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Developer hopes for Flanders health club approval by fall

06/01/2016 6:00 AM |

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The company looking to create a similar facility on the site of the former Peconic Health and Racquet Club on Flanders Road in Flanders is hoping to get Southampton Planning Board approval by the end of August, an engineer for the applicant told the Bayview Pines Civic and Taxpayers Association last Wednesday.

But Southampton Town Councilman John Bouvier warned that Suffolk County could have new requirements for more advanced septic systems in place by that time and that the septic tank currently proposed may not meet those standards.

“I think a lot of people might get caught off guard by that,” Mr. Bouvier said.

The Peconic Health and Racquet Club building, also once known as Seven-Zs, has been vacant for more than 10 years and is in disrepair, with graffiti on the building and parts of it falling apart.

The indoor swimming pool at the site even became an outdoor pool after vandals stole the roof structure.

Engineer Jaclyn Peranteau at last Wednesday's Bay View Pines Civic & Taxpayers Association meeting in Flanders. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Engineer Jaclyn Peranteau at last Wednesday’s Bay View Pines Civic & Taxpayers Association meeting in Flanders. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

“This building has been vacant for quite a while and it’s quite an eyesore,” said Jaclyn Peranteau, the engineer for applicant Island Properties.

The Farmingdale-based company purchased the three-acre property, which sits near Reeves Bay, in 2007 and has attempted over the years to develop it as a number of uses, including condos and a restaurant, neither of which met county health department requirements for the site.

About two years ago, Island Properties initiated plans to redevelop it as its former use, a heath club, which is permitted under zoning.

Ms. Peranteau said that only about 1.8 acres of the three-acre property can be used; the rest is underwater.

Island Properties plans a health club slightly smaller than what previously existed.

“The original building is a little over 12,000 square feet in total and the proposed project would consist of basically a raze and rebuild, but in a similar footprint,” Ms. Peranteau said. “A portion of the existing building on the west side would be demolished.”

The new plans called for a 10,085-square-foot structure with an 8,168-square-foot health club tenant and a 1,917-square-foot-massage tenant.

It would be a one-story building with an open roof deck on top, Ms. Peranteau said.

The roof could be used for activities like outdoor yoga or exercise classes, she said. 

Given the building’s proximity to water, Island Properties also plans to raise it up by about two feet. The cesspools for the existing building were actually in the groundwater, she said, adding that the new structure would position them two feet above high tide.

Ms. Peranteau said some gym operators have approached Island Properties about the site, as has a local yoga teacher. The company doesn’t have a preference as to a local company or a bigger chain, but the big chains generally want larger spaces, she said.

Island Properties also plans to keep the existing 4,225-square-foot swimming pool as an outdoor pool that will either be a low-chlorine pool or a saltwater pool, a condition Southampton Town is requiring given its proximity to the bay, she said.

Island Properties is proposing to use a standard septic tank, which is an approved use, she said.

Mr. Bouvier said the Suffolk County health department is in the process of requiring upgraded sewer systems, a change that is likely to be approved by the end of July.

“You’ll most likely be required to have the advanced sewer systems by that point,” Mr. Bouvier, who is also an engineer, told Ms. Peranteau when she said they were hoping to het Planning Board approval by the end of August.

“I’m suggesting that you talk to the health department,” he said. “Because you’re so close to the water, it’s so important. A lot of scrutiny is placed on this.”

The proposed club will have slightly more parking than Peconic Health and Racquet had, and Island Properties plans to eliminate one of the two curb cuts onto Flanders Road.

Resident Kathy Kruel asked if they planned to offer programs for the community, pointing out that Seven-Zs used to host pool parties for local kids.

“I don’t think they’d be opposed,” Ms. Peranteau said.

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Photo: The former Peconic Health and Racquet Club on Flanders Road in Flanders. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

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