The Franklin Triangle may be the site of a new, chic furnishings and furniture boutique showroom, Brass & Burl, according to a plan before the East Hampton Town Planning Board. The site plan received its initial review before the board March 13.
According to Britton Bistrian of Land Use Solutions, who represents the owners of Brass & Burl, Emily and Adam Young, the house and barn currently on the half-acre property will be renovated, and a garage will be added to the site with an onsite apartment, targeting affordable housing. The small apartment will be the only residential use on the property.
The store is an extension of the Youngs’ Brass & Burl store in Manhattan. “Brass & Burl is a luxury retailer specializing in furniture and décor for the thoughtfully curated home,” the website reads, also promising that its East Hampton showroom will open this summer.
Bistrian explained that buyers would not be getting furniture directly from the showroom. Rather, purchases would be shipped from a warehouse.
The site plan calls for the existing two-story Saltbox-style house and detached barn to be combined and converted into one 25,000-square-foot retail space. Currently the property, one of four created in what is called the Anderson subwaiver of 1974, has access from both Skimhampton Road and Montauk Highway. The applicants, Bistrian said, would prefer not to use the Skimhampton driveway that the parcel shares with two of its neighboring properties. The parking area behind the barn will be reconfigured.
The site is a familiar one to Bistrian. She told the planning board that she has worked on two prior site-plan applications, neither of which, ultimately, panned out. That familiarity is one of the reasons she wants the access to come from the highway only. The neighboring properties on Skimhampton are residential, and traffic flow has always been a concern for the neighbors, she said.
Eric Schantz, a senior planner for the East Hampton Town Planning Department, expressed concern about the idea of renovating the buildings currently on site. “These buildings, which were built in the 1950s, appear to be in great disrepair, particularly the barn.” Bistrian said, however, that the structures would be jacked up and the foundation secured to allow work to go forward.
Board members asked if the parking area could be covered with crushed stone instead of asphalt. Bistrian responded that the applicants would gladly comply with that request.
Board member Ian Calder Piedmonte pointed out an oddity in the town code, which frequently calls for asphalt in parking areas, while the planning board usually prefers a more porous surface, like crushed stone. At some point, he suggested, it is a zoning code question that the East Hampton Town Board might want to address.