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East Hampton Town board launches affordable condo project

Trees grow through abandoned tennis courts on Accabonac

Trees grow through abandoned tennis courts on Accabonac Road in East Hampton on March 23, 2017. The site may soon become an affordable housing project. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

The East Hampton Town Board has awarded a $2.47 million contract to build the town’s first affordable housing condominium complex, moving forward with a project that has languished for a decade.

Board members announced they selected JNS Contracting of Wading River to build condos at 181 Accabonac Rd. The announcement was made Tuesday, the same day the town’s affordable housing lottery opened up for the first time in seven years.

Councilwoman Sylvia Overby said construction on the 12-unit project could begin by June.

“The whole town board is excited this project is moving forward and delighted it can happen,” Overby said Wednesday.

Town officials purchased the 2.78-acre property from the Accabonac Tennis Club for $882,000 in March 2007. Budget issues the following year put the affordable housing project on hold until it was “brought back from the dead” in 2014, said Tom Ruhle, the town’s director of housing and community development.

Tennis courts on the site have long been abandoned, with trees now growing through the court surface.

The revamped site will include three buildings that look like “rural farmhouses,” Ruhle said. Each will contain four resident-owned units, ranging from one-bedroom to three-bedroom condos.

Eligible applicants for the Accabonac Road project include full-time East Hampton Town residents or workers who are paid up to $96,720 per year for one person and $149,000 for a family of five.

Sales prices for the units have not yet been determined.

The town’s architectural review board must approve the project before it can start.

Overby said town officials are looking at other properties where similar “manor-style” projects could be constructed.

With about 550 units of affordable housing, East Hampton faces a shortage as home prices on the East End rise. The median listed home price in East Hampton is now more than $1.599 million, according to Zillow, an online real estate listing firm.

Ruhle said he encouraged people interested in any town affordable housing unit to apply for the lottery before the April 28 deadline, regardless of their income. A lottery drawing date has not yet been scheduled.

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