In a 7-0 vote Tuesday afternoon, the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency approved the $2.7 million tax relief package for the $43.9 million luxury hotel proposal known as The Enclaves.

The IDA, which provides financial incentives to promote economic development within Suffolk County, granted the developer, Enclaves LLC, $1.8 million in reductions on sales tax for building materials and equipment, $246,000 in reduced mortgage tax payments and $700,000 in savings courtesy of a 15-year PILOT program.

The IDA’s assistance and its proceedings have long stirred controversy throughout Southold. Prior to a public meeting the IDA hosted at Southold Town Hall last month, former Town Supervisor Scott Russell and current Supervisor Al Krupski decried the IDA for not seeking input from Southold residents earlier in their process. The Town Hall meeting was transcribed and presented to the IDA’s seven-member voting board along with nearly 100 written comments submitted by Jan. 16 regarding the project. Among the 67 comments opposing the tax relief package for the project is a letter signed by all six members of the Southold Town Board.

The IDA also received 29 comments from various parties, including several local business owners, supporting the incentives for the developers.

Four Southold Town residents attended the IDA’s meeting, held in Hauppauge, on Tuesday to voice opposition to the abatements in person. A representative from the office of Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta also attended to read a letter in which the legislator support’s the IDA’s actions.

The IDA’s actions will engender 72,979 square feet of new construction, including a two-story, 40-room  hotel, four detached cottages and a pair of restaurants on 6.75 acres at the former Hedges bed and breakfast on Main Road in Southold. According to IDA documents, the hotel and restaurants will generate 51 year-round employment positions. Eleven of these will receive a salary of more than $80,000 a year. The other 41 employees will earn a salary of less than $45,000 each year.

Before the public spoke at last month’s meeting, Mr. Krupski expressed the hope that Southold residents’ comments be made not in vain.

“Is the IDA really considering everything?” he asked rhetorically. “I hope they consider the residents’ comments seriously … The IDA board did not bother to come here to consider this. I hope they openly and honestly actually consider what’s said and ask them to actually take this very seriously because we do.”

The IDA board asked all three principals present — developer Jonathan Tibbett, architect Andrew Giambertone and Edward Glackin — whether the project would move forward if the IDA turned down these tax abatements. Mr. Glackin said “no. Capital ‘n”o’ ‘exclamation point.’”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *