By Danny Schrafel
Work is underway at a Huntington village building, which was badly burned in a blaze last spring.
Scaffolding is up at 328 Main St., the former home of Osaka restaurant, a Lemon Tree hair salon and office uses on the second floor, allowing workers to begin the work of remedying fire damage.
“We’re making great progress on the demolition. The roof and the exterior will be secured, and then the interior building will start,” said Steve Rossetti, of Paragon Property Services Inc., who is representing the Vandy E. Morris Revocable Trust, which owns the property.
The May 14, 2014 blaze, which investigators believe began early that morning in the kitchen ceiling of what used to be Osaka restaurant, displaced five businesses and was blamed on an electrical issue.
After the fire, approvals were granted to retool the structure as a mixed-use building, with two apartments replacing the second-floor uses and retail and restaurant space being earmarked for the first floor.
Variances required for the new plans were approved by the Huntington Zoning Board of Appeals earlier this year. Those plans call for maintaining an 850-square-foot restaurant and a smaller, neighboring retail use; and using the 1,830 square feet upstairs to create two one-bedroom apartments.
Rossetti said one lease “is out” and being fine-tuned, and a second will be sent out shortly to a prospective tenant.
Both are for “relatively fast-food” concepts, Rossetti said. He declined to delve into specifics until the leases are finalized, but said he anticipates tenants will be their stores by this fall.