“Campbell Ranch” to Set Up Stakes in Bridgehampton
by Marissa Maier
On the corner of New Light Lane and West Pond Drive in Bridgehampton lies almost 18 acres of open space, owned by Southampton resident Robert Campbell. According to town planning documents, Campbell hopes to turn this site into a private horse farm called “Campbell Ranch.”
The project, noted town planner David Wilcox, entails an 18-stall stable, a 15,000 square foot indoor riding area with an observation room, a two-story storage building with a second floor apartment, an equipment barn, a two-story office building, access driveways and parking lots, while still retaining a portion of open farmland. Although the total property encompasses 17.77 acres, or around 774,000 square feet, the proposed buildings will take take up only 30,600 square feet.
Instead of using the facility for a commercial equine venture, Campbell plans to house and maintain his collection of 18 horses at the site, said local liaison on the project and East Hampton-based architect Eva Growney. With exteriors of weathered brown-shingles, the structures will be aesthetically congruent with the local architecture of the South Fork, added Growney.
“The client and the design architect [John Winberry of D.H. Murray Architects] wanted to do a project the community would like,” remarked Growney. “The owner has lived in the area for over 10 years. He has a feeling for the area and he wants these buildings to fit in. He doesn’t want them to stick out like a sore thumb.”
Campbell is chairman and CEO of BBC International, LLC., a firm that designs and markets footwear for many well known companies including Guess, Ralph Lauren and Quicksilver. According to the BBC International website, one of Campbell’s crowning achievements was introducing lights to children’s footwear, which later became a phenomena in the industry. He founded the company nearly 33 years ago, but is planning to retire in the near future, noted Growney.
At the planning board meeting on Thursday, the board expressed some confusion over why the design called for four office spaces in one building if the ranch is for Campbell’s personal use. Growney explained these rooms were labeled as offices but fall under different categories. The ground floor will be divided into a horse salon and a trophy room, noted Growney. While the upstairs will house an office for the manager, an office for the veterinarian and their supplies, and a room designated for legal documentation on the horses.
Growney added that Campbell isn’t seeking variances for the project. Based on town set-back regulations, Winberry altered the original lay out for the structures and moved them further in the property to meet these requirements. Growney said there has been talk of adding green elements to the site including solar panels, wind turbines and a geothermal system. She tempered these comments by adding that the project is still in a preliminary stage. In addition to a manager and veterinarian, the ranch will employ several workers and groundskeepers to maintain the stables and property.
Growney plans to send out a letter to neighbors of the property in the near future with details on the project. “Campbell Ranch” will also be on the agenda at the March 11 planning board meeting for a pre-submission conference, in which members are the public are invited to weigh in on the plan.