A citizens group that advises the Southampton Town Board on matters concerning the hamlet of Bridgehampton has mobilized to fight a new CVS pharmacy at the intersection of Main Street and the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike. Southampton Town Planning Board review may delay what appears inevitable, but from our perspective the property is a perfect candidate for public acquisition using money from the Community Preservation Fund.
For an example of how this could be in the community’s best interest, Southampton officials could take a look eastward. East Hampton Village bought the former Mark R. Buick car dealership at the corner of Accabonac and Pantigo Roads some years ago and removed the building. The result is a wide green lawn at the village’s eastern approach, a far-better outcome than the commercial shopping center that had been planned. And a CVS just happens to be nearly across the street, adjacent to the post office, with all the attendant traffic confusion and the bicycling death of a teenage girl in 2013.
Developing the Bridgehampton site to the extent apparently now planned would be terrible. The intersection is already one of the most dangerous in that part of town. It would be a shame to allow a commercial building to denigrate the aesthetic improvements at the Topping Rose House and, slowly, across Main Street at the Bridgehampton Historical Society’s Nathaniel Rogers House. Seen from the Ocean Road side, the now-vacant lot would be welcome open space.
Southampton Town has, unfortunately, allowed Bridgehampton’s western approach to become an ill-managed jumble of shopping centers and development, which incidentally already has a Rite-Aid pharmacy. The town now may have a chance to protect and enhance the other end of the hamlet. That opportunity should not be squandered.
An earlier version of this editorial misidentified the Bridgehampton parcel's owner as Leonard Ackerman of East Hampton. Mr. Ackerman sold his interest in BNB Ventures, the partnership that controlled the property, to Paul Kanavos and Adam Raboy of Flag Luxury New York City in 2012.