Bulova hits standstill


The pending redevelopment of the former Bulova watchcase factory in Sag Harbor as a pricey condo project is at a standstill.

The project’s developer, Sag Development Partners, has pulled back from all scheduled village meetings and reviews and is seeking to sublet the showroom it rented in September, hoping to begin selling the 65 apartments its had planned to build in the crumbling 19th-century factory structure.

David Kronman, project manager for SDP, said on Tuesday that his firm has asked for 60 days “to step back” from the village boards so they can “look at all the different aspects of our project, given the current climate of the credit and housing markets.”

The 60-day period of reevaluation for SDP was announced Tuesday, April 15 as the reason the Sag Harbor Village Zoning Board of Appeals did not vote on whether to override an on-site affordable housing requirement imposed by the Suffolk County Planning Commission on the development.

The highly anticipated vote had been cancelled by the ZBA in March and February and had been seen as a deciding factor for SDP, which threatened to cancel the project if it had to include affordable units in its mix. Because the ZBA had finally promised to bring the override issue to a vote, SDP’s cancellation surprised everyone.

On Tuesday, April 22, the Sag Harbor Village Planning Board cancelled its monthly meeting, which was scheduled to include the Bulova site plan review. After a year of meetings and delays, the board was moving swiftly ahead with the Bulova application. Those board members already agreed that they would vote to override the county requirement for affordable housing at the project, instead accepting a pledge of $2.275 million from SDP for local housing assistance. The also agreed the Bulova plan needed no further environmental review.

A vote by both the ZBA and Planning Board were required to override the county’s housing requirement.

SDP has adjourned its application until the next Planning Board’s June 24 meeting and the ZBA’s meeting on June 17 but there is concern in the village that the application eventually will be withdrawn.

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