By Connor Beach
With a promise made to preserve and restore a historic Main Street facade, local historians have signed off on two developers’ plan to erect a 271,836-square-foot mixed-use development with 84 luxury apartments in Huntington village.
The agreement was discussed during the Feb. 28 planning board meeting, at which Huntington-based attorney Jim Margolin presented updated renderings of his clients’ planned development that would front Main Street, Gerard Street and Stewart Avenue.
Developers John Kean and Alan Fromkin – owner of Classic Galleries, which operates in one of the buildings involved in the plan – have met with members of the Huntington Historical Society and the Historic Preservation Commission.
The meetings concluded with a promise to restore and preserve the facade of the historic 1911 Huntington Firehouse at 235 Main St.; plans presented last year called for the complete demolition of the building, along with several others.
Huntington Historical Society Trustee Paul Warburgh said members of the two groups persuaded the developers to preserve the “existing brick and mortar facade of the old firehouse.” He added that a promise was also made to recreate the old firehouse doors.
“We are very happy with what the developer has finally proposed,” said Warburg, who asked the board to ensure preservation of the firehouse was written in as a condition of any future site plan approval.
He added, “We endorse this final proposal that you’re looking at… We’d like this thing to move forward.”
Before the plan can move forward to the town’s zoning board, Margolin said he and his clients need the planning board to supply a memorandum.
“We ask that you would revisit this matter, and that you would update the memo that will go to the Zoning Board of Appeals,” Margolin said to the planning board.
The planning board previously took issue with the proposal back in June 2017, when it issued a letter criticizing the plan’s scale and other aspects, including parking.
The proposal is required by town code to provide 262 parking spaces and plans call for 127 onsite stalls, Margolin previously said at an Aug. 9, 2017 planning board meeting.
The plan had been dormant before the planning board since a Nov. 15, 2017 appointment.
Margolin added in a phone call Wednesday that aside from the move to preserve the firehouse facade and alter some setbacks, the size of the proposed development and its site plan have not changed.