Affordable Condos on Accabonac Road

The project was developed initially by members of a community housing opportunity fund committee
East Hampton Town is reviving plans for affordable condos at this former tennis court site on Accabonac Road in East Hampton. Morgan McGivern

A plan to build 12 affordable townhouse condominium units on land owned by East Hampton Town is being re-energized after languishing for five years.

A former tennis court at 181 Accabonac Road in East Hampton next to the Windmill Village senior citizens housing complex would house the one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom units contained in three “manor houses” on the two-acre property. They have been “designed to look like a farmhouse,” Tom Ruhle, the town housing director, told the town board on Tuesday.

The project was developed initially by members of a community housing opportunity fund committee appointed to advise the town board on projects that could be undertaken using a dedicated affordable housing fund.

Its members included Amado Ortiz, an architect who designed the townhouse complex so that it could serve as a template and be easily replicated by the town in various configurations on other properties, Mr. Ruhle said.

The affordable housing project was included in the town’s 2009 capital budget, but was not pursued, he said.

Recently, the town board reconstituted a community housing opportunity fund committee, with former Councilman Job Potter as the chairman. That group, said Councilwoman Sylvia Overby, its board liaison, endorses the townhouse project.

According to an estimated budget for the $3.4 million project, the condos would be sold for prices ranging from $155,000 for the smallest, $195,000 for a two-bedroom, and $210,000 for the largest condos with three bedrooms.

The town would apply for state and county affordable housing subsidies that could cover a large portion of the remaining cost. An application for a state grant that was previously submitted was withdrawn when the project was put on hold, Mr. Ruhle said.

The town’s existing community housing opportunity fund has an approximately $500,000 balance, Mr. Ruhle said, which could be tapped to cover outstanding costs.

The housing director said that about $25,000 would be needed up front to prepare a site plan application to be submitted to the town planning board, for legal costs to create a condominium association, and to develop requests for construction proposals.

The project would also require a town board-approved transfer of development rights, which have already been set aside for the purpose.

Mr. Ruhle said that, optimistically, the project could be finished in 18 months.

The housing office, he said, has retained a list of more than 100 people seeking affordable housing, which had been compiled when initial efforts were made on the project.

As with other town affordable housing projects, he said believed that, even if state and county money is used on the condominium complex, housing applicants who live or work in East Hampton could be given preference over those from elsewhere.