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Huntington licenses extra parking for new downtown hotel

The old Huntington Town Hall on Main Street

The old Huntington Town Hall on Main Street will be the site of new 80-room hotel. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

The boutique hotel in downtown Huntington hasn't been built yet, but extra parking is already in place.

The Town of Huntington has agreed to license 20 spaces in the parking lot of Town Hall at 100 Main St. for the hotel, which is being built about four blocks away at 227 Main St.

The proposed 80-room hotel will be located at the site of the old Town Hall, with an adjacent additional parcel of land on the northeast corner of Main Street and Stewart Avenue. It falls under a Historic Building Overlay District, which helps preserve historic structures but also puts them to use.

The parking agreement provides the spaces for valet or parking service use only on weekends, from 5:30 p.m. Friday through 2 a.m. Monday. The hotel developer, Holtsville-based Huntington Village Hotel Partners, will pay $25,000 the first year and $26,250 the second year for the parking spaces.

Developer George Tsunis, who is affiliated with the Huntington Village Hotel Partners group, said he anticipated the 40 parking spaces on the hotel property would be sufficient but wanted to anticipate any overflow needs.

"We did not want to tax the adjacent municipal lots, though it's our right. We wanted to be sensitive to the town's needs," Tsunis said in a phone interview. "Out of an abundance of caution we’re paying a $25,000 annual fee to be able to use parking at night at Town Hall when the town has no need for it."

“This administration is working to take every step we can to alleviate the parking congestion caused by poor planning in prior decades of development in downtown Huntington, while creating conditions to help boost our economy and make the experience of visiting Huntington as enjoyable and welcoming as one would expect it to be,” said Supervisor Chad Lupinacci in a news release.

The hotel plans have languished for years. In 2013, then-property owner  Emerson J. Dobbs was approved to build a 55-room boutique hotel with the existing two-and-a-half-floor structure to be preserved as the hotel’s lobby, lounge and meeting rooms, and a new wing constructed for the guest rooms. But a five-year deadline expired before Dobbs received the necessary building permits. In February 2018, the planning board extended conditional approval for the plan until March 2023. 

 Emerson J. Dobbs III has said he was in contract to sell the building to Huntington Village Hotel Partners in April. Tsunis said the sale was scheduled to close this week. Huntington Village Hotel Partners this summer applied to the town to extend the overlay district to the additional parcel of land, which allows the hotel to expand to 80 rooms.

The town board voted unanimously 4-0 in favor of the license agreement resolution at the Aug. 6 board meeting. Councilman Mark Cuthbertson recused himself from the vote because he has an attorney-client relationship with one of the principals, he said.

The first step is asbestos remediation through the winter, with the hotel construction commencing by next spring, Tsunis said. He anticipated the hotel's grand opening in the second quarter of 2021.

About the hotel

• The old Town Hall building will contain the lobby, offices and common areas of the hotel.

• The guest rooms will be built on the additional 1,742-square-foot parcel. The old jail and police annex, currently there, will be demolished.

• The old Town Hall dates to 1910 and features a four-dial tower clock. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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