Will the Bay Street Theatre find a new home on West Water Street next to Baron’s Cove Inn in Sag Harbor in a theatre built for them by the developers of the approved West Water Street condos and the proposed Ferry Road condos?
According to Bay Street Theatre board chairman Frank Filipo and theatre general manager Tracey Mitchell, the theatre’s number one priority is signing a lease with current building owner Patrick Malloy III and continuing their operations in Sag Harbor.
“Right now we are focused on continuing the great relationship we have had with Pat Malloy,” said Filipo on Wednesday. “If anything more came of this it would be our responsibility to talk about it on the board level, but right now this is completely out of the blue.”
Filipo stressed the board’s main goal was staying in the theatre’s current space on Long Wharf and working out a lease agreement with Malloy.
“There is no arrangement,” he said in regards to Michael Maidan’s proposal. “I wasn’t even aware of this.”
Filipo was not present at a Tuesday morning meeting between members of the Bay Street Theatre management team and Michael Maidan, Emil Talel – two of the principals behind the West Water Street and Ferry Road condo projects – but Mitchell was, and echoed Filipo’s statements about the theatre’s priorities.
“We had a preliminary meeting,” she said. “These men came to us and wanted to bring us their ideas for putting a theatre there. That was really the extent of it.”
Mitchell added anyone who calls the theatre with opportunities are heard out, and management is happy to discuss ideas and concepts, but the theatre is in the middle of trying to resign its lease with Malloy and that remains the number one priority.
Mark D’Andrea, project manager for the West Water Street and Ferry Road projects, who was also at Tuesday’s meeting, said his bosses walked away from the meeting knowing a deal was not in place, but confident it went well.
“It could not have gone better,” he said.
D’Andrea presented a footprint of the proposed theater and drawings, he said, to what he perceived as an ecstatic group. On Wednesday, he said he was ready to move forward with the plan, which in his concept involves a 299-seat, triangular-shaped theatre facing the water with a second story community space.
When asked if this project would move forward whether or not the village approves the controversial Ferry Road project, his answer was “of course.”
“This is not a bait and switch,” he said.
Last month, during a discussion of the Ferry Road project at the Sag Harbor planning board, D’Andrea said the developers of the project were willing to build a new theatre for the community, and were also considering buying the former Methodist Church as a community center. Village attorney Anthony Tohill halted the discussion, noting either purchase pertained to the Ferry Road project.
D’Andrea said he was told by architects from Incorporated Architectural Design – the architects who designed the West Water Street project – that he could legally construct the theatre and the plan conformed with setbacks.
However, the plan does not conform with current or proposed zoning in regard to uses. The parcel is zoned Resort-Motel, which is pretty much all that can be built there. Theatres are not permitted uses under the proposed or current code.
D’Andrea said his team has also started construction on a public lighted pathway in front of Barron’s Cove. The hope, he said, is to have the walkway extend through the village to Windmill Beach, although the cooperation of other landowners in Sag Harbor will be needed to bring that plan to fruition.
Â Above: The site plan for a proposal the condo developers at West Water Street and Ferry Road have shared with management at the Bay Street Theatre. THe theatre is the triangular space, in pink, on the left hand side of the drawing.Â