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Tuckahoe land targeted for shopping center to be preserved

Part of the parcel once targeted for the

Part of the parcel once targeted for the Tuckahoe shopping center is seen on June 19, 2012. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Roughly 6.3 acres of land in Tuckahoe that once was targeted for a shopping center will now be preserved.

The Southampton Town Board voted 5-0 at Tuesday’s regular meeting to authorize the purchase of the property on Magee Street through town Community Preservation Funds at a total cost not to exceed $4.6 million.

The hearing drew no objections, although residents asked questions about details of the plan for the property.

Southampton Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said Tuesday acquiring the property would take several months, and it would likely become some sort of park, although town officials haven’t finalized plans.

Noting the town was planning an affordable housing development nearby, Schneiderman said future residents “would be able to enjoy this park, so it could be a good thing.”

The land was the proposed location of a 52,000-square-foot shopping center project by Southampton Venture LLC, which owned the property, with 38,000 square feet for a supermarket and 14,500 square feet of commercial space. The plan drew heated opposition. A January hearing on a zoning change proposal required for the shopping center drew 200 people, with residents and environmental advocates arguing the shopping center would cause serious traffic issues and other problems.

Southampton Venture in April withdrew its application for the zoning change, effectively ending the project.

Town officials then began to explore other options for how to use the land. Schneiderman said he later contacted the site’s owners to see if they were interested in preserving the property. After review from town community preservation officials, both sides eventually reached a deal to sell the property to the town through CPF funding.

The Community Preservation Fund is a voter-approved 2 percent tax on real property transfers in the five East End Towns that is used to preserve farmland, open space and parks.

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