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Southampton Town to acquire two Flanders properties for $3.5 million

The Southampton Town Board voted last week to authorize the acquisition of two Flanders properties for $3.5 million.

The town would acquire the former Peconic Health and Racquet Club property and the former “Methodist Point” property. The plan for the former health club, previously known as “Seven Zs,” is to tear it down and use the waterfront property as a scenic vista of Reeves Bay. The town will be responsible for the cost of demolition, officials said. 

The purchase price on the 3.1-acre site is $1,147,000. 

The other property to the west of the former health club is being sold for $2,346,000 and is located on 4.5 acres.

A group led by David DeRosa of Farmingdale owns both properties, according to Southampton Supervisor Jay Schneiderman.

The western property was the hamlet’s first duck farm in 1884, according to the Flanders Hamlet Heritage Area Report, published by Southampton’s Landmarks and Historic District Board in April 2014. 

Town historian Julie Greene said it is called “Methodist Point” and dates back to 1800. It was owned by Captain Charles Smith and his family, who were instrumental in the establishment of Methodist Society on the East End. 

What to do with this property is a little more complicated because the property has eight buildings on it, and three of them might have some historic significance, according to Ms. Greene. 

The Seven Zs was a health club with a pool, but it’s been out of business for many years now, and several of its owners were unable to find a use for it.

Mr. Schneiderman said the purchases were both being made using Community Preservation Fund money. The CPF uses funds from a quarter-percent land transfer tax and is primarily used for open space and farmland preservation, although additional uses have been approved by voters in recent years. 

Mr. Schneiderman said he has talked with state officials about possibly allowing some CPF to go toward operating CPF buildings.

“It’s very expensive to maintain these things if you don’t have a source to do it,” he said.

He said CPF money can be used to fix things but not to maintain or operate them. 

“The community really wanted to clean up the eyesore and have a view they can be proud of,” said Councilman Rick Martel, who is the Town Board liaison to the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton areas.