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Southampton board delays decision on buying Neptune's

Neptune Beach Club in East Quogue. Southampton Town

Neptune Beach Club in East Quogue. Southampton Town has bough the once popular party spot for $3.2 million and will create a museum and the town's first oceanside boardwalk. (May 26, 2012) Credit: Gina Tomitz

Southampton Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said she wants to replace the popular Neptune Beach Club with a mellower business, while neighbors called for the building to be closed and the oceanside land planted with shrubs.

Throne-Holst reiterated plans Tuesday for the town to buy and close Neptune's, but the town board voted to put off a decision on the purchase until Dec. 10.

The town is trying to use the building in a way that will be less of a concern to the community than the summertime hotspot that has operated on Dune Road in East Quogue, Throne-Holst said.

"We're trying to find a happy medium," Throne-Holst said. "Not a nightclub, not a nuisance, but a hospitality business," Throne-Holst said.

Neptune has been a daytime party spot on the beach for years, popular with the younger crowd but not so much with neighbors.

Sadie Mitnick, representing developer Bruce Ratner and his wife, Pamela Lipkin, who live near Neptune, said residents on the road are "beyond elated" that the town is buying the club.

Robin Eshaghpour, 45, whose family owns a house nearby, said his preference would be for nothing to be opened there. The site, he said, "needs to be sterilized for a period of time, if not forever." He suggested it be planted with bayberry.

The town announced last month that it has a signed contract to purchase the building and three acres of land from the current owner, listed as Neptune Beach Club Inc. for $3.2 million.

The town would use Community Preservation Funds, which typically go to preserving open space and agricultural land.

If the town buys the building wholly using Community Preservation Funds, there are restrictions on the reuse of the building, said town spokeswoman Jennifer Garvey. Throne-Holst is looking to see if other town money is available.

Southampton Councilwoman Bridget Fleming said the town has to consider environmental and historic reasons to purchase the building.

"We're not allowed to purchase property to remove a nuisance," she said.

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