Steinbeck Waterfront Park Is a Go in Sag Harbor

Southampton Town approves C.P.F. purchase of 1.25 acres
The plans for the 1.25-acre John Steinbeck Waterfront Park as seen in 2017. Taylor K. Vecsey

The Southampton Town Board voted unanimously on July 10 to approve the purchase of 1.25 acres in Sag Harbor Village that will become the site of the proposed John Steinbeck Waterfront Park.

The parcels of land that the town is acquiring for $10.5 million with the use of community preservation fund money include 1, 3, and 5 Ferry Road, on the Sag Harbor side of the bridge that leads to North Haven. For more than a decade, they have been blighted with abandoned buildings.

In May, the town announced that it had struck a deal to buy the properties from Jay Bialsky, a real estate developer who had recently acquired them. Earlier this year, Mr. Bialsky purchased the lots, as well as 2 West Water Street, better known as the 1-800-Lawyer residence, from Greystone Property Development, a Manhattan real estate company that initially had planned to use the land to build a complex of condominiums.

Now that the town has purchased the land on the village's behalf, Sag Harbor can move forward with its plan to create a public park that will be linked by land and water to Windmill Park and Long Wharf and will feature a beach area, a fishing and small boat pier, and a pedestrian walkway.

"The creation of Steinbeck Park will honor the history of Sag Harbor and enhance access to the waterfront for all residents and visitors," Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said in a prepared statement.

According to the announcement released by the town, the agreement with Mr. Bialsky stipulates that he must remove the dilapidated buildings and that "the land must be vacant, cleared, and ready to turn into a park."

Sag Harbor Mayor Sandra Schroeder informed the town board last week that the village hoped to begin work on the park early next year. 

The dilapidated Harborview Professional Building will have to go, as stipulated in the agreement with Southampton Town. Jamie Bufalino