The very mention of the Mattituck property for which developer Paul Pawlowski previously proposed a mixed-use development and an affordable rental complex is sure to produce a few grumbles from some folks in the community.
Since he’s already withdrawn both previous proposals to develop the Main Road property this year, following community opposition, it might be surprising that a third plan has emerged so quickly.
While there’s sure to be plenty of opportunity for the public to weigh in on the plan as the town decides whether a private fitness club is an appropriate use for that property, the question residents should be asking now is whether the North Fork needs an indoor athletic facility.
For anyone who’s ever belonged to a YMCA or any all-season, multi-sport indoor fitness facility like the one being proposed, the answer is sure to be yes.
If it’s kept affordable, as the partners behind the Sports East proposal have vowed to do, the facility could be a major benefit to nearly every resident of Southold Town. These types of facilities focus on wellness and family activities. They bring communities together.
Why should the parents of athletes who play on travel teams have to trek to western Suffolk for winter games? Why should anyone have to drive off the North Fork to swim in an indoor pool?
While something similar is already in the works for Suffolk County Community College’s Eastern Campus, the people of Southold Town deserve their own indoor athletic facility. To build it in Mattituck, where it can also serve the eastern portion of Riverhead Town, seems to make a lot of sense.
Hopefully, residents will get the opportunity to hear more from Sports East in the coming months about the type of programs that will be made available and estimated membership costs. The organization could then get a better sense of the community’s interest.
We invite our readers to share their initial thoughts and/or concerns on the project on these opinion pages. Send your letter to managing editor Joe Werkmeister at [email protected]. All responses need to include the author’s name, phone number (not for publication) and hamlet of residence and should be no longer than 350 words.
The Suffolk Times editorial board’s early impression of this proposal is that such a facility fills a major need on the North Fork. We look forward to hearing what you have to say.
Photo Caption: Any early rendering of the proposed sports complex. (Courtesy of Paul Pawlowski)