Don’t get your hopes up boys; our favorite blogger at The Village Voice may have been given some bad intel about New York’s famed gay resort, Fire Island. Photos taken in February 2012 and one taken as late as March 16 show the spot where the once famed Pavilion nightclub stood remains a plot of sand with no construction activity under way. The work being done is to the adjacent structure, the Lafountaine Building, that was also destroyed in a fire last November, not the Pavilion as reported elsewhere. The LaFountaine building houses the island’s only other nightclub, Sip N Twirl.
The Lafountaine owners have been diligent about posting the progress of their structure, including photos, a web cam and a sketch of the final building. This is in stark contrast to FIP Ventures that have released little to no information about the rebuilding of the Pavilion. All we really know is the architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) and the architectural firm HWKN were hired to design a “new entertainment complex” and building permits were obtained. According to the New York Times, FIP Ventures plan to put up a temporary structure for 2012 and a permanent structure in 2013.
DS+R confirmed to markatlarge they are still involved in the project, but for further information to contact HWKN. HWKN confirmed they are designing both the temporary and permeate structure. At this time I have no specific information on what DS+R’s involvement in the project is.
Keep in mind the fact that they may be rebuilding in 2013 doesn’t quash the rumors they want to sell the properties. The insurance company may require FIP Ventures to rebuild in order to collect the full amount of the insurance. FIP Ventures did not respond to an information request, but a source tells me he was approached about buying the properties in late January by someone who had detailed information about the sale.
The temporary structure that will be put up in 2012 will still not be a nighttime event spot. It’s hard to imagine a temporary structure could mute the sound of music enough so as to not bother the neighbors living in an ear’s shot of the venue. At best, the club could accommodate an early evening event.
The only game in town will be Sip N Twirl, projected to be completed by July 4. So the dark cloud over Fire Island might have a silver lining for the business savvy LaFountaine’s who are expected to have a very profitable season given the limited competition this year. Ironically the LaFountaine building is partially being built by the former owner of the Pavilion Eric von Kuersteiner’s construction company, Maximus Construction. It’s ironic because Eric was portrayed by many homeowners as a tyrant when he ran 80% of the Fire Island Pines commercial properties, including the Pavilion, but now he may be seen as their white knight in shining armor for the 2012 season. That’s a bit of an exaggeration Eric’s company will only be doing the foundation, the rest of the contraction will be completed by the construction firm Crellory.
The owners and realtors might need a white knight. Serious concerns are persistant that no Pavilion and the alleged sale of the properties will scare off renters who have not yet committed on leases and leave homes empty for the 2012 season. Stay tuned boys. I’m not sure if this fairy tale is going to end.
The follow up to this post: Fire Island In Chaos?
Additional Photos taken on March 16, 2012 of the site where Pavilion once stood:
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