Controversial North Fork developer seeks tax breaks for boutique hotel

$44M project to turn house into 44-key hotel and restaurant

Controversial North Fork Hotel Developer Seeks Tax Breaks
Renderings of the Enclaves Hotel and Restaurant project at 56655 Main Road (Southold Town records, Getty)

Reception to the new Enclaves project in the North Fork has been mixed. 

But that isn’t stopping the developer of the controversial Southold project from seeking tax breaks for it.

Developer Jonathan Tibbett received preliminary approval for $2.7 million in financial assistance from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency, Patch reported. A public hearing regarding the financial incentives attached to the $43.9 million project is set for next week.

This year, the Southold Planning Board granted preliminary approval to the project at 56655 Main Road in Southold. Tibbett’s plan is to convert a 3,000-square-foot home (and its 600-square-foot addition) into a mixed-use property with a 74-seat restaurant and 44-key, two-floor hotel.

The project will also include four detached cottages, event space, an outdoor swimming pool and 132 parking spaces. The town’s Zoning Board of Approvals granted conditional approval for the project in 2021.

The development has long been in the sights of Tibbett, who has faced opposition at nearly every turn. Among the concerns voiced by residents have been noise, traffic and a threat to community character.

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Tibbett is taking a risk by seeking these tax breaks: The request may create more exposure for the project, and community members may be thrilled to have the opportunity to tee off on the project at a public hearing.

Residents have also expressed concerns about potential impact to mom-and-pop businesses, but that pendulum swings both ways. Hotels are important for bringing in visitors to the North Fork, which has an economy partially reliant on its tourism. Considering the squeeze coming for Airbnbs and other short-term rentals in the area, hotels may be the best option to get visitors out on the East End.

The latest hearing is scheduled for Dec. 11 at the Southold Town Hall.

Holden Walter-Warner

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