ZBA Weighs Apartments At Fire Site

Fire-damaged 328 Main St. in Huntington village could be redeveloped with apartments replacing office space on the second floor.

Fire-damaged 328 Main St. in Huntington village could be redeveloped with apartments replacing office space on the second floor.

Months after a fire devastated a historic building at 328 Main St. in Huntington village, plans that call for redeveloping the second floor with apartments will go before the town zoning board Thursday, Feb. 5.

Those plans, in which what was formerly office space on the second floor would be converted to a pair of apartments, was the topic of discussion at a Jan. 28 Huntington Planning Board meeting.

The Huntington zoning board needs to award parking variances and allow the applicants, the Vandy E. Revocable Trust, to utilize municipal parking located within 300 feet of the site. Twenty-six parking spots are required by the proposed uses, which includes commercial on the first floor. The property provides no parking spots.

The May 14, 2014 blaze, which investigators believe began in the kitchen ceiling of the former Osaka restaurant early that morning, displaced five businesses and was blamed on an electrical issue. The building remains condemned, and businesses, including Osaka, have relocated.

The new 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.

The plans for the formerly all-commercial building are the latest in an array of Huntington projects that call for apartments over retail uses.

Twelve apartments went on the market at Heatherwood Communities’ recently completed Gerard Street mixed-use building, and a similarly styled mixed-use development is in the works on Stewart Avenue at the former Losquadro ice house, where 26 apartments are planned above 8,000 square feet of retail on the ground level. Elsewhere in Huntington village, the town has signed off on adding apartments to seven properties, either by adding apartments above or by demolishing and rebuilding existing structures to make way for larger mixed-use buildings.

Unlike many of those proposals, however, the 328 Main St. plans do not call for adding any floors to the existing structure.

Thursday’s ZBA meeting begins at 6 p.m. at Huntington Town Hall.