The Farmingdale planning board has approved two major redevelopment projects considered vital components of the village's downtown revitalization program.
The board Tuesday night approved the projects proposed by Staller Associates Inc. and referred them back to the village board for final approval. The village board is expected to consider the projects, one that's a mix of residential and retail on Main Street and the other that is entirely residential on Eastern Parkway, Aug. 5.
Board members said the contemporary architectural style of the two buildings proposed was nothing like the existing structures in the village. But they agreed they fit the village's plans for revitalizing a downtown marred by many closed stores and warehouses, and the site plans and architectural designs for both were approved unanimously.
The first project considered is proposed for 285 Eastern Pkwy., three blocks east of the railroad station. Part of the property is occupied by an empty brick warehouse more than 100 years old and the rest is vacant.
A 3 1/2-story building would be built next to the warehouse and both structures would contain 40,000 square feet split among 27 rental apartments. The maximum height on the new building would be 45 feet. There would be 56 parking spaces, four more than zoning requires.
Architect Glen Cherveny said the contemporary style new building would be finished with dark gray and ocher metal tiles. That brought the only criticism of the night from resident Debbie Cohen, who lives across the street. "I think it looks disgusting," she said. "It should all be brick" to blend in with the warehouse.
But board member Charles Gosline said, "It's two distinct buildings." He said the complex fit with the village's planned transit-oriented development near the station and should provide affordable housing so young people could remain in the village.
The building proposed for 231-245 Main St. north of Conklin Street would replace vacant stores. It would be 3 1/2 stories with stores on ground level and 26 rental apartments on the second and third floors. Total space would be 32,000 square feet, including about 3,000 feet of retail. There would be 37 parking spaces in a garage on the bottom level.
Each apartment would have a balcony screened by an opaque railing. "I think it's odd," said board member John Capobianco, who said he did not want "Mardi Gras-esque" rowdy activity occurring overlooking Main Street.
Developer Cary Staller said, "We will definitely regulate how they are used in the leases" with barbecues and hanging flags prohibited. The rear of the building would be 45 feet high. The planning board recommended to the village board a maximum 36-foot height on the Main Street side.
An earlier version of this story misstated the mix of apartments and stores in the two locations.