Southampton plans arts center, rezoning 

July 25, 2011 02:02PM

New attractions and a rezoning are on deck for the village of Southampton as the community vies for the kind of foot traffic its rival Hamptons towns enjoy, according to the Wall Street Journal. The village was hit with two major setbacks recently as the Saks Fifth Avenue store shuttered and the Parrish Art Museum announced it would move to the neighboring village of Water Mill. But new plans calling for a rezoning of Southampton’s business district and a transformation of the Parrish building into a mixed-use cultural center would attempt to position the village to better compete with the nearby East Hampton, with its Gild Hall cultural center and larger collection of upscale shops. At a recent community meeting, a proposal for the
Parrish building called for a display space for local artists, a coffee bar and performance space that could help promote more
nightlife in the village. Meanwhile, the rezoning would ensure that new buildings conform to Southampton’s traditional, colonial-style architecture, eliminate big box retail space and reduce parking to encourage foot traffic. The restoration of the Parrish building is expected to cost between $4 million and $5 million, with long-term expansion and restoration plans costing about $ 20 million. Funding is intended to come from private donations. [WSJ]