Construction at the site where a fire in November of...

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) Credit: Heather Walsh

The Pavilion's rise from the ashes is under way, according to the principals behind the iconic Fire Island Pines gay dance club.

Last November, a fire gutted the club and the adjacent popular commercial complex, the LaFountaine Building. The buildings were the heart of the Pines' business district and a big draw for the summer tourism season.

Now, the plans to rebuild the Pavilion, owned by FIP Ventures, have taken a key step forward. The foundation permit for the Pavilion was issued last week, and the architect, Tim Aarsen of Manhattan-based HWKN, said the pilings were scheduled for installation starting this week.

"We got the foundation permit last week, and we wanted to start the piling right away," Aarsen said. "The decking is supposed to be done somewhere in a month from now, and the start of the building process will be in the fall." The club is scheduled for completion by April, he said.

Many of the Pavilion's social events and parties have been moved to the Blue Whale bar, which is also owned by FIP Ventures.

"Although the new building will have the same envelope and mix of uses as its predecessor, the similarities end there," said Matthew Blesso, the developer and managing partner of FIP Ventures, in a news release.

"The Pavilion will be in context with other Pines architecture. It will be made of wood and be modern and casual, yet bold and iconic," he said. "It is the first thing visitors see when getting off the ferry, and we've envisioned it to be the heart of the Pines community."

The reconstruction of the Pavilion will feature a design that incorporates the boardwalk into the building's facade.

The new LaFountaine building is under construction and will be about 5,800 square feet, slightly smaller than the old building. All of its previous tenants, including the popular Sip N' Twirl nightclub, are expected to return, according to owner Nicole LaFountaine.

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