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Southampton OKs hotel at Gabreski Airport

The Southampton Town Board has changed zoning to allow construction of a three-story hotel at Gabreski Airport in Westhampton, part of a nearly 500,000-square-foot planned development district project being built by Rechler Equity Partners of Melville.

The change increases the allowable height, permitting construction of a 45-foot structure that is expected to be more attractive to hotel chains. The Rechler firm asked for the change in February.

The town board voted 4-0 at its Tuesday night meeting.

Suffolk County, working in partnership with Southampton Town since 2005, has spent $1.8 million making infrastructure improvements at the county airport to support the planned development district project. Rechler has a 40-year lease for the 53-acre site.

The first half of the project is expected to be completed by January 2013 and the rest, by June 2014. Officials have said they believe construction will create 600 high-paying, high-tech jobs and could be attractive to homeland security, film and technology industries.

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