Southampton Town to acquire two properties in Flanders for $3.5million
Southampton City Council voted last week to authorize the acquisition of two properties in Flanders for $3.5million.
The city would acquire the former Peconic Health and Racquet Club property and the former “Methodist Point” property. The plan for the old health club, formerly known as “Seven Zs”, is to demolish it and use the waterfront property as a panoramic view of Reeves Bay. The city will be responsible for the cost of the demolition, officials said.
The purchase price on the 3.1 acre site is $1,147,000.
The other property west of the former health club is being sold for $2,346,000 and is situated on 4.5 acres.
A group led by David DeRosa of Farmingdale owns both properties, according to Southampton supervisor Jay Schneiderman.
The west property was the hamlet’s first duck farm in 1884, according to the Flanders Hamlet Heritage Area Report, published by Southampton’s Landmarks and Historic District Board in April 2014.
Town historian Julie Greene said it was called ‘Methodist Point’ and dates back to 1800. It was owned by Captain Charles Smith and his family, who were instrumental in the creation of Methodist society in the East End.
What to do with this property is a little more complicated because the property has eight buildings, and three of them could have some historical significance, according to Ms Greene.
The Seven Zs used to be a health club with a swimming pool, but it has been out of business for many years and many of its owners have not found a use for it.
Mr. Schneiderman said the purchases were both made with money from the Community Preservation Fund. The CPF uses funds from a quarter percent land transfer tax and is primarily used for the preservation of open space and farmland, although additional uses have been approved by voters in recent years.
Mr. Schneiderman said he has discussed with state officials the possibility of allowing certain CPFs to fund the operation of CPF buildings.
“It’s very expensive to maintain these things if you don’t have a source to do it,” he said.
He said CPF money can be used to fix things, but not to maintain or operate them.
“The community really wanted to clean up the visual pollution and have a view they can be proud of,” said councilor Rick Martel, who is the council liaison for the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton regions.