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Sports East developers will formally file to build this month

Developers of the long awaited Sports East indoor recreational facility plan to file for formal approval this month, after establishing a contract of sale for the Peconic property with Southold Town.

Developer Paul Pawlowski said they plan to submit to the Building Department “for the denial, which then starts the process,” this month. The project will then go to the town Planning Board at some point over the next few weeks, he said.

“We already have our site plan, engineering work ready to go,” he said. The 10.3-acre property will be split between the indoor recreational facility and 24 rental workforce cottages.

The indoor recreational facility will be open to the public for “residents to join or come and play various sports,” Mr. Pawlowski said. The facility will offer “a la carte” services — court time, pool time, time with an instructor. Otherwise, there will be a “very, very, very minimal membership fee.”

“My partners and I always wanted to do it. We live in this town, we have kids that go to school in this town,” he said. “It’s a great location. The town acquired the property, which we will be buying from the town because this will be a private project, but in a good recreational area.”

He pointed out that the facility is in a central area to the town and there’s already fields and courts in the area.

“We’re coming out of two years of a pandemic. We’re very eager to put this opportunity out there for our residents,” he added. “I think it will improve quality of life not only for our kids, but for all demographics.”

He said the property will be purchased at the appraised value, which hasn’t been set yet. The town purchased it for about $750,000 so he estimates it will fall around there. 

Town Supervisor Scott Russell said the town specifically bought the property to transfer it to a company willing to build an indoor pool or recreational facility. Southold issued a request for proposal “to solicit developers for that sole and specific purpose,” he said.

The workforce cottages — which would be built to fill what Mr. Pawlowski has previously emphasized is a “vital need” for affordable housing — are planned to have one or two bedrooms on a lot neighboring the recreational facility.

Development would follow federal Housing and Urban Development guidelines for workforce housing and remain affordable in perpetuity. The cottages would be privately managed on site.

Mr. Pawlowski has also outlined measures that would make the development more eco-friendly, such as zero-emission cottages and collecting stormwater on site.

“Maintenance of these properties will be pristine and upkeep will be pristine,” he said in a previous interview. Mr. Pawlowski said there would be “substantial investment” into local contractors.

The indoor recreational facility is planned to include:

• A pro shop

• Cafe and lounge area

• Tennis courts

• Pickleball courts

• Indoor synthetic field

• Pool 

• Gym 

• Basketball and volleyball court

• Golf simulator 

• Locker rooms