Louis Moore Bacon, owner of Robins Island and head of Robins Island Holdings, LLC, will buy an acre of preserved waterfront land in New Suffolk currently in the hands of the preservation group.
The historic 3.4-acre site on Peconic Bay stretches from Captain Marty's Fishing Station to the north to Robins Island offices to the south and includes a deep-water marina and an 1898 building that once housed the Galley Ho restaurant. It is also the site of the first submarine base in the United States.
Bacon, a noted hedge fund trader and head of Moore Capital Management, has proposed the creation a maritime grassland preserve with a portion for seasonal parking and the addition of a small boat shed to an existing building on the property. Robins Island Holdings will work with the ensuring the property's maintenance, preservation and scenic views in perpetuity. A portion of the southern beach and the northerly 2.4 acres of the site will remain the property of the New Suffolk Waterfront Fund.
"I consider it a priviledge to participate in this outstanding community preservation project," Bacon said in a statement. "Together we have crafted a long-term solution to a threatened property and developed a viable conservation alternative which both preserves and protects a critical view shed for the residents of New Suffolk and the North Fork."
Robins Island is an undeveloped 435-acre island in Peconic Bay visible from the New Suffolk waterfront. It was part of a 1615 deed to William Alexander, Earl of Stirling by King Charles I. Parker Wickham bought the island in 1715 and the land was confiscated during the American Revolution.
In 1989, Suffolk County agreed to buy Robins Island from German investors for $9.2 million with plans to turn it into a nature preserve, but another developer had signed a contract to purchase the island for $15.3 million and develop 22 luxury homes. That proposal fell through after the county ruled that an environmental study was needed before the island could be purchased and developed.
Bacon bought Robins Island at a 1993 bankruptcy court auction for $11 million. He has helped restore the island by planting oak trees and native grasses and is known for inviting guests for traditional English-style pheasant hunts.
The support of Robins Island Holdings combined with a grant from the state Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, allows the Waterfront Fund to pay off its mortgage and devote its energies toward long-anticipated improvements and renovations on the property.
"We are so pleased that our acquisition fundraising is behind us, and we can get to work creating the community asset that so many people have supported financially and through their volunteer efforts," said Barbara Schnitzler, head of the New Suffolk Waterfront Fund.
For more information contact Barbara Schnitzler at 917-379-5647 or go to www.newsuffolkwaterfront.org.
Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone everyday with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.