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Southold exploring another former bank building to address space needs

Southold Town officials are exploring the viability of purchasing a former bank property as an avenue toward expanding government space.

Supervisor Scott Russell said he’s not sure if the building at 1400 Youngs Ave. will be a viable option, but the town is looking at “all options.”

“We’re going to do the walk-through” Mr. Russell said. “It hadn’t been a viable option in the past. I don’t know that it will be now. But what we’ll do is we’re going to send the engineer and the DPW Commissioner through, take a quick look at it and basically do our due diligence.”

The town is looking to develop long-term solutions for its “space needs,” he added.

For the past few months, the Town Board has been discussing plans for a new Town Hall and renovated Justice Court. The board had been contemplating a $32.5 million plan, reduced from $37 million, to convert the town hall annex into a Justice Court and rebuild the current Town Hall.

The plan fell out of favor, although not entirely dismissed, in late July because of the high cost — the $32.5 million price tag could mean a nearly 6% hike in property taxes over the next few years. More recently, the Town Board had considered potentially building a new justice court behind the Peconic Bay Community Center for an estimated $5.5 or $6 million.

The town has also considered potential costs to renovate the Southold Police Department.

“All options need to be on the table. It’s as simple as that,” Mr. Russell said of the property on Youngs Avenue. “You’re talking about pretty substantial decision making. And we need to know what all of our options are, or in some cases, simply eliminate certain options — know what’s viable and what’s not.”

The former bank building is priced at $4,599,999 by Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty. It has approximately 19,000 square feet and includes a three-bay storage garage.