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Mar 2, 2016 10:08 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hampton Bays Residents Discuss Their Vision For Hamlet's Main Street

Marc Fasanella, a member of the Hampton Bays Civic Association, gives a presentation at Monday night's meeting. AMANDA BERNOCCO
Editor's Note:

The original version of this article erroneously stated that most of the discussion at the Hampton Bays Civic Association meeting was focused on North Main Street, the road that is planned to cut through Good Ground Park and run parallel and north to West Montauk Highway. However, most of the comments made were actually referring to the revitalization of the hamlet's Main Street. 

Mar 7, 2016 2:07 PM

Hamlet residents shared what they want to see as part of the Main Street revitalization project during Monday night’s Hampton Bays Civic Association meeting.

Most of the estimated 50 people in attendance agreed that the road should feature storefronts with affordable rents, enabling smaller shop owners to open there, as well as ample open space.

Marc Fasanella, a member of the civic association who facilitated Monday’s meeting, said he envisions Main Street as having both biking and walking lanes. Parking lots for the shops, he said, should be situated behind the storefronts—similar to those in Southampton or Patchogue villages.

Robert Jay of Hampton Bays said he would like to see the stretch of road feature a mix of small businesses and quaint restaurants, as well as a place to hold street festivals and other events.

“I would say everyone here pretty much would have the same ideas to help the town in these upcoming years,” Mr. Jay said. “Events that bring people along the Main Street—it could be an art festival, or farmers markets. We should have events routinely. We should have restaurants putting seating on the sidewalk—that’s very inviting to me.”

Mr. Jay said his suggestions should help attract new types of businesses to the hamlet that has struggled to fill vacancies on Main Street.

Similarly, Bruce King, also of Hampton Bays and a former civic president, said he envisions the updated Main Street as a place for pedestrians to mingle and enjoy small “mom and pop” shops.

“Think about areas you want to go to, you want to walk in, you want to stop in and have an ice cream or a cup of coffee and sit on the sidewalk,” Mr. King said. “What draws you to that old feel? Anyone can go to a shopping mall and walk around there. But that’s not enjoyment.

“What we want to do for Hampton Bays,” he continued, “is to make it better and bring other people in so that the ice cream stores return.”

Mr. Fasanella chimed in, noting that another possibility for small businesses could be opening small kiosks along the street so their operators can avoid paying rent for an entire storefront. A kiosk could enable someone to sell something small, such as cookies or soup, he said.

“That’s why I say kiosks are far more important than retail spaces,” Mr. Fasanella said. “It’s a place where if someone wants to start a very small business, they can do that in a tiny little shoe-box kiosk … If you wanted to sell soup, or if you wanted to sell cookies, you could sell it in Hampton Bays.”

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I'm curious to see how anyone is going to know that there is a new Main Street or how one would get to it when everyone is driving on the original Main St (Montauk Highway). What happens to the stores on Montauk Hwy if everyone is somehow diverted to the new Main St ?????
By HamptonDad (236), Hampton Bays on Mar 2, 16 1:58 PM
I was at that meeting. I am not sure how the reporter can state that 50 people agreed with anything. Marc Fasanella and Frank Zappone did most of the talking presenting their vision. A few spoke. The rest of the attendees quietly The lack of opposition should not be assumed to be agreement, potentially just fact gathering. I started attending community meeting about 2 years ago and it seems it is the same 50-100 people that attend these meetings. Good for them for speaking up for what they ...more
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Mar 2, 16 6:48 PM
and I find it a baffling that some one can say that the would like to see the "ice cream stores return". HB has several ice cream stores - Gemeilli Gelato & Carvel for starters. Maybe we should start supporting our local "mom and pops" and local businesses.
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Mar 6, 16 8:11 AM
I do not go to the meetings as I feel unles I am a LOCAL my views are not valid after all I have lived here only 65 years.Why do speakers have to let us know how long they have lived here,,,is it supposed to give them a special standing in the community?
By watchdog1 (543), Southampton on Mar 3, 16 1:33 PM
I am an HB resident only 17 years and I try to go to the meetings. I would hope all our opinions get respected - if not at least I know I tried.
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Mar 3, 16 4:31 PM
In some, not all cases, people feel it can lend credulity and clout to one's point of view. In some cases, it just demonstrates desperation that your point of view is valid because though you weren't born an East Ender you've put time in. For some, it just makes them feel important because they're insecure about not being a bona fide "local". There are probably plenty of other reasons, but not everyone is born east of the canal.

Doesn't necessarily mean you love the place more just because ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Mar 6, 16 9:30 AM
I would hope that everyone's perspective is respected and considered. IMHO the Town Board should not make decisions based on the input of a vocal few. There is certainly enough "proven concepts" of what works (just look to the revitalization of Brooklyn) without recreating the wheel. They should make sure that have a true representative sample of the residents and taxpayers.
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Mar 6, 16 10:16 AM
Revitalization is not necessarily the word I'd use to describe Brooklyn.

Gentrification however...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Mar 6, 16 12:09 PM
No I mean revitalization of the 70-90's. I lived through the urban decayed, high crime, low quality of life Brooklyn.
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Mar 6, 16 12:54 PM
where has this idea of creating a "new" main street worked in the past? in Greenport, all the shops are on the existing main street. and how many ice cream cones get sold in february? hope is not a strategy.
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Mar 6, 16 9:45 AM
It is interesting to me that the reporter updated the report and changed the focus of the meeting and quotes from some of the participants. Not sure how that happens.
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Mar 9, 16 11:51 AM