Hamptons hospitality firm buys two North Fork marinas and plans ‘improvements’

A hospitality group led by Heath Freeman, president and founding partner of Alden Global Capital, which owns an assortment of marinas and restaurants on the South Fork, has expanded its business holdings to the North Fork with the purchase of the New Suffolk shipyard and Cutchogue Harbor marina at the mouth of Wickham Creek.

EHP Hospitality Group purchased both marinas in recent weeks and has renamed them Shagwong Marinas-New Suffolk and Shagwong Marinas-Cutchogue. The New Suffolk shipyard sits in Schoolhouse Creek.

Reached for comment Monday, Greer Brody, at Murphy O’Brien Public Relations in Beverly Hills, Calif., confirmed the purchases. In a statement Tuesday, the public relations firm said the two marinas are “in the heart of Long Island’s wine country with convenient proximity to pristine beaches and intimate restaurants in New Suffolk village.

“The new marina acquisitions solidify EHP Hospitality Group’s position as one of the largest marina owners and operators on Long Island, now totaling over 500 slips,” the statement said.

Alden Global Capital is a $1.04 billion hedge fund that, among its holdings, are 200 newspapers across America. The company has been the subject of considerable protests over the gutting of staff and salaries at the newspapers it has purchased. Some critics have decried Mr. Freeman for what has been described as his slash and burn policies of staff cuts at the newspapers he owns.

EHP Hospitality Group has boomed on the South Fork. Among its holding are the EHP Resort and Marina in East Hampton and Shagwong Boat Club in Three Mile Harbor. Earlier this fall, EHP bought Prime Marina Southampton in Hampton Bays, New Suffolk shipyard and Cutchogue Marina.

Those purchases were first reported by Dan’s Papers, the Southampton-based arts and lifestyle magazine. No figures were disclosed.

Southold Supervisor Scott Russell said he was aware of the purchases, which follow in the wake of a number of recent large-scale real estate acquisitions on the North Fork by billionaire business people and hedge fund managers.

He said he was sure that condominium development would not be allowed at either the New Suffolk or the Cutchogue marinas.

The Dan’s Paper’s story on the North Fork purchases said EHP plans to make “improvements” to the existing facilities and that it would “elevate the overall guest experience for which the group is becoming known.”

The New Suffolk Shipyard, one of the oldest on eastern Long Island, has approximately 60 slips. Cutchogue Harbor marina has approximately 100 slips, along with accessory buildings for boat storage and a fuel dock.

EHP also manages a number of restaurants on the South Fork, some of which it is in the process of expanding.