Luxury Senior Housing Proposed for 24-Acre Amagansett Parcel

The residential development has several hurdles to clear, starting with a zoning change.

Developers are proposing a senior housing residential development at the former Ocean View Farm in Amagansett that they say is cutting edge.

Known simply as "555," for its address on Montauk Highway, the complex would be the first fair market value development for seniors in the Town of East Hampton, while also being the first environmentally sustainable age-restricted adult active community in the entire state.

Putnam Bridge, a firm based in Greenwich, Conn., purchased the 23.5-acre property in May of 2012 for $10 million, according to public records.

Francis P. Jenkins III, a partner at Putnam Bridge and the project manager, said the 89 units would sell for between $800,000 to $1.8 million.

Putnam Bridge is working with Cooper, Robertson & Partners, whose founder Jacquelin T. Robertson lives in East Hampton. Planning has taken nearly one year, and they filed a preliminary site plan application with the town three weeks ago. They presented the project to the Amagansett Citizens Advisory Committee on Monday night.

555 would offer independent living for those 55 and older in cottages and apartments. They are proposing 63 cedar shingled cottages and 26 apartments, broken up into "neighborhoods" organized around three park-like "greens" that are connected by a walkway. Ten percent of the units have to be affordable under New York State law, Jenkins said.

There are six different types of cottages proposed, from just over 1,500 square feet to nearly 2,000 square feet. The apartments are about 1,200 square feet.

An approximately 4,000-square-foot field house that would serve three meals per day, a 12,000-square-foot pool and fitness facility with exercise rooms, massage room and beauty salon are also proposed. There will also be a garden with a small pond, flagpole and even a windmill.

555 would not be a gated community, and the grounds would be open to the public, Jenkins said. The amenities would likely be open to the public during the off-season, he added.

Jenkins said a strong community has economic, social and age diversities. "A project like this allows them to stay in a town that they've helped shape for however many decades," he said.

Developers believe there is a documented need for the complex.

"As the 'baby boom' generation reaches maturity, the percentage of the population 55 and older has increased nationwide, state-wide, regionally, and locally," they said in their proposal, adding that the need for housing options has grown. "The arrival of the 'baby boom' generation into the ranks of senior citizens has had a notable impact on the demographic makeup of East Hampton. According to U.S. Census data, the total population of the Town of East Hampton aged 55 and over increased from 28 percent to 32 percent between 2000 and 2010."

They cited the 2005 East Hampton Town Comprehensive Plan, which includes providing housing opportunities to meet the needs of senior citizens.

"The Town of East Hampton has made strides in providing affordable rental housing for low-income seniors, but there are currently no age-restricted housing options for seniors whose assets are above the threshold for affordable housing funded by federal low-income housing tax credits," they said. "555 stands to bridge this gap by creating senior housing designed to allow all our seniors to remain in the community. "

The newly built St. Michael's Housing, which is located nearby, provides affordable rental housing for those 62 and older.

The development would also incorporate innovative green technology, such as solar shingled roofs, geothermal and solar thermal heating systems, subsurface sewage treatment facilities, reuse of wastewater for a zero wastewater discharge, and dark sky compliant lighting. The goal is to be a "net zero" energy use development in that it will be designed to produce as much energy as it consumes.

Jenkins said he knows his company has its work cut out.

Putnam Bridge will have to appear before the East Hampton Town Board for a zoning change, though he said there is nothing in the town's code that applies to market value senior residential living. Jenkins is working with Rick Whalen, a former town attorney, on writing a code that would fill what he called a hole in the zoning code.

"It's a big ask, but it's needed," Jenkins said. He said his company is in it for the long haul.

The property has seen a myriad of proposals for its use over the years, from a vineyard to affordable housing. The property has been used for special events like Soldier Ride, but its use also sparked heated debates, such as the ill fated MTK music festival. The Principi family built a stable there within the past decade, and Jenkins said it would be dismantled if the project is approved.

Kieran Brew, the chairman of ACAC, said it was too soon to comment on the project, as members didn't have an opportunity to ask questions. The developers will be invited back at a later date, he said.

Rona Klopman, a former chairwoman of the committee, said, "I'd like to see the zoning changes that they are proposing and look forward to having them come back to ACAC to answer the many questions left unanswered."

