Mammoth Mixed-Use Plan Needs ZBA OK

 A rendering depicts the view of Gerard Street should a proposed four-story mixed use building with 84 luxury apartments be built in Huntington village.

A rendering depicts the view of Gerard Street should a proposed four-story mixed use building with 84 luxury apartments be built in Huntington village.

By Jano Tantongco

A developer’s plan to build a four-story, 271,836-square-foot mixed use building with 84 luxury apartments is set to go before the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals.

The proposal has been made by Alan Fromkin, who owns the five parcels along Main Street, Gerard Street and Stewart Avenue that he wants to build upon.

The gross floor area for the proposal is 271,836 square feet. The building would include a nearly equal number of one- and two-bedroom apartments, and also around three three-bedroom units, according to Fromkin.

The proposal would require demolishing all existing structure across the five parcels, which includes the former site of the old Huntington Firehouse, which is currently Classic Galleries.

Fromkin said he sees his plan as a “win for the town, a win for everybody,” and claimed it would be “the best thing that have ever happened to the village of Huntington and its residents.”

Plans also include 3,853 square feet of rental space that Fromkin said will be the new home of Mac’s Steakhouse, which is currently located at 12 Gerard St. The current Mac’s building would be demolished as part of the plan, documents show.

“We’re going to give [Mac’s] much better visibility because it will be on the corner of New York Avenue and Gerard Street,” Fromkin said.

Fromkin also wants to include 11,620 square feet of retail space, which he said would be reserved for Classic Galleries.

Before he can move forward with any of it, Fromkin needs approval from the ZBA for six variances and one special use permit. A public hearing before the ZBA is set for June 8, 6 p.m. at Huntington Town Hall.

The variances include approval to build a four-story building, which would exceed the code-allowed limit of three.

Fromkin also needs approval for not providing the required 262 parking spaces, as defined by town code. He plans to provide 127 spaces.

When asked about parking requirements, Fromkin said the 127 spaces more than meet the requirements for apartments he’s proposing to build, which require 126 spaces.

Last year, the Huntington Historical Preservation Committee petitioned the town board to establish an historic designate for the portion of the Classic Galleries building that once served as the Huntington Firehouse.

After a public hearing held in July 2016 regarding the designation, the town board let the measure expire within 90-day timeframe allotted, according to town spokesman A.J. Carter.

Toby Kissam, president of the historical society, said that the organization has “constantly lobbied” for the preservation of at least the facade of the old firehouse building.

“We’re not against the development of the property, but we would think that that is such a monumental and historic building in the history of Huntington,” Kissam said.

He hoped that something could be done to incorporate the existing historical elements into the new project.

Fromkin said they are “still talking to the historical commission” and are having on-going meetings to come to a resolution.