Decorating the house with low-cost furnishings and fixtures will get a little easier for East Hampton residents with the arrival of HomeGoods in Wainscott. At the very least, it will cut down the commute for those who trek almost an hour to Riverhead, the retailer’s next closest location. Towering over Montauk Highway at 15,000 square feet, the new store was scheduled to open on Sunday, May 17.
A division of TJX Companies, HomeGoods sells discounted accents for the home, including kitchen, bathroom and bedding supplies, and the migration out east was spurred by the popularity of the store’s sister retailer two towns away. “Shoppers have embraced our off-price concept with our T.J. Maxx store in Bridgehampton, so we are confident that shoppers in the Hamptons area will welcome the new HomeGoods in Wainscott,” said Robyn Arvedon, a HomeGoods spokesperson. Approval has not been entirely unanimous, though, with some officials criticizing the building for being too large and close to the road.
On 2 acres at the Wainscott traffic light, the store is just west of La Capannina pizzeria. Wainscott Retail LLC, in which local architect Peter Cook is a partner, owns the property. The site was formerly the longtime home of the Plitt Ford dealership, which was demolished last April to make way for the new store.
Changes to the store’s exterior during construction were discussed at the East Hampton Town Planning Board meeting on May 6. A set of double doors on the south side facing the highway were not in the original approved plan, which called for one large window. Some expressed concern that the doors would inspire patrons to park alongside Montauk Highway, thinking that’s the building’s entrance.
“Normally we wouldn’t approve these because it gives the appearance of an entrance on the highway, but we have heard they’re necessary for egress from the fire marshal,” said Eric Shantz, a town planner. “They can remain. You have to be an idiot to stop on Montauk Highway and think you could get in an entrance there, but there a lot of idiots.”
Others were concerned the doors would cause a safety hazard should young children run out and onto the highway; they suggested planting trees along the curb as a buffer. Landscaping between HomeGoods and La Capannina was also discussed, and board member Job Potter proposed adding more landscaping to the entire property.
He also expressed his general discontent, which others have shared. “I hate this building,” he said. “I wish I had been on the Planning Board for the site plan review. It’s much too massive and much too close to the road, but there it is. I do think you should beautify the curb, so it makes visual sense. The planting right now really looks pretty bad.”
HomeGoods has since added more trees and planters around the property and along the south-facing side of the building.
East Hampton Press Reporter Shaye Weaver contributed to this story.