History of the Fishers Island Development Corporation
The Fishers Island Development Corporation (FIDCO) was incorporated in New York in 1960 as the successor to a series of companies formed to develop the area of Fishers Island east of the gate house on the main road. The first of these companies, created by Henry and Alfred Ferguson in 1924, commissioned the Olmsted brothers to lay out the development plan of the East End (also known as the Park), hired Seth Raynor to design the Fishers Island Club golf course and built a large clubhouse, which was demolished in 1963 and replaced by a smaller structure. About 35 private residences were built in the Park prior to 1933, when the Great Depression halted development. Owners of the existing summer houses then formed Fishers Island Estates, Inc., which acquired the assets of the East End.
In 1958, a private group of summer residents organized Race Point Corporation to acquire most of the former Fort Wright, some of which it subsequently resold. In 1960, Race Point Corporation bought Fishers Island Estates, reincorporated as FIDCO, and began selling shares of its common stock to property owners. Those sales continue to the present. FIDCO is governed by a board of directors elected by the shareholders, has a general manager and several employees.
FIDCO owns undeveloped acreage in the Park as well as several houses and buildings in the Park and the Fort Wright areas which are leased to various tenants. For example, the Fishers Island Community Center is housed in a former Fort Wright building now owned by FIDCO and leased to the Community Center at a nominal fee. FIDCO has maintained a moratorium on the sale of Park land since 1982 although it has worked with property owners and the Ferguson Museum to exchange or donate lots in order to discourage or avoid construction in environmentally sensitive areas.
Pursuant to building restrictions imposed by the Town of Southold and the terms of the deeds entered into between FIDCO, a grantor, and individual property owners, the Architectural Review Committee of the Corporation oversees, and to an extent controls, the location, design and landscaping of privately owned dwellings in order to maintain the park like environment of the East End.
FIDCO owns the land used by the Fishers Island Club, the Fishers Island Yacht Club, and the Sportsman’s Club and leases such land to the clubs for their seasonal use. FIDCO also leases land to the Fishers Island Oyster Farms. In addition, FIDCO owns 60% of the Fishers Island Water Works and 49% each of the Fishers Island Telephone Company and the Fishers Island Electric Company.