Owner open to selling former department store land to East Hampton

Town considers former Stern’s site for affordable housing

East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc and 350 Pantigo Road (Zillow, Getty, Town of East Hampton)
East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc and 350 Pantigo Road (Zillow, Getty, Town of East Hampton)

The owner of land once occupied by a Stern’s department store and the East Hampton Riding Academy is willing to trade it to the town…for the right price.

Greg McCord submitted a proposal to subdivide the land at 350 Pantigo Road into three residential lots, 27East reported. Under town building guidelines, the owner can build three homes of up to 6,500 square feet across the four-acre patch.

The town of East Hampton has interest in the land too, though. While it doesn’t own the vacant space, it earmarked it as a good spot for affordable housing nearly 20 years ago. In 2005, the land was rezoned for residential development and the department store buildings were razed six years later — but nothing has taken root since.

In 2016, the land was listed for sale for $7 million. After four years of little action, a limited liability company tied to McCord snapped up the property in 2020 for $2.5 million.

The landowner’s representative expressed a willingness by McCord, who is not a developer, to sell the land to the town for the purpose of affordable housing. McCord doesn’t have interest in developing an affordable housing complex himself.

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East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc also expressed the town could be interested in the property.

“I don’t know how the numbers will work out, if that’s something that will be achievable at that location — but we’re looking at all possible solutions,” Van Scoyoc stated.

Presuming a sale doesn’t come together in the next few weeks, East Hampton may be able to use a new source of funding to purchase the property: the Community Housing Fund. Residents overwhelmingly voted in favor of the fund this month, which will be funded by an 0.5 percent sales tax on real estate transactions beginning next year; the town has proposed purchasing vacant land suitable for affordable housing as one purpose of the fund.

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— Holden Walter-Warner