Huntington board members reconsidered a revised plan to convert the Old Town Hall on the corner of Main Street and Stewart Avenue into a boutique hotel on June 18.
Changes to the plan include enlarging the hotel from 55 rooms to 80 rooms and adding an additional parcel on the east side of the three-story building. The hotel would contain guest bedrooms while the lobby and offices preserve the building’s original structure, as previously proposed.
The town board approved the original proposal in August 2010, saying that it met all town code requirements and kept the historical site intact.
The Old Town Hall site sits in a Historic Building Overlay District, an area where historic commercial property owners have more flexibility with property use beyond what’s accepted by basic zoning laws. That allows owners to preserve historical sites while converting them into new businesses.
Joseph F. Buzzell, the attorney for the applicant, said the board must approve the additional C6 zoning before they can proceed with construction.
“We’re not seeking to change any of the convenient or conditions of the prior town board approval,” Buzzell said. “We are simply here to extend the zone, so we have a viable project to construct a boutique hotel in downtown Huntington.”
The Old Town Hall, which was built in 1910, and served as Huntington’s Town Hall until 1979, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Elissa Kyle, a member of the town’s Historic Preservation Commission, says she approves of the expansion of the historic site and believes the hotel will help local businesses.
“Hotels can act as an actor within downtown helping to support other nearby businesses,” Kyle said. “Visitors to the hotel will be more likely to patronize nearby shops and restaurants than if they were staying at a hotel outside the downtown.”
Daniel Karpen, a Huntington resident, said the expansion of the hotel could cause parking issues.
“All of a sudden in this hotel is built, the parking problem will be worse than before,” said Karpen.
The next town hall meeting is Tuesday, July 16.