Bulova Drops a Condo


What were once 65 luxury condominiums are now 64.

Citing changing market conditions as well as the architecture of the former Bulova Watchcase Factory, on Tuesday night Cape Advisors project manager David Kronman received approval from the Sag Harbor Planning Board to revise the site plan for an approved 65 luxury condominiums at the historic site. The units will be reconfigured in a way that will reduce the overall size of the project by one apartment.

In 2008, Cape Advisors was granted approval by the village to restore the Watchcase Factory and re-develop the property into condominiums with underground parking, outdoor gardens, a pool and eight townhouses along Church and Sage streets. This fall, after battling for financing since it earned its approval, Cape Advisors in partnership with Deutsche Bank broke ground with hopes to finish the project by the fall of 2013.

On Tuesday night, Kronman said as his firm has continued to study the architecture of the factory building and kept an eye on ideal floor plans from a real estate perspective, instead of seeking 49 units in the Watchcase Factory and 16 in the townhouses they had reconfigured the plan.

The changes involve making a corner townhouse — at Church and Sage streets —two-condominiums instead of one. Kronman said units inside the factory building were combined, making 47 condominiums there and 17 in the townhouses.

The project will maintain the 130 planned parking spaces it aims to create in the garage and on the street, said Kronman and will not seek to alter the $2.5 million it is required to funnel into the Sag Harbor Community Housing Trust Fund.

While dormant since last fall, plans to add a restaurant at Baron’s Cove Inn were revived on Tuesday night with developers coming back to the table for approval by the village planning board.

KBR Associates — the owners of the property — and Cape Advisors, which will manage what has been conceived as a new family-friendly resort destination, have already earned approval from the village’s Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board (ARB) to revamp the existing inn. Now they hope to also add a restaurant as one of the property’s amenities.

At issue during the planning board’s review last year was ensuring a bar area would not be able to morph into a nightclub, similar to Rocco’s, a now defunct club that existed at a neighboring parcel much to the ire of residents.

On Tuesday night, board member Greg Ferraris reiterated the planning board’s desire to see comprehensive recommendations by KBR and Cape Advisors on how it could ensure an eight seat bar with a neighboring lobby area would not become that nightmare for Sag Harbor residents.

The restaurant, which will have a total of 87 seats, including 18 that will be moved outdoors in the summer season, is allowed as an accessory use to the motel under village law. Nightclubs and taverns are prohibited under the same law.

The companies have proposed the restaurant on the second story of the new building, with the restaurant’s bar and motel lobby on the first floor.

Cape Advisors spokesman Curtis Sachs said that while under state law all restaurants in Sag Harbor are allowed to serve alcohol until 4 a.m., he would be willing to place a restriction on the Baron’s Cove Inn bar that would prohibit service after midnight. Bottle service, outside of beer and wine, added Sachs, could also be barred as well as cover charges — the standard calling cards of a nightclub.

“We don’t want to be Rocco’s,” said Sachs. “And want to stay as far away from that as we can.”

He added a new lighting plan has been submitted for the property that is Dark Skies compliant.

Village attorney Denise Schoen said that while the planning board could accept the offer of an alcohol curfew as a matter of good faith on the part of KBR and Cape Advisors and could include language in its approval,  that language could be struck down, as the village has no right to supersede the authority of the State Liquor Authority (SLA).

According to Sag Harbor Village planning consultant Rich Warren, the plans for the restaurant still have to undergo environmental review. The planning board will consider whether or not to take a lead role in that review at its next meeting on June 26.

Lastly, the planning board approved plans by Rich Kresberg to expand Provisions Natural Foods Market & Organic Café into the former Style Bar on Bay Street.