East Hampton Town is hoping to finalize the purchase of 12 acres of land off Pantigo Road, on which it plans to develop affordable housing, by the end of this week, Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said on Tuesday.
The property at 395 Pantigo Road, adjacent to the building that houses Domaine Franey Wine and Spirits and the Cook Maran insurance agency, was put up for bid last month in a court-ordered auction conducted by the Town and Country real estate agency.
The town has agreed to buy the property for $2.5 million. It had been prepared to offer up to $3 million after approving a bond resolution in September that allowed that amount to be used for the acquisition of land for affordable housing, preservation, or use as a recreation area. As it turned out, the town was the sole bidder and got the property for the minimum bid.
“We’ve had our eye on this for a number of years,” said Mr. Van Scoyoc. “We tried to purchase it a few years ago, but it’s been tied up in litigation.”
The land is jointly owned by members of the family of James Philips. It is being sold as part of a bankruptcy proceeding involving one of the owners, according to court documents.
Given the property’s history, Mr. Van Scoyoc said he will not rest easy until the deal is officially done. “We’ve gotten a verbal agreement, but until we get a signed determination, I don’t think it’s a given, so fingers crossed it will get done,” he said.
The town plans to use seven acres for affordable housing, and five acres for either recreation or open space, he said. According to town code, up to eight apartment units would be permitted per acre.
The site, he said, is not quite as ideally situated as Gansett Meadow, the 37-unit affordable housing complex under construction at 531 Montauk Highway in Amagansett, which will be within walking distance of the I.G.A. supermarket and the train station, but “it’s a lot of space, it’s close to businesses, near a major highway, and accessible to transportation.”
The town has recently completed a 12-unit condominium project at 181 Accabonac Road next to the Windmill Village 1 complex. The majority of such affordable housing is in East Hampton, but “our goal is to have affordable housing in all the hamlets,” Mr. Van Scoyoc said.
The town board will hold a public hearing on the proposed purchase of the Pantigo Road property at its meeting tonight.