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Owner: Pavilion in the Pines not for sale

Construction at the site where a fire in

Construction at the site where a fire in November of 2011 destroyed numerous landmark buildings including the Pavillion, LaFountaine's and the Sip N' Twist. (April 19, 2012) Photo Credit: Heather Walsh

Fire Island Pines is not for sale. So say the owners of the burned Pavilion nightclub, refuting a widely circulated report that the legendary gay club and other Fire Island Pines properties were on the market.

The Pavilion, which burned to the ground in November, could host outdoor events as soon as July, said Matthew Blesso, one of three co-owners behind FIP Ventures, which owns most of the commercial property on Fire Island Pines.

The partners hope to have an outdoor deck constructed by July and the complete facility rebuilt in a year, Blesso said.

Meanwhile, another major Fire Island Pines attraction that burned in the fire -- the mixed-use LaFountaine building -- is on track to reopen by early summer, its owner said.

The rebuilt commercial center will be "spectacular," said Blesso, adding that the Pavilion "is not for sale and has never been marketed," despite news reports to the contrary.

The fire, the cause of which was undetermined, "has provided us with an amazing opportunity to build a new nightclub, event and retail spaces that are far more dynamic and aesthetically pleasing than the old building," Blesso said in an email.

FIP Ventures intends to submit plans for the foundation of the new Pavilion this month and plans for the full building by the end of July, Blesso said. Brookhaven Town must approve plans for building to begin.

The new two-story Pavilion will be about 7,500 square feet, nearly the same size as the previous building. Blesso declined to release the cost to rebuild, but the Pavilion was insured.

The new adjacent LaFountaine building, which is under construction, will be about 5,800 square feet, slightly smaller than the old building.

The rebuilding has encountered some resistance from residents and civic groups, who have said it could jeopardize the integrity of Fire Island National Seashore.

"I have concerns about the overdevelopment of Fire Island," said Meg Switzgable, who lives in Fire Island Pines and in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.

But the vast majority of the community has backed the rebuild, said Nicole LaFountaine, president of the company that owns the LaFountaine building.

"People come over on the ferry for the weekend, and when they come out, they just stand by the harbor and take pictures, and they applaud," LaFountaine said. "It's just so heartwarming."

The LaFountaine building will return with all of its previous tenants, including the popular Sip N' Twirl nightclub.

The new Pavilion's tenants will include a "welcome bar," a gym and three retail spaces, Blesso said. The main attraction will be a "re-visioned Pavilion nightclub," which will include space for the club's popular "high tea" event, he said.

"They are saying, 'Come party with us,' " said Jeannette Boccini, a spokeswoman for FIP Ventures.


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