An article in The New York Times on Tuesday reported that J. Darius Bikoff, the multimillionaire owner of Vitamin Water, is among the principals of ED40, a limited liability corporation that purchased the East Deck Motel at Ditch Plain in Montauk in the fall for a reported $15 million. It seeks to develop the property as a private club with a restaurant, spa, 8,000-square-foot pool, underground parking, and other amenities. None of the names of the corporation’s shareholders had been made public.
Mr. Bikoff owns an oceanfront trailer at the adjacent Montauk Shores Condominium and keeps a boat at the Montauk Marine Basin. He is said to surf at Ditch Plain, and Lars Svenberg of Main Beach Surf and Sports and Scott Bradley of Paddle Diva have been the public faces of the corporation. It is represented by Andy Hammer of Biondo and Hammer, a Montauk law firm.
Several Montauk residents have said they had been asked to sign nondisclosure agreements, by which they agreed not to talk about any work they may have done for Mr. Bikoff. Mr. Svenberg, Mr. Bradley, and Mr. Hammer did not return calls for comment this week, and Mr. Bikoff could not be reached.
ED40, which has applied to the East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals for the various permits that would be required for construction, has an application pending to trademark the East Deck name. Approvals are also being sought from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. C.C.O.M. has asked town officials to require a full environmental impact statement under the State Environmental Quality Review Act.
The Z.B.A. application states that the club would have 179 members, who would be allowed to have guests. The new East Deck would be a two-story building, and it would have parking for 136 vehicles. Its septic system would be designed to handle the waste of 537 people, and 3,661 cubic yards of fill would be required to elevate it.
Concerned Citizens of Montauk, which has 1,300 members, and the Ditch Plains Association, with over 350 members, are protesting the project. The Ditch Plains Association posted an online petition on Aug. 18, which had almost 2,000 signatures as of Wednesday, asking the town to deny the application. It can be viewed at ditchplainsassociation.com.
Protesters are concerned that the new East Deck would encroach on the public’s use of the popular surfing beach and block the view of those living across the street. On Saturday, a group of over 100 surfers will protest in their own way — by paddling out in front of the motel.