Bulova hits standstill


The proposed redevelopment of the former Bulova watchcase factory in Sag Harbor as a pricey condo project will be at a standstill for at least two months while the developer reevaluates the plans.

Sag Development Partners, the firm which submitted the proposal, has pulled back from all scheduled village meetings and reviews and is seeking to sublet the showroom it rented in September 2007 from which to being selling the 65 apartments it 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 planning process 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 twice before in February and March. The outcome of the vote had been seen as a deciding factor for SDP, which threatened to cancel the project if it were forced to include affordable units in its mix. As an alternative, SDP had proposed paying $2.275 million into an affordable housing fund. SDP’s withdrawal from the planning process came as a surprise to many because the ZBA had finally promised to bring the override issue to a vote.

In addition, the Sag Harbor Village Planning Board cancelled its monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 22, which was scheduled to include the Bulova site plan review.

Following a year of meetings and delays, the board had been moving swiftly ahead with the Bulova application. Planning Board members had 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. They also agreed the Bulova plan needed no further environmental review.

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