Town Board ...more
By gordie howe (55), hockeytown usa on Jul 15, 10 10:16 PM
Hey Gordie - check the zoning. They can't build a Wendy's "as-of-right" and even if they could, they would need a special use permit for a drive-thru which the Town Board could deny.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jul 16, 10 10:18 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By coachpurses, putian on Jul 23, 11 10:08 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By coachpurses, putian on Jul 23, 11 10:09 AM