Developers Want To Demolish Former Hardware Store In Westhampton Beach


The Westhampton Beach building that once housed a True Value hardware store could soon be demolished to make way for a new 11,000-square-foot, two-story retail store that features a pair of second-floor apartments, according to village officials.

Additionally, the owners of the Montauk Highway building, which has sat empty since the hardware store relocated to a newer building just to the east in 2014, intend to subdivide the 1.6 acres that sit to the rear of the structure so they can build four new homes.

The application, which was received by the village on June 17, seeks to demolish the building, owned by Avidor Group LLC and Jonmore Group LLC, and replace it with a new store. Unlike the existing structure, which had proven problematic as its parking lot sits in front of the building, forcing customers to back directly into Montauk Highway, the footprint of the new store shows its side facing the high-traffic street.

As part of their plan, the developers are looking to set aside about an acre toward the south of the new building for a new parking lot that would feature 51 parking spaces. The new building, as currently proposed, also calls for a pair of second-floor apartments, according to a copy of the plan on file with the Westhampton Beach Building Department.

“The Planning Board originally wasn’t happy with the original building because it was a big, blocky building,” Westhampton Beach Building and Zoning Administrator Paul Houlihan said. “The applicant did a good job taking care of that and made it look a lot nicer. The Planning Board has encouraged them to go through with this to get rid of the current dangerous parking situation.”

Jefferson V. Murphree, of Jefferson V. Murphree AICP, the planner for the applicant, could not be reached for comment.

The attorney for the applicants, Kieran Pape Murphree of Sag Harbor, declined to comment on the application.

The two companies also own about 1.6 acres of residentially zoned land situated directly behind the empty building, Mr. Houlihan said. As part of their proposal, which is actually two different applications now before the Westhampton Beach Planning Board, they are looking to subdivide the land and build four homes ranging in size from 15,803 square feet to 22,068 square feet.

The application seeks to divide the two properties into six lots, with the retail store accounting for one of them. The remaining five lots are all currently zoned residential, though one will be transfered to the village’s business district and used to create the parking lot. The lot directly behind the store will feature 43 spaces, while another eight diagonal spots will be offered along the side of the new building.

The remaining four lots will feature new homes on lots that will vary in size from about one-third of an acre to just over half an acre.

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