Plans to bring a King Kullen supermarket to the Tuckahoe area of Southampton will soon be submitted to Town Hall, according to Ed Glackin, vice president of real estate for the King Kullen Company.
Mr. Glackin paid a visit Thursday night, April 3, to the Southampton Citizens Advisory Committee meeting at the Tuckahoe School library to discuss the proposal with residents, some of whom responded favorably to the idea. He said his visit was the first of what will be many informal gatherings to build support and solicit input from the community.
King Kullen has purchased a total of some 12 acres south of County Road 39 and east of Magee Street behind the Enclave Inn—which will remain as is—to construct the project. The major piece is property along Magee Street formerly owned by Independent Group Home Living Inc., which has been vacant since November. Two adjacent parcels will provide some 600 feet of frontage along County Road 39.
The company’s plans call for the supermarket to be built within what will be called the Tuckahoe Hamlet Center, which could include a café, a restaurant, a bank, a bookstore and other retail establishments.
Except for King Kullen, no other businesses have secured a lease or committed to be part of the center yet, Mr. Glackin said.
Plans also call for the site to include 28 apartments—10 two-bedroom units and 18 one-bedrooms—including 10 to be set aside for affordable housing. The residential units will be situated atop the retail outlets and, ideally, according to Mr. Glackin, would be built above a bookstore.
Mr. Glackin contends that a supermarket is needed in the Southampton Village area, especially since the closing of the IGA in the heart of the village—Waldbaum’s is the lone supermarket in the village today—and that the company has received numerous phone calls from Southampton residents asking for a store. “That’s something we pay attention to,” he said.
According to the company’s research, many Southampton shoppers are traveling to the King Kullen stores in Hampton Bays and Bridgehampton, both of which Mr. Glackin said are very successful operations.
The draft plans for the retail center, designed by Urbitran Architects in Glen Cove, creates what Mr. Glackin described as a neighborhood market. The proposed supermarket follows the scheme of the Hampton Bays location, which is 40,000 square feet.
Blueprints also include a 15,000-gallon Cromaglass sewage system, which will be installed in the back of the property at least 75 feet from Magee Street with landscaping to beautify the surrounding area.
A traffic engineer has been hired by King Kullen to ensure that the hamlet center does not snarl traffic. Mr. Glackin said if the plans go through as proposed, Suffolk County would adjust the traffic light at the intersection of Magee Street and County Road 39 to ease traffic flow.
Mr. Glackin said the suggested location for the retail center is ideal in that it is close to Southampton Village, which enhances shopper convenience, especially for those east of the Shinnecock Canal. And, because it is mostly developed, the site also reduces environmental impact. “We don’t have to plough over green space or knock down any trees,” he said.
The draft plan for the supermarket and the surrounding retail hub is striving to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, according to Mr. Glackin. Some of those LEED standards include using less steel, energy efficient lighting and “green” pesticides.
Part of the vision for the center is for it to be pedestrian friendly and plans include walkways, overhead trellises, landscaping, fountains and benches. “We want to create a real neighborhood, hamlet feel,” Mr. Glackin said.
Once the shovels hit dirt, the ?supermarket could be built within a year, according to Mr. Glackin. But, with the ongoing County Road 39 corridor study and a possible moratorium to follow, the reality of that happening soon is unlikely. Yet, Mr. Glackin said his commitment to the project is unwavering.
“We’re willing to wait a number of years,” he said.