Although real estate sales are slowing and the economy is sluggish, the new owner of the Baron’s Cove Inn Motel, KBR Sag Harbor LLC, is preparing for an economic upturn and is forging ahead with plans to create an upscale resort and spa on the West Water Street property.
On Tuesday night, at the Sag Harbor Planning Board meeting, the public learned of KBR’s intentions for the site. Architects from the Gensler firm told the board they are striving for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for the project. In order to receive this certification, the architects argued the existing two motel-style buildings on the property would have to be demolished.
“Our initial study showed the existing building is beyond its usable life and is structurally weak, which makes it difficult to meet some of the sustainable goals we have set forth,” said architect Robert Gatzke. He added that the structures — built in the 1960s — significantly tax the village sewage system. The materials garnered from the demolition will then be recycled and used for the construction of a two and a half story hotel building.
Architect Rene Cruz informed the board the new building would have the same footprint as the existing building. Planning board member Jack Tagliasacchi, however, asked how this would be feasible since the architects are planning to install a lobby and spa.
“I don’t think there is room if you don’t eliminate some of the rooms,” said Tagliasacchi.
Currently, the motel has 66 guest rooms. KBR, however, would like to increase the number of hotel rooms. Dennis Downes, attorney for KBR, interjected and said the economic profitability of the LEED certified resort was dependent upon increasing the number of guest rooms.
“We are in the infancy stage [of this project],” said Gatzke who added the architects came before the planning board in order to bounce ideas off them to see if members were receptive to the demolition of the existing structures.
“I don’t see what purpose it would serve the village to make any kind of comment on something we don’t know that much about,” said chairman Neil Slevin. He urged the architects to return to the board next month with concrete plans.
Later in the meeting, Tohill and Sag Harbor Planning Consultant Richard Warren reported that key documents are missing from the Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement for the Ferry Road condominium project. Tohill was concerned by an apparent lack of comment on the Long Island Workforce Housing Act and lack of evidence to support the applicant’s ownership of the contested northerly side of the property.
Warren had a list of concerns, which he will compile into a memorandum by April 1. The board will reconvene for a special meeting on April 8 to decide if the project has all the proper documentation for the DGEIS. Kim Gennaro, of Freudenthal and Elkowitz Consulting Group, who works for the applicants, said she would try to gather the necessary missing documents by next Friday.