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Jun 9, 2015 5:28 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Dune Deck Demolished; Construction On New Hotel Could Start In September

The Dune Deck co-op on Dune Road in Westhampton Beach wad demolished Monday and Tuesday. KYLE CAMPBELL
Jun 10, 2015 12:40 PM

The Dune Deck cooperative on Dune Road in Westhampton Beach was demolished this week to make room for a high-end hotel that will be built by the same developers looking to construct a private golf course resort community in East Quogue.

Quogue-based Cardo Site Development began knocking down and hauling away the remains of the 32,264-square-foot building on Monday. The 69-unit complex, as well as the 4.8 acres of oceanfront land on which it once sat, were purchased by Arizona-based Discovery Land Company in March for nearly $19 million.

Discovery Land Senior Vice President Mark Hissey said he expects the entire structure to be leveled by the end of this week, and for all of the debris to be removed from the site by the end of next week.

Discovery Land is the company behind “The Hills at Southampton,” a proposed development that calls for the construction of 118 residential units and an 18-hole private golf course on the biggest undeveloped property—totaling nearly 600 acres combined—on the South Fork. The Southampton Town Board would have to approve a special change of zone, called a planned development district, for that project to move forward.

Demolition along the ocean beaches is prohibited by the State Department of Environmental Conservation between April 1 and July 1 to allow endangered piping plovers to mate in their natural habitat without being disturbed. However, the DEC granted Discovery Land a waiver because no plovers were found in the area, according to an email from DEC spokesman Jomo A. Miller.

“We just had to be really careful with it, and that’s what we did,” Mr. Hissey said.

“The village really wanted to get rid of the property because it wasn’t being used and they were afraid we were going to have another Sandpiper on our hands,” he continued, referring to the two-story co-op on Dune Road that burned to the ground in April. “So they were glad to see it go.”

Westhampton Beach Village Building and Zoning Administrator Paul Houlihan said the structural integrity of the Dune Deck was compromised after Discovery Land carried out the require asbestos abatement two weeks ago. Much of the asbestos was in the roof’s waterproofing material, leaving the building susceptible to leaks, which, in turn, caused a series of false alarms that the Westhampton Beach Fire Department had to respond to, according to Mr. Houlihan.

“The place started leaking like a sieve,” he said. “They tried to patch it a bit, but the main problem was that it triggered the alarm several times.

“The fire department didn’t want to disconnect the alarm, and it didn’t make sense to put a new roof on the building if they were just going to tear it down,” Mr. Houlihan continued, “so we gave them the permits for the demolition.”

The conclusion of the DEC’s piping plover moratorium is immediately followed by Westhampton Beach’s annual construction moratorium along Dune Road, which begins at the start of July. Therefore, Mr. Hissey said Discovery Land hopes to begin construction on the new 32,141-square-foot, 66-room hotel once the moratorium ends in September and work through the winter to have as much of the exterior work completed as possible before next summer’s moratorium kicks in.

Mr. Houlihan said the project still needs site plan approval from the Westhampton Beach Village Planning Board before construction can begin, though he does not anticipate any issues. He did note that securing approval from the Suffolk County Department of Health could be a different story for the company.

“I believe the previous owner replaced the septic system recently,” Mr. Houlihan said. “If the Department of Health lets them use that system, they might get approval pretty quickly.”

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What? No way. That was the only bar/restaurant in the area with a view of the ocean. Unbelievable.
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Jun 10, 15 10:54 AM
I'm shocked it happened that fast
By GoldenBoy (351), EastEnd on Jun 10, 15 1:31 PM
good job
By westhamptonboy (227), Westhampton on Jun 10, 15 10:16 PM
Sounds like common sense dictated the decisions for once. Good for them.
By Hambone (514), New York on Jun 11, 15 8:48 AM
1 member liked this comment