How to Solve the Hamptons Housing Crisis and Empty Stores

Water Mill Penny Candy Shop closed for sale
Water Mill Penny Candy Shop closed for sale, Photo: Oliver Peterson

When you drive around the Hamptons, you see a lot of empty stores. It’s the Amazon effect.

Water Mill is a case in point. There are probably 30 stores in downtown Water Mill. Less than half are occupied. And Amazon is not going away.

Meanwhile, everybody knows many of the local workforce cannot afford to live here. Until now, the only solution is to build subsidized housing for them. The town builds 20 units, sets an artificially low rent, then the taxpayers eat the cost. And 20 units is just a drop in the bucket.


Here’s what they did in Manhattan when the manufacturing went away years ago. They re-zoned the facilities and called them lofts. Now tens of thousands of people live in downtown lofts in the city.

A loft next to a dress shop might not be a bad thing.

More from Our Sister Sites