Images courtesy of NY Architectural Renderings.
By Kathryn G. Menu
It has been over two decades since Sag Harbor’s Baron’s Cove Inn was renovated, and while it has been has been more than a year since plans to rehabilitate the aging motel were announced, last week those plans firmly took flight.
During a Sag Harbor Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board meeting on Thursday, January 13 architect Thomas Pedrazzi of Studio Pedrazzi Architecture + Design presented the board with plans to redesign the exterior of Baron’s Cove.
According to attorney Tiffany Scarlato, who is representing the motel’s current owners, KBR Fund, interior renovations are also planned for Baron’s Cove. Eventually the motel’s parking lot, swimming pool and landscaping will also be reconfigured.
Scarlato has also asked Sag Harbor Village Building Inspector Tim Platt to rule on whether or not a restaurant, accessory to the motel use, is allowed at the site, which on Wednesday she said she believes the village code supports.
The plans are a part of a larger vision for Baron’s Cove, through KBR, but also Cape Advisors, the development firm that secured approvals for a condominium project at the former Bulova Watchcase Factory two years ago. While those plans stalled under the weight of the nationwide recession, Cape Advisors is managing the Baron’s Cove renovations for KBR.
According to Curtis Sachs, project manager for the renovation, the overall plan is to remold Baron’s Cove into a destination resort, offering many of the same luxury amenities as the hotels Cape Advisors has developed in Cape May, New Jersey and Atlantic City, while still retaining an architectural style complimentary to Sag Harbor Village.
Baron’s Cove Inn has been in existence since the 1960s, and has 66 units. In 2009, KBR Fund purchased the property and immediately announced plans to update the structure, although only now have those plans come to light.
For now, Pedrazzi is focused on exterior and interior renovations to the motel building itself, with the hopes completing those changes before swells of tourists descend on the village this summer.
Calling the renovation “a refresh,” Pedrazzi said changes to the exterior were meant to be subtle, using a nautical theme to update features like the motel’s railings and columns.
The back building at Baron’s Cove, called “The Meadow Building,” will get a new asphalt roof under the plan. In addition, sliding glass doors will be replaced by new windows in order to give the building a “more residential” feel. Doors for each of the units, now “rusted metal,” will be replaced with fiberglass doors and painted a deep, blue gray.
Changes to the windows and doors will also aid in reducing the amount of noise patrons hear from adjoining rooms, said Pedrazzi, which is a common complaint from guests.
Plain, globe light features will also be updated with open, oil rubbed bronze fixtures, which Sachs said will use Dark Skies compliant bulbs.
On the first floor, guests will be treated to individual porches outside their rooms with small garden areas and lounge chairs. On the second floor, those same spaces on the balcony will boast partitions to offer guests privacy.
The Bay Building, which houses guest rooms looking out onto Sag Harbor Cove, will undergo similar renovations, but is also proposed to gain trellises across the second story balcony, with vegetation, to offer shade despite the saw-tooth roof style of the existing building. Pedrazzi said the goal is to create a garden-like atmosphere and soften the façade of Baron’s Cove’s most visible building.
The shingles on both buildings will be kept intact, said Sachs, noting project sponsors like the historic look of the weathered wood shingles. They will be replaced, said Sachs, as necessary, using wood shingles now found in a hallway that connects The Meadow Building and The Bay Building.
ARB member Michael Mensch called the renovations “a vast improvement.”
Board chair Cee Scott Brown added that he sees renovation as an opportunity to create a place people want to stay year-round on the East End, and that this kind of hotel is largely lacking in the region.
“The landscaping is where you can really make the difference,” he added. “Anything to get rid of that massive asphalt.”
Sachs said the firm is committed to spending a lot of time, and money, on the landscaping and pool area to “change this property from being any kind of property into something really unique.”
The pool will be completely redone he said, with a bluestone fireplace and will not retain its oval shape, to the delight of ARB members.
“With this kind of face lift and the new condos next door, this area is becoming more of a destination in the village and a nice place to be,” said Brown.
In other news, the Corner Bar was approved for solar panels on its roof, as well as for the replacement of its heating and air conditioning system, which contractor Declan Murray said was part of a larger plan to replace the building’s entire roof.
According to Murray, proposed solar panels will be virtually invisible from the street and the HVAC system smaller, making it less visible as well.
“I see no issue with the solar,” said Brown. “In fact, I am in favor of it. Even if it was slightly visible, we would probably still be in favor of it.”
Murray also gained approval for two new windows in the bar area of the restaurant that will look out over New York State Route 114, offering patrons a glimpse of the village’s streetscape while enjoying their brew.