Scaled-down Sports East facility could include housing

Revived plans for the Sports East facility once pitched for Route 25 in Mattituck are moving along in Peconic, but the developer is now proposing affordable housing to accompany the recreation complex.

Developer Paul Pawlowski presented his updated plan to the Town Board at a work session Tuesday. It calls for scaling back some recreation amenities and building 24 cottage-style affordable rentals on the 10-acre property on Carroll Avenue.

His initial goal was to construct a large-scale recreation facility that’s accessible to town residents. “COVID put a damper on that, to say the least,” Mr. Pawlowski said.

The latest conceptual plans show a 120-by-260-foot indoor racket club that would feature a pro shop, tennis and pickleball courts and a separate 60-by-100-foot building for an indoor lap pool.

The design of the 24 housing units, Mr. Pawlowski said, would reflect the style of the 22 homes in The Cottages at Mattituck and would include one- and two-bedroom dwellings. The plans also show separate entrances for the residential area and athletic complex.

“We feel it would be a good use of the property and achieve two goals that the town has,” Mr. Pawlowski said. “There’s still area for future growth.”

In response to a request for proposals issued for a “major recreational facility” to be built on the town-owned property, Mr. Pawlowski and developers Joe Slovak and Steve Marsh submitted plans for an 82,500-square-foot indoor facility in 2019.

Their original plan called for an indoor pool, multipurpose indoor field, tennis courts, pickleball courts, batting cages, a basketball court, gym and four yoga/dance studios to serve all segments of the population.

But Councilman Bob Ghosio fears removing some of the recreational aspects from that plan would skew the facility to cater more to the town’s aging population rather than to its youth. He suggested a basketball court be added to accommodate a younger demographic, which Mr. Pawlowski agreed to look into.

Mr. Pawlowski said the facilities would be privately managed but open to the public, who would book their court or swim time.

In response to a question from Councilwoman Sarah Nappa on the project timeline, Mr. Pawlowski said they would commit to constructing the two elements concurrently, estimating an ambitious four-month timeline. “We’re committed and ready and would do this as fast as we can get approvals,” he said.

Met with support from the board, the proposal may be referred to the Planning Board as the town discusses contractual issues in executive session. According to Supervisor Scott Russell, the time frame could be affected by a split-zoning change the town would have to authorize, after a hearing, in order to approve the project.

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