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A View From the Bridge

Posted on 27 March 2009

In a few short years, people driving over the bridge from North Haven into Sag Harbor will likely see a landscape bearing little resemblance to what exists today. Between the West Water Street condo project now under construction, the planned Ferry Road condominiums and the proposed demolition and reconstruction of Barons Cove Inn, in the near future this portion of the village could easily be dubbed “New Harbor,” an area vastly different from its Main Street counterpart in size, style and character.

Two of these projects stand shoulder to shoulder with a faux Greek revival monstrosity, which towers over the surrounding buildings and has long been an aesthetic blight on the shoreline. Admittedly, the buildings in this part of the village aren’t historical or architectural gems, but we’re worried about the fact that what perhaps will replace them isn’t much better.

We, the public, readily concede that the West Water Street project went through without a lot of criticism as everyone in the village was anxious to give the raucous Rocco’s nightclub the boot. The designs for the project, however, depict a building that looks like an unattractive ski lodge at best, and with construction well under way there is no turning back now.

Oh well… live and learn.

Now two more major new developments in the same area are traveling along the pipeline of the village boards, with the Ferry Road condos getting closer to review. Although we salute Michael Maidan’s attempts to compromise with the planning board by breaking up the original monolithic design and opting for a plan that includes a grouping of townhouse buildings instead, the project is still three stories high — and there are only a handful of buildings in Sag Harbor that reach those heights. As of now, the plans for the Barons Cove Inn are tentative, without any mock-ups or sketches, but the owners say they would like to pursue a demolition of the 1960s building and replace it with a new construction for an upscale resort.

With each site concentrated in the relative same area, looking at these projects in geographic relation to one another is a hard pill to swallow or even envision. We believe the condominiums and resort establishment will visually and socially significantly alter the village character in this part of Sag Harbor. We feel the two projects still under review should be analyzed closely in relation to prospective development and the impact it might bring.


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