Claudio’s Wharf has long needed a face-lift, and while North Forkers have been feeling the loss of a local institution with the recent dismantling of the clam bar’s dock on the Greenport waterfront, manager Stephen Pisacano this week said the renovation work will provide much needed improvements.
“They’re making it nicer for the customer and safer for the public,” Pisacano said of how the waterfront empire’s new ownership, including lawyer Perry Weitz, is addressing longstanding safety concerns after finishing its first season. The business, which had been run by the Claudio’s family for 148 years, was sold last year.
The current renovation work is the most significant since the late Jerry Tuthill directed development to the former fish-packing site in the late 1980s.
On February 28, the Greenport Village Board voted to allow PWIB Claudio Real Estate LLC to “remedy the hazardous conditions existing as a result of an inadequate number of pilings” by installing 24 new pilings. It also set a March 28 hearing for additional work that is outlined in a filed wetlands permit application.
In the approval of another wetland permit for Research Charters on Carpenter Street, a disagreement at last week’s village board meeting led to a compromise that reduced the timeline back down to a standard two years.
Trustee Mary Bess Philips suggested the village board enforce a performance bond on the application due to the large scale of the project, but withdrew her request after dissent from Trustees Julia Robins and Doug Roberts, as well as Mayor George Hubbard, led to the compromise on the allowed timeframe for the project.
“I’m not in support of a discretionary bond on a project like this,” Robins said of the proposed amendment, adding such a bond has not been enforced in the past 12 years. “I think it could be perceived as singling out a certain business, especially since this is a commercial wetlands permit. I really don’t see a need for it and think that we might be setting a precedent that we don’t need to set right now.”
Hubbard also spoke out against a 10-percent performance bond, but agreed to a compromise requested by the Citizens Advisory Committee and discussed at a previous work session to remove the extra two years that were originally allowed to complete the job.
“To add $100,000 on a million-dollar improvement of the village property I feel is putting an undue burden on the applicant,” the mayor said. “They’ve got to get the work done in two years or they have to go reapply.” They mayor said he believed 400 feet of bulkheading could be completed in two years’ time.
For more information about the upcoming public hearing, visit villageofgreenport.org.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to a bond discussion as being about Claudio’s dock reconstruction. It was, in fact, in reference to another local wetlands permit.