First, it was a captain’s hotel. Then it became a police headquarters. Now, the Brewster House on Flanders Road is set to become nothing at all.
After years of complaints and failed redevelopment proposals, the Southampton Town Board voted to purchase and demolish the dilapidated building. It will use $400,000 from the Community Preservation Fund to acquire the building and additional money from the fund for the teardown, the Southampton Press reported.
Dating back to 1770, the structure has drawn ire as it has fallen into disrepair. However, some say the building has become a landmark worthy of preservation.
“Historic buildings are just as important to the preservation of a community as open space,” Vince Taldone, the president of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association, told the newspaper. “The fund should be permitted to preserve the land to prevent more intensive development but also restore historic landmarks for the benefit of future generations.”
But in the eyes of the town board, there was no choice. “I know that some people in the community were hoping that somehow this house could be saved, but it is beyond the point of salvation. It does need to come down,” Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said.
Restoration Equity Group acquired the building in 2014 for $150,000. It couldn’t bring the building back, though, and soon sold it for $285,000 to SSG RE Holdings.
This might not be the last time preservation funds go toward demolishing blighted buildings. The board is voting July 13 on whether to purchase a 6.2-acre plot on Flanders Road in Riverside. Worth $2 million, the land could be used to expand Riverside Maritime Trail Park upon purchase.
[Southampton Press] — Joe Lovinger