While the Southampton Town Planning Board continues to review an application that would potentially allow a CVS pharmacy to be the sole tenant of a building on the corner of Bridgehampton’s main intersection, a new structure can still go up in the meantime, as a permit and site plan approval have already been issued.
On Tuesday morning, Nesconset Construction Company Inc., based in Yaphank, was at the site of 2510 Montauk Highway in the hamlet, where the proposed CVS would be. Workers from the company were clearing trees, branches and shrubs from the property, although they declined to specify what they were doing it for. Nesconset Construction officials did not respond to a call seeking comment.
However, town officials said the clearing could be the first step toward the construction of a two-story, 9,000-square-foot building, which was approved in 2009 to house two tenants. Both Southampton Town Planning and Development Administrator Kyle Collins and Town Planning Board Chairman Dennis Finnerty said that although they were not aware of the construction company being on the site Tuesday morning, building could commence at any time because a permit and site plan approval have already been granted for the mixed retail use structure.
“They do have an active building permit. They have their site plan approval,” Mr. Collins said. “They can start building tomorrow.”
Paul Kanavos, the real estate developer behind BNB Ventures, the company that owns 2510 Montauk Highway, did not respond to a request for comment on the status of the property. But John Bennett, the attorney representing CVS, which filed for a special exception permit earlier this summer, said he was not surprised to hear of a construction company being at the site, as he believes the town is dragging out the CVS process.
“Naturally, there’s so much shenanigans going on, so they’re going to build it before they get that taken away,” Mr. Bennett said.
Although the original use was for one tenant on the ground floor of the building and a different one on the top floor, CVS signed a lease for the building earlier this year to take over both levels. But because the town code only allows one tenant a maximum of 5,000 square feet of retail space, the pharmacy had to file for a special exception permit to expand into the entire space. Approval for that permit is still pending, as the application is currently under environmental review by the Southampton Town Planning Board and the Suffolk County Health Department.