What's your first impression of the project? Leave a comment below.

amagansett voter April 10, 2013 at 05:18 PM
How do they deal with the septic of 89 units?
Bill Graham April 10, 2013 at 07:00 PM
Not sure I am a fan of this...
Sharon Marie Buckler April 10, 2013 at 08:14 PM
This is going to be the most of state of the art, enviromentally sound project that the east end has ever seen. I am for it!
Amg_bob April 10, 2013 at 09:03 PM
i wish the EH town board would think more about preserving our green spaces and not be so pro development. if they could learn do think more like nantucket and less like Dallas, we could avoid their constantly increasing the density of amagansett
tm April 10, 2013 at 09:24 PM
i agree with you somewhat, in theory, but it is private property that has a lot of value. are you suggesting that the town purchase it?
Mauro Filicori April 10, 2013 at 10:38 PM
Does anybody knows if the previous owner of the property obtained a permit to cut down and clear up about 90% of the trees that had been on the same land for many decades. Was a permit issued because they were reverting their land to an agricultural usage......horse farm or vineyard ?
SadderBudweiser April 10, 2013 at 11:35 PM
We are about to find out why they call that hamlet "Amagainstit."
Lady L April 11, 2013 at 11:28 AM
With all of the state of the art, green technology and large square footage of the units my thinking is these "cottages" will be quite expensive, especially considering the price they paid for the farm. Density continues to increase, demand on water and septic will necessitate major capital improvements, at taxpayer expense.
Robert E Davis April 11, 2013 at 11:31 AM
Let's see....$800,000-1.8 million.....how many of us that helped "shape" this town can afford that?
JOE CITIZEN April 11, 2013 at 01:57 PM
"there are currently no age-restricted housing options for seniors whose assets are above the threshold for affordable housing funded by federal low-income housing tax credits" At $800k-1.2m the seniors who are just above the low income threshold don't stand a chance at acquiring one of these units. These are priced for high income individuals, and they are not the ones who really need a "senior housing facility" I think its a nice subdivision, and it looks beautiful in the renderings, but Im not sure that it will accomplish what they are stating it will. The units would need to be in the $150-300k range to really be helping the local seniors who don't qualify for the low income housing.
JRW April 11, 2013 at 03:09 PM
What no one seemingly wants to comment on is the environmental impact of the traffic from those active seniors who will have cars... Traffic in the Hamptons is already a nightmare, so why add to it?
East Ender April 11, 2013 at 03:09 PM
ColleenMc April 11, 2013 at 03:38 PM
yet again - something for the wealthy.
ViralGrain April 11, 2013 at 03:40 PM
I think it is a great idea. However I think more needs to be done for elderly who can't afford that kinda price tag. Social Security and inflation has not kept up with each other. What someone who worked all their life who made a average income gets back from social security isn't enough to live in a slum of a 3rd world county. We need to take care of our elderly and our youth and move forward together as a society. Not throw either one in daycare or state geriatric wards. I rather see my tax money go to providing for them then a bunch of Pakistanis in Pakistan who hate all of us anyway.
Amy Shea April 11, 2013 at 06:35 PM
How about a large housing complex designed to be affordable for your local work force? Young locals are being driven out of our area due to sky high costs of living and stagnant wages. Soon all that we'll have left are trade parade workers with no roots or vested interest in our community.
S.B. Bonacker April 11, 2013 at 07:41 PM
The prices for these co-ops are insane; how many of our town's seniors have that kind of money, and how many can commit to carrying a mortgage over 25 years? I think the developers are trying to target a very, very small demographic here - seniors who currently own homes in the area, mortages paid off, that they can sell for $800k-1.5 million to buy one of these units so they can live out the remaining years of thier life in comfort, with assistance. Yes, there are some that fit this profile, but most seniors need affordable rental housing without the burden of a mortgage. And many young people in the local work force also need the same in order to keep them here. So I think the best thing for the town would be to develop this area, make it affordable housing, and do it for a 50/50 mix of seniors and young locals.
Ramona Cruceta-santiago April 11, 2013 at 09:59 PM
Jerry S April 12, 2013 at 12:29 AM
What a great boost to the local economy, and I am sure there will be many local job opportunities there. Imagine being able to walk to the IGA, post office, and doctors office across the street. Perhaps a small pedestrian skybridge could be build over montauk hwy to allow people to cross safely. I am surprised they are only two stories, and they are heavy on the shingles...perhaps 3-4 stories and more glass?? Can't stop progress.
Jeff Rogers April 13, 2013 at 01:40 PM
More condos o joy they wonder why people leave long island because it looks like queens!! they drop condos everywhere what a flippin joke!


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